Woz stopped at an airport and asked about privacy

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2019/07/08/woz-stopped-at-an-airport-and.html


Woz says toss your Facebooks and beware your phone.

Roger That!


Says Woz inside of DCA, prob the most listened to airport.


I agree with Woz that I wish I could pay a fee and not have my information shared with “partners” or used for advertising. The downside is that makes privacy something for the wealthy(ish) and that’s unfortunate.


I love Woz. As usual, his advice here is spot-on. I’d pay not to have my privacy intruded upon.

Right next to the Delta counters.

He does admit that it’s often difficult to avoid using these services or being spied on. Airports are in a number of ways the meatspace equivalent of social media platforms.


Back in the analog cell phone days, I told people “it’s not a phone, it’s a radio transceiver.”

Now it’s a digital radio transceiver with a powerful onboard computer and many sensors.


There’s certainly a lot of irony about being stopped when out in public and being asked about privacy.


Which is why it is a really BAD idea. Why should the poorer members of society have privacy priced out of reach? Privacy should be a universal human right. Once one of the big players offers privacy at a cost, the slippery slope’s bottom will be soon reached.


They were transceivers, were costly to use and had limited battery, and was easy to switch them completely off when not used. People switched them off when not used and wasn’t weird to switch them off at home or during the night.

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It still isn’t.

But then I do still have a landline. Unless on-call or expecting urgent news why anyone would leave their phone on while asleep during the night is beyond me.


Not only that, but it’s the plain fact that it’s in essence a protection racket. Why not just ask for money for platform support and no advertising at all?


Exactly. The whole thing went pear-shaped when Facebook et al decided ad revenue was preferable to customer revenue. There was a small window when micro-payments were discussed and might have happened but the obvious, easy, exploitative route was chosen. I’d say it was not chosen by the users, but the corpns would say the users showed reluctance to pay and their fantastic (yeah, right) services would not have been available had they had to charge for them directly instead of charging advertisers for access to users. There’s a lot to be said for the argument that the network effect would have been severely limited by a pay-per-use model but I remain unconvinced that would have been a bad thing given where the network effect has brought us w.r.t. privacy and participation in modern society.


There are a lot of things that should be a universal human right like access to quality food, healthcare, education, water, internet service, and housing. Frankly, privacy on social media sites as a concern probably falls pretty low on the list for people that are struggling.

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Day to day? I cannot argue. But once privacy is something only available to those who can afford it, those who cannot afford it immediately become one more resource for corpn’s to ruthlessly exploit with no come-back. The results may not be pretty.

(And for avoidance of doubt I am NOT talking merely or specifically about “privacy on social media sites”. It is a far more widespread issue than that - as Woz alluded to. I expect he can also afford a LOT of privacy - even not to be eavesdropped on in airports, once that becomes an option!)


It would not surprise me one iota to learn that the major social platforms already offered a privacy “tier” to famous/insanely wealthy users. Let me go find my tin foil hat…


Woz on TMZ? I never would have expected that.

TMZ were likely trolling ther airport ready to talk to someone in particular or anyone of relative fame and happened to recognize Woz and decided to ask him some questions. Might as well take advantage of the situation.

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i have an Apple ][e signed by woz, so there’s that.


Yeah. The meta, it hurts.


People pays money for pay tv and Netflix routinely, and on pay tv there are ads anyway but this is another story. People is eager to pay a lot of money for a smartphone used with these app and an hefty plan too.
I had to pay for my first ISP and on top of that I paid the phone call. And I paid to them bot connection time and CPU time. (They were born as a Rent-a-Cray or Rent-an-S/370 service, for millenials it was like the cloud mut all te servers were located in a building near the football stadium),