More .NET Spying Issues

November 7, 2017

George Orwell, like many science fiction authors, imagined dystopian futures, but also the possibility of grander technology.  In his quintessential novel 1984, Orwell discussed the consequences of a society controlled by completely by the government and how an advanced spy network allowed the entity to do so.  While Orwell imagined this future, he probably could not conceive of how the technology would actually work.

Today we do and many consumers are victims of spying.

Technology companies state that the spying is unintentional, but do we really believe that?  Gitbhub had a post titled, “.NET Core Should Not Spy On Users By Default”  The .NET Core is a set of tools Microsoft developed and Microsoft has a history of spying on their users.  Remember how Windows 10 spied on users?  A Microsoft representative posted that the default spying protocol is actually a good thing, because

The data we collect does not identify individual users. We’re only interested in aggregate data that we can use to identify trends. The telemetry feature is configurable, so you can turn it on/off at any time. It is also scoped, only applying to tools usage, not the rest of the product. We think that this is a good trade-off and recognize that not everyone will like it. We do know, however, that many people will like the product improvements that will come from this insight.

Spying is spying, whether the data cannot be identified.  Also everything digital leaves a footprint somehow, so the representative is more than likely misspeaking (using double think?).  The spying option should never be a default unless an advisory is given to users and they allow it.  At least, Apple does it with all of their users.

Whitney Grace, November 7, 2017


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