Author Topic: Privacy  (Read 43766 times)

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Offline EEVblog

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Re: Privacy
« Reply #150 on: January 12, 2017, 08:38:03 pm »
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You have the option to not log in whilst reading, so no one can see your username.
Sure, but the only reason I do log in is so the forum tells me what I haven't seen yet. Don't log in and every message is new every time.

Then just use an ANONYMOUS username. This is not rocket science.

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Because you are the one that elects to provide this information by logging in
That's interesting logic. You're effectively saying that by visiting some website I am electing to provide anyone who can all the data on me that they can figure out. If I walk in a shop, all the data provided by my phone, my NFC debit card, my photo, etc is fair game for the shopkeeper to use in any way they see fit?

If you participate in a forum then you need a username. You have the option to keep it all anonymous.

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You might also note that I accepted that the site admin has access to forum stats, so that's you point settled. What I am beefing about is that the forum admin is also giving that info out to everyone else. Just by visiting your site I am NOT saying "Yes, fine, tell that bozo over there the times I get up and go to bed".

If you don't like the way the forum works then leave. I have explained why the forum works the way it does and I'm not changing it because of your hangup.
I will not correspond with you any further on this.
 

Offline dunkemhigh

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Re: Privacy
« Reply #151 on: January 12, 2017, 08:50:04 pm »
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Your email address is not visible to anyone but ...

Yes, I know, and your response suggests you missed the point I was making. We would be put out if that info was made available, right? I mean, that's why one has the choice of not making it available. So why is other personal info not in the same class? That is, how come what I am looking at, and how often I do that particularly compared to how often I post about it, isn't as sacred?

Don't forget that where intelligence services (oh god, the mere mention will mark me down as a conspiracy nut) are supposedly prevented from sucking up everything they are more than happy to make do with metadata - who you talk to and when you do it is more revealing that what you say. Here, my private behaviour is being revealed.
 

Online tautech

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Re: Privacy
« Reply #152 on: January 12, 2017, 08:57:56 pm »
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So I won't call you paranoid, but overly concerned, maybe.

Thank you :)
I'm reconsidering.  :-//
Avid Rabid Hobbyist
 
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Offline NexusKoolaid

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Re: Privacy
« Reply #153 on: January 13, 2017, 04:49:47 pm »
So why is other personal info not in the same class?

Because not all information is of the same value.
 

Offline Someone

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Re: Privacy
« Reply #154 on: January 13, 2017, 07:36:10 pm »
If I walk in a shop, all the data provided by my phone, my NFC debit card, my photo, etc is fair game for the shopkeeper to use in any way they see fit?
You'll find that shops are getting very active in this area, and not just for themselves but they'll buy the service from some enormous "network" that associates your data across any place/platform it can get its snooping into and feeds the intelligence back to its paying clients. All in the pursuit of selling you more crap you didn't think you needed, or making you pay more for what you were going to buy anyway.
 

Offline dunkemhigh

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Re: Privacy
« Reply #155 on: January 13, 2017, 10:07:56 pm »
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You'll find that shops are getting very active in this area

Indeed. So long as it doesn't have an obvious effect no-one cares and things get ratcheted up so it becomes the norm. Then anyone disagreeing with it is a tinfoil nut.

Perversely, I think Snowden may have contributed to this. He showed that stuff which was previously completely off-the-wall conspiracy theory make-believe was actually true, and the bar of what might be going on has been raised so high that tracking your phone around a shop is really trivial and hardly worth mentioning. It's not that long ago that we would be both amazed that it's possible and aghast that it might be used.

However, I think we are still missing an important point in my original post: it is one thing for the operators to gain this info in furtherance of their interests and quite another for release that info to the public. In context, we would be talking about the shop having a public display screen showing not just where you are right now but which aisles you walked around last week and the week  before, and which items you bought (or looked at but didn't buy).
 

