Archive for October 9, 2018

Facebook Announces Portal…. Precisely Why Should We Trust Them With This?

Posted in Commentary with tags on October 9, 2018 by itnerd

First let me explain what Portal from Facebook is and then I will explain why you might not be able to trust them. Portal is a video phone that is supposed to make video chatting through Facebook Messenger much easier. The wide-angle built-in camera will follow the user’s movements and create the sense that the user is sharing a room with the caller they’re talking to. Amazon’s Alexa is integrated into Portal, so it can also play music through Spotify or Pandora, play videos, or cycle through photos.

Sounds great right? What could go wrong? Well, this is Facebook we are talking about who can’t be trusted with your data. Why let them see into your home? After all, that sounds like a horrible idea. Ruby Gonzalez, Communications Director at NordVPN, buys into this lack of trust:

“The fact that Facebook made it – and integrated Alexa, an Amazon device that has already betrayed users’ trust multiple times – really seems like a bold and questionable move, Facebook has failed the public time and time again, with Cambridge Analytica, Russian electioneering, and the big recent data leak. It’s hard to imagine anyone with a shred of concern for their privacy and online security spending a couple of hundred bucks on a ‘smartish’ camera any time soon.”

If you want my advice, I’d avoid Portal like the plague.

Google Needs To Pay The Price For The Google+ Fiasco

Posted in Commentary with tags on October 9, 2018 by itnerd

By now you’ve heard that Google is shutting down their Google+ social networking site, at least to consumers as there’s a corporate version that will still exist, because of a a bug that put at risk the personal data of hundreds of thousands of Google+ users. What makes this worse is the bug was discovered months ago and Google decided to keep it quiet. Now Google does go into great detail about why Google+ is being shut down in a blog post. But what the blog post does not do is explain why the bug was hidden for months. For that, you’ll have to look at the Wall Street Journal who got their hands on an internal memo that explains that. Seeing as that is paywalled, Business Insider gives you the highlights of the leaked memo that basically says that Google buried this because they were afraid of the blowback from the US Congress over this. Not to mention the reputational damage that this would cause.


Google hasn’t got the best reputation to begin with because they are a company that lives to collect data. So when something like this happens, it’s sure to garner more than its fair share of interest. And it should. If you as a company are going to collect personal information, you have the responsibility to keep it safe. Google didn’t in this case, and while it appears at first glance that nothing bad happened, they need to pay a price for the mistake and a higher price for the cover up. Neither is acceptable especially after the wake up call that the world got with the Facebook fiasco. Google really needs to step up and explain to the world why they should be trusted. Preferably in front of the US Congress or EU Parliament, and right before they slap them with penalties and enact legislation that forces them to do the right thing which is to protect the personal information of their customers. Seeing as they can’t or won’t do that on their own.