Who or what knows where you are?

Teachers have had this nailed for years.

If you go to any conference that involves travel away from home, there are two conflicting pieces of advice that you might get…

  1. Please tweet about your learning activities using the hashtag for the conference #kajdfkjsaf
  2. Don’t tweet about being at the conference.  You’re advertising to everyone that reads it that you’re not at home and there to stop anyone who wants to break in and steal your stuff

It’s not terribly insightful.  I think that anyone who uses social media knows that your location is one of the features that make its use as powerful as it is.

Users of social media know that this is how restaurants, friends, and advertisers know where you are.  Sometimes you have control over various things.  I remember a friend of mine who was using a social media application that was advertising the location of her house!  She was so appreciative when she found out that it was happening and how to avoid it in the future.

This concept hit the news again this week with the social media fitness map Strava posting a “heat map“.


How the map is created is fascinating reading and you can get the details here.

It’s an interesting map and process.  But, when it goes beyond the academic of just generating a map, it gets serious.

Strava’s fitness tracker heat map reveals the location of military bases

Yeah, now it gets real.

I find it interesting that there is so much outrage over this.  I mean, don’t people read the terms and conditions of every application they use?  Do you just blindly click “I agree” and then move on?

Of course you do.

So do I.

Even if you did devote the time to actually read it, the legal content is enough to make you never want to read it again.

But, sometimes it actually is written in plain English so that you can understand.  As an example, Siri for the Macintosh includes a relatively easy to understand message, including this near the bottom.

By using Ask Siri or Dictation, you agree and consent to Apple’s and its subsidiaries’ and agents’ transmission, collection, maintenance, processing, and use of this information, including your voice input, User Data, to provide and improve Siri, Dictation, and dictation functionality in other Apple products and services.

If you are OK with that, then you can go ahead and enable Siri.  Or, you can just be glad that you learned how to keyboard and can live without giving up your information.  Just who are the subsidiaries or agents?

The whole world of digital assistants and devices to help make your live easier and more convenient do come with a price.

Is it worth it to read the fine print?

I’ll bet that those who make decisions about the military are going to spend more than a few moments thinking this through.

Will you?

Stay tuned for developments on the develop of   Mycroft Mark II: The Open Source Answer to Amazon Echo and Google Home That Doesn’t Spy on You


OTR Links 02/01/2018

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.