Catalina Fingerprinting

What The Fuck, Apple?

As I gather from other people‘s field reports, it looks like from MacOS Catalina (10.15), Apple is performing fingerprinting on all unsigned applications in the OS, and sending the signatures to api.apple-cloudkit.com.

First off, that's a technically stupid thing to do - what's going to happen one day when Apple Inc. ceases to exist? Or when some corporate/technical decisions change? This looks like it has a tendency to slow applications down for no good reason, and it's unclear if it will keep repeatedly doing so indefinitely.

One day in the far future, this is going to break for people unknowingly. Like when the DTD URL of some W3C specification got taken down and breaking people's sites for no good reason.

I'm not in favour of any personal machines of mine phoning home to any corporation, furthermore, sending data that I did not consent to. Apparently, this isn't a choice any more, as far as I know, both Windows and MacOS, and to a certain extent, even some flavour of Linux (like Canonical's Ubuntu) will force the OS to be coupled with some service somewhere, to either strategically lock-in the user, or at least perform some telemetry, for marketing or whatever reasons they conjure up. The fact is, I do not want any information to be given out, unless I explicitly have given permission to do so.

We seem to live in a whole where the right to privacy is being progressively eroded; partly through the change in generational behaviour via the proliferation of social media, from technological accessibility, where everybody assumes that the Internet exists and freely available everywhere, which allowed these machinations to exist, to politics, where governments are arguing that you have no reasonable right to privacy anymore - “if you're not guilty, then why do you need to hide behind privacy?"

The fact is, where I go, or what I do, is no business of others, whether it is on a personal, commercial or governmental level. To cede that away now would mean you might not have any rights to it in the future. And I think that's the problem.

The software world doesn't seem very promising in that regard, where every application out there wants to have a slice of your activity. It'd be surprising if these activities would reduce or stop, from your phone to your lightbulb, someday, everything that's connected to electricity will be spying on you, no matter if what you do is legit, or illicit.

Time For A Change

The past couple of years, I haven't been arsed to get my own laptop for personal use, and had relied on The Corp's computer to do my daily things. But such developments make me increasingly uncomfortable about not having control over my own devices.

It's fortunate that we have community projects that don't cede such controls over to corporations, even if they sometimes lack the polish that the commercial entities offer.

I think it's due time that I shell out some money for a laptop, put Linux/BSD on, and save myself from further uninvited probing.

Organic Veggies

That's a picture of the box of organic food that we've gotten from the local hipster shop, courtesy of Womanfriend.

Vincent Liu avatar
Vincent Liu
Part man, part machine. Or at least when I sit in front of a computer... here is where I pen my thoughts.