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    This software doesn’t just write itself, you know.

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      This is a very underrated but compelling argument for making programming a true profession.

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        Licensed engineers make bombs and planes too.

        Being a true profession is no substitute for having true principles.

        For what it’s worth, writing missle firmware doesn’t bug me personally the same way implementing mass surveillance software does. Other folks maybe be fine with both, neither, or the precise opposite collection.

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          I think I hate the idea but can you elaborate on the implicit compelling argument?

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            My read of the claims in this thread is:

            • Accepting this assignment was misconduct on the part of those who built it
            • It would be a good thing if there were a way to punish that kind of behavior
            • Having a governing professional body would achieve that goal (eg lawyers can be disbarred)
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              That sounds like something we desperately need. Or a union.

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                That was what I imagined. I stand by it hating it. Make this kind of illegal tracking or don’t. Not interested in some board of programmers telling me what to find moral.

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                  Board members of big tech companies are already telling their employees what to find moral, no?

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                    They don’t have any power to keep them out of the profession as a whole.

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                      Ah that’s true. Although I suppose it’s possible that tech companies share information about e.g. leakers. I guess we wouldn’t know?

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              This is a very underrated but compelling argument for making programming a true profession.

              If we made terrorist a ‘true profession’ would they stop blowing up teenagers at a concert?

              Somehow you think having the government decide who is allowed to do x or y would make everybody a saint?

              Nobody forced anybody to surrender themselves to the credit card companies or to google. You honestly can live a comfortable life without google or credit cards. But people did surrender, because of convenience and/or ignorance.

              But your solution to this is to bring the government in to force their (and by extension your own because you only want the government in this because you think they will want the same thing as you) will on other people.

              Not that it is even easy to decide what is moral in the first place. Google can easily argue that by making their ads more effective, they are reducing the cost of marketing and thus decreasing the cost of selling items and therefore reducing the end price that consumers have to pay. This even benefits people who don’t even have credit cards. And they always asked for the consent of their customers, so what is even a problem?

              Not to mention the fact that it is far easier for corporations to hijack the government than it is for citizens to keep control of the government. So whatever bad things you think they won’t do, well they will just keep on doing.

              Plenty of such moral questions already exist in other places like medicine. Should people be allowed to use experimental drug knowing all the risks or should we ban it because the pharmas might ‘exploit desperate people’. Or should we let hospitals pay for blood or organ donation because the laws of economics say that higher price = higher supply or should we ban it because of ‘human dignity’ or that poor people might be ‘exploited’ by selling their surplus kidney for an education for their children that might bring them out of poverty.

              What is even a ‘true profession’ anyway?

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                Most national governments authorise professional bodies to control who can do certain kinds of work, and deregister practitioners for malpractice.

                As a libertarian I can’t see you approving of either the state or the professional body, but imagine for a moment that you are one of the many people who accepts this as an effective way to protect unsuspecting folk from quacks and house fires when trying to parse the argument.

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            “Do no evil” :-(

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              Not since 2015.

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              Couldn’t this actually work against them if it ends up showing how ineffective online advertising is? I thought ads companies like Google and Facebook were profiting from the vagaries and FOMO rather than trying to promise a specific ROI per ad. It feels like a case where closing the loop might be good for the advertiser and bad for Google’s bottom line.

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                Could be that advertisers are starting to catch on and Google has to do this to maintain their revenue.

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                  Speaking as someone in the adtech industry… you don’t have to actually tell the customer (the ad-buyer) what works and what doesn’t, but its extremely valuable info for yourself as the adtech company.

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                  I dunno, isn’t this pretty much what ApplePay®™ is all about?

                  Not saying yay or boo, just sayin’…

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                    “Apple added that they would not track usage, which would stay between the customers, the vendors, and the banks.”

                    Looks like… at least they’re telling us… that it’s just a payment service where they’ll make the traditional fees, support purchases of iPhones, and maybe other value-adds. They don’t have to do surveillance. They already got nice PR for anti-surveillance crowd after not unlocking the phone.

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                      Apple isn’t in the ad business so I’m not sure how this comparison makes sense, even aside from their stated focus on privacy and lack of tracking as @nickpsecurity pointed out.

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                        One need not sell advertisements, to profit from the capacity to conduct analysis on a large group of buyer’s spending habits. Recall that Apple acts as a media outlet, and partners with many large corporate entities in a variety of ways. I’m usually pretty wary about how the internet gets connected to my bank accounts, simply to ward off impulse buys and identity theft, so I never felt particularly comfortable with Apple Pay, which is why I’m not very familiar with Apple’s policies surrounding it’s use.

                        Initially, I was under the impression that this was about the Google Wallet®™ product, since, these sorts of services do support “offline” in-store purchases with NFC devices, but a CTRL+F for “wallet” reveals that I misinterpreted the first paragraph while skimming the article. This goes way deeper than just credit cards attached to NFC payment apps.

                        Google says its third-party partnerships capture roughly 70% of all credit and debit card transactions in the U.S.

                        Basically, if this is how the world works now, no one should ever use plastic to buy anything ever again.

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                          Holy fuck.

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                            anonymous altcoins zcash/dash/monero ftw

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                        As sleazy as it is, on a technical note, I wonder how this kind of thing is verified, and how much the advertisers actually trust the data.

                        It’s difficult and expensive to find and collect all of the relevant data, and since the code and low level algorithms are proprietary, there’s really no way to double check what Google tells you. One big concern is that it’s very much in Google’s favor for the numbers to look good. No doubt anywhere a decision had to be made, they chose the one that made themselves look best.

                        And what about bugs? Will they go back and adjust underpayments? Will they even disclose them?