Offline jpc

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Re: Privacy
« Reply #156 on: January 14, 2017, 07:01:22 am »
Even if I accepted your analogy as valid, if I didn't like what the shop was doing I wouldn't visit it any more and similarly, if I thought what the site was doing was remotely the same and didn't like it I would stop visiting it. But seriously, what problem is there in other people knowing what threads you have shown some interest in, especially as you are, at least to most people, anonymous. But even if everyone here did actually know your real life ID what harm would there be in them knowing which threads you had shown some level of interest in.
 

Offline helius

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Re: Privacy
« Reply #157 on: January 14, 2017, 07:15:18 am »
Do you use the same username on other forums? Do you browse the web from an open wireless network?
It's possible, in some cases, to de-anonymize users based on their location information (wifi tracking). You can then build a database of their online identities and locate them in real time. But this requires intercepting network traffic from your machine to the remote host; having the username be printed on a web page doesn't increase the effectiveness of the attack.
 

Offline dunkemhigh

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Re: Privacy
« Reply #158 on: January 14, 2017, 08:06:27 am »
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if I didn't like what the shop was doing I wouldn't visit it any more

There is always that option. But we don't have to be at either one extreme (everything's fine, don't give a toss) or the other (cut off you nose to spite your face). You can just not be fine with it and make your view known in the hope that it might be changed, or a serious discussion about it could take place, and if it doesn't well at least you tried. Since I am here posting this I would have thought it obvious whereabouts in that between-extremes range I am.

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what problem is there in other people knowing what threads you have shown some interest in
As I pointed out earlier, people can jump to possibly erroneous conclusions. But I have been brought up not to poke my nose into other people's business (and learned a few lessons the hard way when I was still naive), so it is difficult for me to know how to put that kind of info to use. Nevertheless, many social engineering exploits work not from some specific instance of data but by putting together several from different sources. Each instance by itself it innocuous, but put them together and you go places.

The other factor is that this is a genie you can't put back in the bottle once it's out. I would suggest that those people posting selfies when they've had a few jars in highschool never thought such unimportant stuff would bite them when their future employer googles them. I work on the basis that there should be a good reason for using data about, not that there should be a good reason NOT to use it.

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as you are, at least to most people, anonymous
Let me deal with this one in my reply to helius.
 

Offline dunkemhigh

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Re: Privacy
« Reply #159 on: January 14, 2017, 08:22:56 am »
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Do you use the same username on other forums? Do you browse the web from an open wireless network?

No, no. Kind of :) I won't elaborate on that further in case it sets off a search, but it is not quite that simple.

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de-anonymize users based on their location information
Ha! No, I always strip exif from photos :) But the sort of un-anonymizing you mention isn't an issue. We are not concerned here with realtime intercepts (if those were an issue there would be a far greater problem to deal with).

Here, it would be possible for a user of one forum to read my posts and figure out who I am. On that forum I might trust the userbase a bit more, or let slip some info about, say, my locality without identifying the place directly, and here some other snippet which would similarly be useless on its own could be matched... In fact, I do sometimes not post about stuff I learn from here to other places because it would indeed identify my source and then a perusal of writing patterns would match my separate IDs quite quickly.

But, on this business of being anonymous: when I first went online I used some made-up name and figured I was anonymous. Over time, as that name got known, I realised that online that name IS me. My real name out here is the anonymous one - everything anyone knew about me was associated with my online name. So surely the trick would be to use a different one, right?

Well, this is the thing. Suppose I am actually TopLoser and to protect my anonymity I use a different name every other week. Are you going to be buying stuff from me? Of course not - you have no idea who I am, and just look at the hassle low posters get when trying to shift cheap stuff: "Put a shoe on your head and take a photo to prove it" indeed! The simple fact is that being anonymous is incompatible with having a reputation and, particularly on a forum like this one, you need that reputation.

Again, it is not helpful to talk only extremes. Being completely anonymous or completely wide open are not the only choices. There is a sweet spot (which varies for each person) somewhere between those. We are all putting ourselves in that range somewhere - yes, even you - and I think it a bit off to belittle other people for choosing a different position in that range to the one that (generic) you chose.
 

