Computers and Privacy in 1981

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matt3o
-[°_°]-

01 Oct 2019, 09:15

I find this video incredibly interesting, not only for retro-computing (and keyboards) pr0n but also for a somewhat naive and idealistic Steve Jobs interview.

Findecanor

01 Oct 2019, 14:51

They're talking about different things. Jobs is trying to sell personal computers. The others are talking about the dangers of personal information in databases.
Two separate phenomena back then, but not now.

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depletedvespene

01 Oct 2019, 15:00

Findecanor wrote:
01 Oct 2019, 14:51
They're talking about different things. Jobs is trying to sell personal computers. The others are talking about the dangers of personal information in databases.
Two separate phenomena back then, but not now.
Not only that, but what qualifies as "sensitive" personal information has changed as well. Back in the '80s, no one batted an eye at the fact that every home had a phone book close by the phone itself (perhaps even more than a few copies, as those things were reprinted yearly), listing the phones and residential addresses of pretty much everyone... and this was a book distinct from the "yellow pages", which printed exclusively phone numbers and addresses for commercial services, a copy of which was always around as well (*).


(*) Except when you actually needed it, because duh.

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depletedvespene

01 Oct 2019, 15:05

Whatsmore, even one's name has become sensitive information (making Vernor Vinge's book True Names and other Dangers especially prescient in this regard). Ten-ish years ago, one would register with one's name on different forums and e-mail accounts, and nowadays, few people are brave enough to use their true name as the handle OR to allow freely sharing the association between both.

(fortunately, the trend of using a different handle on each forum seems to be on the way out)

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matt3o
-[°_°]-

01 Oct 2019, 15:35

Findecanor wrote:
01 Oct 2019, 14:51
Two separate phenomena back then, but not now.
it was a problem back then too, simply they didn't manage to put a tracking device in the pocket of every person back then. Now they have.

andrewjoy

01 Oct 2019, 16:33

matt3o wrote:
01 Oct 2019, 15:35
Findecanor wrote:
01 Oct 2019, 14:51
Two separate phenomena back then, but not now.
it was a problem back then too, simply they didn't manage to put a tracking device in the pocket of every person back then. Now they have.
And people willingly install listening devices in there own home that listen to there every word. So called "smart" speakers are terrifying. Some of them even have cameras, its 1984 level shit.

And will the software on them be secure ? Will people change the default password ? They tell us that they dont transmit all the time but how can you know ? Do they let you look at the source code ? How many NSA backdoors do the bloody things have ?

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mr_a500

01 Oct 2019, 16:44

Interesting video. I was surprised to see three different beam spring keyboards and a red Apple II.

depletedvespene wrote:
01 Oct 2019, 15:00
Not only that, but what qualifies as "sensitive" personal information has changed as well. Back in the '80s, no one batted an eye at the fact that every home had a phone book close by the phone itself (perhaps even more than a few copies, as those things were reprinted yearly), listing the phones and residential addresses of pretty much everyone...
I "batted an eye". Since the 80's, I've always insisted on being unlisted. It's strange though that it cost an extra fee every month just to keep your personal information out of that book.
matt3o wrote:
01 Oct 2019, 15:35
Findecanor wrote:
01 Oct 2019, 14:51
Two separate phenomena back then, but not now.
it was a problem back then too, simply they didn't manage to put a tracking device in the pocket of every person back then. Now they have.
If computers in the 80's had GPS tracking, spying microphones, spyware and an inability to turn off completely (for max-volume government "alerts" at 4:00am), I never would have bought a computer back then - just like I don't own a mobile phone now.

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matt3o
-[°_°]-

02 Oct 2019, 08:44

mr_a500 wrote:
01 Oct 2019, 16:44
just like I don't own a mobile phone now.
my bank closed all the physical points and now have just 1 in my city, which is not even a bank but more like an office with "investment consultants". Everything is done digitally. Since Sept 19th (I believe that was the exact date) a new European regulation had made stricter to access your online bank account and now they all require 2FA and multiple codes to actually perform operations like money transfer. That means that from Sept 19th I forcefully need an Android or Apple smartphone if I want to do anything with my bank. I understand that that is considered completely normal for 99.9% of the population, but not for me.

