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A member of my family had a minor freakout when their iPhone casually popped a notification about how long it'll take them to get to a restaurant.

They were spooked because the iPhone knew that they've left their home and their exact destination without being prompted for that information.

It turns out it's because the restaurant has been a weekly destination for awhile now and iOS has that tracking function.

I turned it off for them, but it shows: people only care about when it's visible.

@polychrome I've never understood why big surveillance capitalism companies do that

why do they do creepy stuff when they could just do nothing and keep collecting data and profits without anyone noticing

@ben because a galaxy brain UX designer thought that what everyone wants is a personal Star Trek computer that knows everything about you and does these life enhancing things without asking you.

Which could actually be neat (a personal digital assistant that has your back!), except we were conditioned to think about these things as remote corporate services rather than local applications.

And even people who don't care get creeped out when those remote services make themselves too visible.

@ben I should note that this isn't true for everyone - I know one guy IRL who was *elated* when this popup happened to him and kept talking excitedly about it.

I should also be fair and state that Apple is a bit of an exception because this function happens exclusively on your iPhone and not on a remote server, and they claim that the data is encrypted when uploaded so they can't read it - or at least, choose not to.

@polychrome If the data is encrypted when uploaded, that raises a question: if you lose your iPhone, can you access that data with a new one?

Because if you can, that means Apple always has access to that data and the encryption is just security theater.

@ben it's encrypted with your iCloud password so if you have the password, you can decrypt it.

Apple theoretically doesn't have your iCloud password (assuming its only kept as a hash). But even if they have access, their claims that they don't read your data is in the EULA which means its technically legally binding.

Just how much trouble can the richest corporation on Earth get into for violating their own EULA is an open question, of course. :blobcheeky:

@cuniculus @ben no idea, I don't have an iPhone :blobowo:

Either it's lost forever or they change the password using the keys they promised they won't use for evil.

@cuniculus @polychrome @ben
Forget your password and don't set up any recovery methods before hand then your data is gone forever.
The sad part is for every 1 person who is freaked out about that pop-up there are probably 10,000 who think its great.
I am not an apple fanboy but at least apple gives you the option to turn off location services and seems to enforce it.
It is just too bad they are the way they are with the hardware. I will probably never get rid of my 5S. I need my 3.5mm jack.

@polychrome the problem is when it's sudden and unprompted

I feel like it'd be a lot less creepy if it actually told you why it's telling you something or said something like "you've been going to the same place every week. do you want me to look up traffic for you when you go?"

@ben that might soften the blow, yeah. :blobthinking:

But still, Silicon Valley culture assumes that you *want* this and will embrace this the moment it's offered. They "know what's best", and will aggressively push it.

I can't wait for this industry to implode.

@polychrome the difference between the current imploding industry and a successful but no less evil industry is asking for permission

that's all they need to do

@polychrome if people hate the UX changes you're making but you want to push new spyware onto their computer, why don't you just split those?

@ben current models are:
"move fast and break things" (Facebook)

"it’s better to beg forgiveness than ask permission" (Uber)

and a general sense of being the bestest, smartest people who know what's best so why even ask (Google).

What I'm saying is that the industry is has a toxic culture now days and that's what's driving its decision making across nearly all levels.

And as a person who hates the word "toxic", I don't use it lightly.

@polychrome [looks at living world season 1 antagonist faction names]

@ben They genuinely think they're providing a service.

@polychrome You didn't turn the iPhone permanently tho.

That's the only way to be sure.

@polychrome
Hey I just read a short story by Ken Liu that was exactly about that. I don't know the original English title, the French is "Faits pour être ensemble" ("meant to be together" or something like that)

@polychrome Seems like a reason to start using the datasets from all these compromises for creepy but otherwise harmless stuff.

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