Offline dunkemhigh

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Re: Privacy
« Reply #160 on: January 14, 2017, 08:31:54 am »
Well, since this thread got woken up again today, I thought I might elaborate:

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So long as it doesn't have an obvious effect no-one cares and things get ratcheted up so it becomes the norm.

As it happens, check this out: The Guardian on Whatsapp

The (early) comments were interesting in that basically no-one gave a toss. Lots of jokes, of course. "I pity anyone given the job of reading through other people's whatsapp group messages." Lots of yawns: "Owned by Facebook - what did anyone really expect?" A fair amount of 'but you need to do x,y,z for it to be an issue' type dismissals.

Backdoors and spying is now the norm and unsurprising. Hardly anyone will stop using Whatsapp or Facebook, and now most can't even work up to "Blimey, that stinks".
 

Offline jpc

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Re: Privacy
« Reply #161 on: January 14, 2017, 10:22:50 am »
If my privacy was that important to me that I thought which posts I was interested in gave people a chance to suss out who I was IRL and that the owner of the site had said that nothing will change I do have but two choices. Put up with it or leave and that is where you are as Dave has already said the subject is closed.

By the way, if you have posted to more than one forum for a reasonable period in more than short sentence posts it wouldn't take anybody truly interested too long to find you with a fair degree of certainty so as to be able to follow you around the web with the right software, whatever username you were using. The point being that once you make yourself known on the Internet the only thing giving you any kind if privacy is the fact that in most cases the people capable of doing so aren't interested enough in the general you to go looking for you. Once they are it is only a matter of time before they find out all they want to about you. So the only way to keep people from finding out about you, assuming for some reason you ever became interesting enough for someone to go looking, is not to participate in Internet forums and blogs. Whether we like it or not, the privacy genie is long out of the bottle and the only thing protecting the majority's privacy is that nobody is interested enough in them to go digging.
 
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Offline Brumby

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Re: Privacy
« Reply #162 on: January 14, 2017, 10:53:14 am »
Well, since this thread got woken up again today, I thought I might elaborate:

Hypocrite



... and behaving like a troll.
 

Offline dunkemhigh

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Re: Privacy
« Reply #163 on: January 14, 2017, 11:04:56 am »
In my initial recent post I explained why I'd posted here. Then, after that, I only replied to other comments. The bit about being anonymous I had in mind for some time but didn't want to just keep posting to the thread and keep it going, so I waited until the subject was raised before posting. Ditto with the Guardian thing in that I had considered mentioning it earlier but didn't because I didn't want to keep restarting this same subject.

That's not being a hypocrite. It is not trolling. It is a simple statement of fact. Hell, even if I now keep posting every five minutes, that doesn't change the fact that when I posted that comment, I did so because someone had commented and I replied to them.

Unless... you meant you're trolling, which I could well believe. I have no idea why you felt the need to bring that up, but it takes all sorts.
 

Offline Brumby

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Re: Privacy
« Reply #164 on: January 14, 2017, 11:30:29 am »
Deflect all you like.  I don't think there are many others here that would disagree with what I said.

You will, of course, because you will need to defend your position.



No matter what.
 

Offline dunkemhigh

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Re: Privacy
« Reply #165 on: January 14, 2017, 11:43:53 am »
Oh, since the thread's started up again....

Whatevers  :)
 

Offline Brumby

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Re: Privacy
« Reply #166 on: January 14, 2017, 12:20:35 pm »
Oh, since the thread's started up again....

... and, pray tell, just WHO did that?

In case you missed it....


Again, I say, hypocrite.


But enough.  I think it pointless to continue.

