The Chrome browser now logs itself in automatically to your Google account whenever you use it to log in on any other Google service, such as Gmail. This exposes all of the data that the browser has collected to Google.
“Why I'm Done with Chrome”
Matthew Green, A Few Thoughts on Cryptographic Engineering, September 23, 2018
Google has transformed the question of consenting to data upload from something affirmative that I actually had to put effort into — entering my Google credentials and signing into Chrome — into something I can now do with a single accidental click. This is a dark pattern. Whether intentional or note, it has the effect of making it easy for people to activate sync without knowing it, or to think they're already syncing and thus there's no additional cost to increasing Google's access to their data. …
Trust is not a renewable resource.
Now, in preparation for the European Union's General Data Protection Regulation, PayPal has published the list of these third party service providers and, er, other business partners.
“List of Third Parties (Other Than PayPal Customers) with Whom Personal Information May Be Shared”
PayPal, January 1, 2018
Dare you to read to the end.
In some circumstances, it is ill-advised, even dangerous, to rely on black-box deciders, because they cannot explain their decisions. But in some circumstances it is also ill-advised, even dangerous, to rely on AI decision systems that do explain their decisions, because their explanations are inevitably phony, simplistic, misguided, or out of touch with reality. A weaker criterion of adequacy based on experience in dealing with unreliable decision systems such as imperfect human beings may be more suitable.
Carlos Bueno, Ribbonfarm, March 13, 2018
There are many efforts to design AIs that can explain their reasoning. I suspect they are not going to work out. We have a hard enough time explaining the implications of regular science, and the stuff we call AI is basically pre-scientific. There's little theory or causation, only correlation. We truly don't know how they work. And yet we can't anthropomorphizing the damn things. Expecting a glorified syllogism to stand up on its hind legs and explain its corner cases is laughable. …
Asking for “just so” narrative explanations from AI is not going to work. Testimony is a preliterate tradition with well-known failure modes even within our own species. Think about it this way: do you really want to unleash these things on the task of optimizing for convincing excuses?
AI that can be grasped intuitively would be a good thing, if for no other reason than to help us build better ones. … But the real issue is not that AIs must be explainable, but justifiable.
Taking off from the controversial keylogger implemented in Cascading Style Sheets, this article surveys the various security holes that Web authors sometimes open up by incautiously borrowing or linking to CSS that they have not inspected and vetted.
“Third Party CSS Is Not Safe”
Jake Archibald, February 27, 2018
A guide to assessing the reliability of sources of information on the Internet, containing many useful strategies and warnings.
“Web Literacy for Student Fact-Checkers”
Mike Caulfield, January 8, 2017