Glider from the game of Life, rising from the left




Topic: #software-development

How Design Nudges Users towards Consenting to Intrusive Surveillance


It's the familiar repertoire of malpractices: “opt-in” default settings; hidden settings, sometimes buried under layers of submenus; deceptive framing; unclear, incomplete, ambiguous, or deceptive wording of options; coupling choices with rewards (such as extra services and features) or punishments (such as threats of service constraints or loss of functionality); forced action; time pressure; wordy multipage advisories; lying.

“Deceived by Design: How Tech Companies Use Dark Patterns to Discourage Us from Exercising Our Rights to Privacy”
Forbrukerrådet, June 27, 2018

#privacy #interface-design #software-development

How Unethical Software Gets Written


A professional software developer describes how he came to write software that helped the United States Army kill people. His first-person account is followed by a few similar anecdotes from other developers and observers and concludes with some lessons about how to avoid killing people with your software.

“Don't Get Distracted”
Caleb Thompson, November 16, 2017

The project owner conveniently left out its purpose when explaining the goals. I conveniently didn't focus too much on that part. It was great pay for me at the time. It was a great project. Maybe I just didn't want to know what it would be used for. I got distracted.

#ethics-in-daily-life #software-development #war

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John David Stone (

created June 1, 2014 · last revised December 10, 2018