* waits for the inevitable *
« Last Edit: January 14, 2017, 12:23:47 pm by Brumby »
 

Offline dunkemhigh

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Re: Privacy
« Reply #167 on: January 14, 2017, 12:26:32 pm »
It was pointless to bring it up, but you knew that and did it anyway to satisfy you own urge. You can easily kill it off by letting it drop, as I pointed out before,  but you can't, can you. It's that urge, see :)

Same thing makes random people throw insults into threads when they see someone getting metaphorically beat up (warranted or not). Kind of mob rule. Trolling, if you like (and you appear to like!).

See you when you start it up again since you can't resist  :-DD
 

Offline Brumby

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Re: Privacy
« Reply #168 on: January 14, 2017, 12:34:30 pm »
Read the hidden text in my previous post.


Bye.
 

Offline dunkemhigh

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Re: Privacy
« Reply #169 on: January 14, 2017, 12:45:57 pm »
If you have something to say, say it. Being childish and using hidden text to score some perceived point is, well, childish. As such, I have no interest in even checking for it never mind reading it.

Until next time  :-+
 

Offline helius

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Re: Privacy
« Reply #170 on: January 14, 2017, 07:35:21 pm »
Here, it would be possible for a user of one forum to read my posts and figure out who I am. On that forum I might trust the userbase a bit more, or let slip some info about, say, my locality without identifying the place directly, and here some other snippet which would similarly be useless on its own could be matched... In fact, I do sometimes not post about stuff I learn from here to other places because it would indeed identify my source and then a perusal of writing patterns would match my separate IDs quite quickly.
If you study the history of activists/hackers who got doxxed, the following between sites and writing pattern analysis are big factors. Sometime soon if not already, a lot of that is going to get automated, and people are going to be rudely surprised when their "anonymous" online comments have sticky consequences. There won't be room for sloppy OPSEC any more.

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Well, this is the thing. Suppose I am actually TopLoser and to protect my anonymity I use a different name every other week. Are you going to be buying stuff from me? Of course not - you have no idea who I am, and just look at the hassle low posters get when trying to shift cheap stuff: "Put a shoe on your head and take a photo to prove it" indeed! The simple fact is that being anonymous is incompatible with having a reputation and, particularly on a forum like this one, you need that reputation.
It would appear that Zero-Knowledge Proofs are a way to have a reputation while being anonymous (Alice can prove that she is trusted by N parties who Bob also trusts, without Bob knowing that Alice is Alice). More generally, webs of trust make it possible to finely divide reputation among independent witnesses, in place of the subjective "name recognition" used by humans.
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: Privacy
« Reply #171 on: January 14, 2017, 07:47:25 pm »
DunkemHigh might like to be reminded of the Streisand effect
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Streisand_effect
 

Offline dunkemhigh

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Re: Privacy
« Reply #172 on: January 14, 2017, 10:39:47 pm »
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Sometime soon if not already

Indeed. There is progress in that field just as in any other (and there's a lot of money chasing it too).

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Zero-Knowledge Proofs

First I've heard of that. Thanks for the pointer!
 

Offline dunkemhigh

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Re: Privacy
« Reply #173 on: January 14, 2017, 10:54:29 pm »
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DunkemHigh might like to be reminded of the Streisand effect

DunkenHigh thanks EEVBlog for the reference but notes that he has acknowledged same earlier in the thread and additionally pointed out that he is still posting despite that.

There seems to be an assumption that if one feels uncomfortable about this kind of thing one has to be at the extreme end of the tinfoil scale. I don't see why one can't feel uncomfortable about it, and make that known, yet still 'go with the flow'.

 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: Privacy
« Reply #174 on: January 14, 2017, 11:10:19 pm »
There seems to be an assumption that if one feels uncomfortable about this kind of thing one has to be at the extreme end of the tinfoil scale.
I don't see why one can't feel uncomfortable about it, and make that known, yet still 'go with the flow'.

Going with the flow means to drop it and not talk about it again after you've had your say.
You've said you don't like it, I've listened and thought about it and said why the forum is not changing to meet your desire, that's it, how about you just drop it now?
 


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