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Offsite Article: After Cookies...

Link Here18th April 2021
Full story: Gooogle Privacy...Google's many run-ins with privacy
The EFF explains how Ad Tech Wants to Use Your Email to Track You Everywhere. By Bennett Cyphers

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Offsite Article: Most Browser Tracking Protection Doesn't Actually Stop Tracking by Default...

Link Here 2nd April 2021
Full story: Behavioural Advertising...Serving adverts according to internet snooping
Duck Duck Go posts an informative and detailed write up of how browsers snoop on your internet browsing

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MPs identified as totally uncaring for the safety of internet users...

MPs who don't like being insulted on Twitter line up to call for all users to hand over identifying personal details to the likes of Google, Facebook and the Chinese government

Link Here 24th March 2021
Full story: Online Harms White Paper...UK Government seeks to censor social media
Online Anonymity was debated in the House of Commons debated on Wednesday 13 January 2021.

The long debate was little more than a list of complaints from MPs aggrieved at aggressive comments on social media, often against themselves.

As always seems to be the case with parliamentary debate, it turned into a a long calls of 'something must be done', and hardly comment thinking about the likely and harmful consequences of what they are calling for.

As an example here is part of the complaint from debate opener, Siobhan Bailiie:

The new legislative framework for tech companies will create a duty of care to their users. The legislation will require companies to prevent the proliferation of illegal content and activity online, and ensure that children who use their services are not exposed to harmful content. As it stands, the tech companies do not know who millions of their users are, so they do not know who their harmful operators are, either. By failing to deal with anonymity properly, any regulator or police force, or even the tech companies themselves, will still need to take extensive steps to uncover the person behind the account first, before they can tackle the issue or protect a user.

The Law Commission acknowledged that anonymity often facilitates and encourages abusive behaviours. It said that combined with an online disinhibition effect, abusive behaviours, such as pile-on harassment, are much easier to engage in on a practical level. The Online Harms White Paper focuses on regulation of platforms and the Law Commission's work addresses the criminal law provisions that apply for individuals. It is imperative, in my view, that the Law Commission's report and proposals are fully debated prior to the online harms Bill passing through Parliament. They should go hand in hand.

Standing in Parliament, I must mention that online abuse is putting people off going into public service and speaking up generally. One reason I became interested in this subject was the awful abuse I received for daring to have a baby and be an MP. Attacking somebody for being a mum or suggesting that a mum cannot do this job is misogynistic and, quite frankly, ridiculous, but I would be lying if I said that I did not find some of the comments stressful and upsetting, particularly given I had just had a baby.

Is there a greater impediment to freedom of expression than a woman being called a whore online or being told that she will be raped for expressing a view? It happens. It happens frequently and the authors are often anonymous. Fantastic groups like 50:50 Parliament, the Centenary Action Group, More United and Compassion in Politics are tackling this head on to avoid men and women being put off running for office. One of the six online harm asks from Compassion in Politics is to significantly reduce the prevalence and influence of anonymous accounts online.

The Open Rights Group said more about consequences in a short email than the MPs said in a hour of debate:

Mandatory ID verification would open a Pandora's Box of unintended consequences. A huge burden would be placed on site administrators big and small to own privatised databases of personally identifiable data. Large social media platforms would gain ever more advantage over small businesses, open source projects and startups that lack the resources to comply.

Requirements for formal documentation, such as a bank account, to verify ID would disenfranchise those on low incomes, the unbanked, the homeless, and people experiencing other forms of social exclusion. Meanwhile, the fate of countless accounts and astronomical amounts of legal content would be thrown into jeopardy overnight.



Offsite Article: #SaveAnonymity: Together we can defend anonymity...

Link Here 19th March 2021
Open Rights Group responds to a petition calling for identity verification for social media users

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