It's Time for Action on Privacy, Says Apple's CEO Tim Cook by Tim Cook (Time)
One of the biggest challenges in protecting privacy is that many of the violations are invisible. For example, you might have bought a product from an online retailer—something most of us have done. But what the retailer doesn’t tell you is that it then turned around and sold or transferred information about your purchase to a “data broker”—a company that exists purely to collect your information, package it and sell it to yet another buyer.

The trail disappears before you even know there is a trail. Right now, all of these secondary markets for your information exist in a shadow economy that’s largely unchecked—out of sight of consumers, regulators and lawmakers.

Let’s be clear: you never signed up for that. We think every user should have the chance to say, “Wait a minute. That’s my information that you’re selling, and I didn’t consent.”
Image from flickr.

Woot! Best thing I’ve read all month! I fully support this. The EU GDPR document was a not a riveting read but is a punch to the groin for data aggregators and brokers. And it put in place fines, 4% of revenue, for violations. We need similar legislation here.

beaulebens/people-places by Beau Lebens (GitHub)

A WordPress plugin that provides you with some taxonomies for keeping track of People and Places, across a variety of posts. Specifically intended to work with Keyring Social Importers.

Install and activate it on a WordPress installation along with Keyring + Keyring Social Importers and it will dynamically create and associate "people" and "place" entries in a taxonomy to the posts it creates from your social media. It also gives you some basic tools for merging terms, so that as you end up with multiple entries for the same person (from different networks), you can merge them together, and start compiling an aggregated view of your interactions with a person across the web.

Since it's all done as normal taxonomies, you have all the helper functions and template tags available to be able to make some interesting archive pages, cross-linking between posts, etc.

An interesting plugin that may add value to the Keyring Social Ring importers that I have been using Foursquare.

Goodbye Facebook, Goodbye Google+ by Ryan BarrettRyan Barrett
I deleted all of my Facebook posts last week. I deleted my Google+ posts too. They were pretty much all here on my web site too, so nothing was truly lost, but I still feel a bit lighter, somehow.

I deleted my Google+, Tumblr, EyeEm,, and 500px accounts last year. I was not using these accounts at all so I didn’t feel a loss. Google+ was shutting down anyway.

Like Ryan, Facebook is the only place I can catch-up family and friends. As Ryan stated, “Facebook is still basically a public utility.” What I have done, however, is reduce my interactions on Facebook to about once or twice a month. I don’t discuss politics or religion.

I kept my Instagram account. The local boutique brewery has no tap room and announces the releases on Instagram only. If I want to drink those ales, and they never release the same ale twice, I need an Instagram account.

I kept my Twitter account. I have not had any of the experiences others have had. My interactions on Twitter are no different than I have experience in real life (agreement, affinity, arguments, etc.). I’m sticking with it.

Discoverability for independent blogs is slightly worse than it is on has the advantage of having a built-in Twitter-style social messaging system. I expect that disconnecting from Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram would lead to a drop in traffic to this blog. Last year I experimented with this. I stopped posting syndicating links to my content to Twitter and Facebook. Traffic did go down. Previous to that, Facebook and Twitter were my top source of traffic.

Ultimately the goal is that my friends and family know that they can come here to find out what I’m up to. I think I may create a post on Facebook letting everyone know that I will not be posting to Facebook. That they can find me on this website. It will be work for them to do so. They’ll have to remember to visit the blog or I’ll have to explain RSS feeds. Ok … maybe just send them an email, assuming I have their address, remind them to visit. That’s not the same as posting to a Facebook timeline and reading and responding in real time.