Ranking Internet companies' data-handling: a test they all fail

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“a test they all fail”

But there's precedent. Before asbestos's deadly nature was understood, most insulation contained asbestos. Before the campaigns for seat-belts, almost no cars had seat-belts. In other words, there was a time when consumer advocacy groups' recommendations for which vital, non-optional product you should buy was DON'T. Somehow, they made a difference. They didn't counsel buying "low asbestos" insulation or cars that were "seatbelt ready." They scared the shit out of manufacturers (in part by putting ideas into class-action lawyers' heads), and the result was a total overhaul of industry after industry.

That was pre-Reagan America. Today we are dismantling everything that made all that possible, as rapidly as we can. Not only are people bored by Fast Food Nation, they are lapping up overwrought debunkings of The Jungle. Not only are they lauding treasonous corporate puppet Ronald Reagan as a hero, they want to rehabilitate Joseph McCarthy!

In other news, the placebo effect is measurably stronger than it used to be… but only in America. I am totally not kidding. Unrelated to our epic national self-delusion? You decide! I’ll be here on the couch mainlining unlabled GMO corn syrup and watching Trump TV.



But what will it take to get this turned back in favor of the consumer/user? Fer fuck’s sake, we already know that creepy Uncle Sam already listens to our phone calls and watches our every online move, ala Snowden et. al… And if Comcast isn’t packet filtering to grab whateverthefuck they want from our personal data streams, then Google/Fuckbook/Apple/Keurig is grabbing the big data and selling it off to the smaller players who then likely sell that off to the dark corners of the internet. Where’s our online Watergate, our storm of arrows at Agincourt that will turn the tide?

JFC, what is this I don’t even.

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Why do I see such low numbers for Google here, but if I click through, they are one of two not in red, with 56/83/83 scores?

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Different categories. The base one displayed in the article is “Does the company commit to provide meaningful notice and documentation to users when it changes its Terms of Service?”

The category shown in the boingboing article image is “Can users encrypt their own content and thereby control who has access to it?”, which Google mainly has a bad score in because you can’t do end-to-end encryption on youtube videos.

In gmail, you can technically encrypt the contents if you want, but I imagine the higher score is due to their release of the end-to-end encryption plugin for chrome? I’ll leave hunting down the methodology as an exercise for someone else…

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