I have a google-less android on a rooted phone and it is becoming impossible for me to keep using it. What if I want to use Librem 5, or postmasketOS? We put our lives in the hands of private, foreign owned, corporations and they are making every day harder to switch away from them.

Findecanor

02 Oct 2019, 10:12

mr_a500 wrote:
01 Oct 2019, 16:44
I don't own a mobile phone now.
Me neither. (At least not one that works...)
Over here, the pressure from society to get a smartphone is overwhelming. With cash being bullied out of existence in favour of mobile payments, you will soon not be able to buy and sell anything without one in your hand, or a "smartwatch" on your wrist or a headset on your head.. (hmm. that reminds me of a story I heard ... :maverick: )

And that (privately owned) app and bank-login are based on tech that has known security UI problems and a known weakness: relying on correct program behaviour on both sides over having a secure protocol.
It is used for 2FA to log into banks, but there is only one factor for mobile-payments .. and when people get scammed.
If you ever bring up the security holes, you are waved off as being paranoid. The scamming victims get the blame for having been "careless" because they had misinterpreted ambiguous message on the screen.
I can still use a smartcard to log into my bank... but for how long? I got the 2FA system enabled on my account against my will.

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mr_a500

02 Oct 2019, 12:34

Wow. I'm a bit out of touch with "modern society" (...being an insane retired hermit living on an island...) but this mandatory mobile phone crap will probably affect me eventually. I'm going to hold out against this crap as long as I can.

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matt3o
-[°_°]-

02 Oct 2019, 12:46

mr_a500 wrote:
02 Oct 2019, 12:34
Wow. I'm a bit out of touch with "modern society" (...being an insane retired hermit living on an island...) but this mandatory mobile phone crap will probably affect me eventually. I'm going to hold out against this crap as long as I can.
are there any more islands available?

andrewjoy

02 Oct 2019, 16:13

mr_a500 wrote:
02 Oct 2019, 12:34
Wow. I'm a bit out of touch with "modern society" (...being an insane retired hermit living on an island...) but this mandatory mobile phone crap will probably affect me eventually. I'm going to hold out against this crap as long as I can.
I use a mobile but all services are turned off for every app unless i need to use them. The only google service i use it to download apps and use google pay , everything else is on private accounts ( e.g fastmail for email, brave for browser with duckduckgo ). My phone is also encrypted.

I agree mobiles are scary, but correctly managed they can be fine. Its the always on speakers that listen to your every word that freak me out.

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mr_a500

02 Oct 2019, 16:28

Even with all services turned off, your exact location can be determined at all times. That's one of the things that freaks me out.

andrewjoy

02 Oct 2019, 18:06

mr_a500 wrote:
02 Oct 2019, 16:28
Even with all services turned off, your exact location can be determined at all times. That's one of the things that freaks me out.
Triangulate via cell towers yes. GPS is disabled.

We are that tracked in the UK by CCTV and now bloody facial recognition cameras ( without the consent of the people) the Ministry of Love knows where i am anyway.

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matt3o
-[°_°]-

02 Oct 2019, 19:23

even without gps they can track you from wifi hotspots. If you don't have wifi enabled they can even use the accelerometer to estimate your movements. As soon as you connect to the internet the data is sent home. Data is collected even when you are offline. They made quite some tests on that, search it if you don't believe me.

Findecanor

02 Oct 2019, 20:02

Android and iOS are supposed to randomise MAC addresses to avoid tracking but randomisation does not always work as expected and randomisation does not fool a more advanced tracker.
And yes, many apps are tacking or recording users in various ways. There have been cases when the IP for an innocuous app you could have installed has been purchased by nefarious firm and you would get malware through updates.

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matt3o
-[°_°]-

02 Oct 2019, 20:10

it doesn't matter if the mac address is randomized, they already know who you are from your google account, because if you want to use the play store (or any google service) you need a google account

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zrrion

03 Oct 2019, 06:16

There are ways to get APKs for android apps so that you can install them without the play store but IIRC the play store is what actually handles updates so if you care about that you'll have to reinstall things often

andrewjoy

03 Oct 2019, 10:45

I dont mind google knowing who i am. But i try to limit that info as much as possible by firstly turning off all history and logging you can inside googles settings and only using them for things i HAVE to .

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