Monday, October 20, 2014

Your Mac is still Phoning Home. So is your PC.

Big Data still hasn't learned that people generally don't like eavesdroppers. Max OSX Yosemite is phoning home lots of data back to Apple, and it doesn't matter how you configure your Mac, apparently.

DuckDuckGo for Privacy

Having read DuckDuckGo's privacy statements, you might decide to switch Safari's default search to DuckDuckGo. If we enter a new search in Safari, we can then search the logged data to see who the search terms are actually sent to.

The logs show that a copy of your Safari searches are still sent to Apple, even when selecting DuckDuckGo as your search provider, and 'Spotlight Suggestions' are disabled in System Preferences > Spotlight.

Non-Cloud Mail Account

When setting up a new account for the address, which is hosted locally, searching the logs for "" shows that Mail quietly sends the domain entered by the user to Apple, too.

Tres uncool, Apple droids.

However if you think you're going to escape by using a PC, Slashdot says y'ain't.

From WinBeta: "One of the more interesting bits of data the company is collecting is text entered. Some are calling this a keylogger within the Windows 10 Technical Preview, which isn't good news. Taking a closer look at the Privacy Policy for the Windows Insider Program, it looks like Microsoft may be collecting a lot more feedback from you behind the scenes. Microsoft collects information about you, your devices, applications and networks, and your use of those devices, applications and networks. Examples of data we collect include your name, email address, preferences and interests; browsing, search and file history; phone call and SMS data; device configuration and sensor data; and application usage." This isn't the only thing Microsoft is collecting from Insider Program participants. According to the Privacy Policy, the company is collecting things like text inputted into the operating system, the details of any/all files on your system, voice input and program information.

This means they are collecting what you type into your own PC. Like, your passwords. Which I really don't think is a "service" I want to pay for, right?

Definitely worth looking at Linux if Apple and Microsoft keep doing this crap. Or just re-installing that old copy of XP we all have kicking around in the closet. It still works. According to my experience, using XP on this exact box I'm running Win 8 on right now doesn't slow down what I do every day. I'm sure some things are faster with Win 8, but I don't -notice- them being faster and so I don't really care. If I need FAST I can stick an off-line compute server in a corner and feed it by sneakernet with thumb drives.
Dear Apple and Microsoft, my files, my keystrokes, my stuff generally is none of your business. If I have to finally bite the bullet and learn Linux to keep your sticky fingers out of my PC, I will. And if I will, millions of other will too. Anything you corporate wankers can make, we users collectively will jailbreak, hack, pervert, fold, spindle and mutilate.

And if you piss me off I'll switch my phone back to a Blackberry. If for no other reason than RIM is Canadian.

The Phantom

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