[LAU] Linkedin - Out

Louigi Verona louigi.verona at gmail.com
Fri Jun 17 19:55:04 UTC 2016

Hey everyone!

I am very thankful that everyone corrects my words. I agree that my choice
of words is not always accurate. I will definitely use your advice to be
more accurate in the future.

Fons, I agree about your note that it can just be a sign of frustration.
This is an option I did not list, although this is probably a very frequent
reason for posting such things.

Len, I agree that hatred is unlikely to be applicable to Will. At this
point I was referring to the community at large. And, of course, this is
not mind reading, this is how I perceive this attitude to be. I may be
wrong in calling it hatred, perhaps. But my perception is really this, I
have encountered not one venomous pronouncement against Microsoft and Apple
in the free software world. Even if this is not meant to be hatred, it
certainly looks like it.

Now, concerning your other arguments.

A paycheck argument is really vacuous, as it can be used both sides. You
tell me my arguments mean nothing, because I am paid. Well, then, your
arguments mean nothing because you are not paid. This simply reduces our
conversation to shit throwing. I hope this mailing list can enjoy a more
fruitful discussion.

As for the vested interest, I do not agree that simply working in the
industry is a vested interest. Vested interest appears in particular
situations. Talking on a mailing list is not a situation when I may have
any vested interest. And what do I win in persuading some of you to be less
anxious about data on the Internet? That you will remove AdBlocks and
someone in the ad instustry will get 5 more clicks? Oh, come on.

Additionally, I don't think that just having a job constitutes a vested
interest when discussing the whole industry. After all, I am not
advertising the company I work in. And the position I hold has nothing to
do with promoting less emotional views on personal data. I am a Product
Manager and while I enjoy ad tech, I am not especially committed to it as
necessarily a lifetime career.

As for arguments, adtech is largely based on open standards
Read more here <https://openrtb.github.io/OpenRTB/>. Read about the
industry here <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Real-time_bidding>. You can
actually see what is being sent and everyone in the industry can. In our
company we have many engineers committed to free software. In fact, one of
my colleagues is much more paranoid that anyone I've seen in this thread so
far and we are sometimes having same arguments. But he is not too anxious
about the ad tech, because he knows how it works. And not a single one of
other engineers working in adtech tells the world that something fishy is
going on. What is a more reasonable assumption - that they are all paid and
decide to just shut up or that there is really nothing fishy going on?

Additionally, you can see what kind of data is being written to your
cookies. Just use Developer Tools in Firefox or Chrome to peek into any
cookie. Some of this data will be difficult to make out, but a lot of it
are also open segment data, see here
Data that is custom is typically standard stuff that you can see in the pdf
I linked to above - gender, age, country, user segments. It can also be
some parameters that are used to understand how likely a user is to click
on an ad and how likely he is to buy something or register on a website and
whatnot. Identifiers are used for pragmatic purposes of targeting ads and
making sure that there is no fraud and the ad is not shown twice to the
same user, for example.

So my arguments are based on showing that assuming global nefarious
purposes is assuming a pretty unrealistic conspiracy theory, of hundreds of
thousands of people being silent about how the world is being spied upon.

Again, my message is not black and white. I totally agree that this is an
important issue. I just don't think that conversations about this are
always about the true problems and that they are rational enough.

With your help, I am learning about your concerns. But I also hope that my
experience and information can help someone else as well.


p.s.: more serious problem to discuss, for instance, is how one can
identify a person reliably even with anonymous data by simply analyzing
patterns of browsing, etc. Now, this I believe deserves a lot of thought
and discussion.

On Fri, Jun 17, 2016 at 8:54 PM, Fons Adriaensen <fons at linuxaudio.org>

> On Fri, Jun 17, 2016 at 02:32:37PM +0200, Louigi Verona wrote:
> > Writing an email that "I scramble information on my LinkedIn
> > and abandon it because Microsoft bought it" is not a rational
> > solution to the problem. It is, at best, an ideological
> > pronouncement.
> Or just a sign of profound frustration.
> > A way to show what side of the fence you are on.
> This is not really about being on either side of a fence.
> It's more about what we regard as acceptable behaviour.
> Ciao,
> --
> FA
> A world of exhaustive, reliable metadata would be an utopia.
> It's also a pipe-dream, founded on self-delusion, nerd hubris
> and hysterically inflated market opportunities. (Cory Doctorow)
> _______________________________________________
> Linux-audio-user mailing list
> Linux-audio-user at lists.linuxaudio.org
> http://lists.linuxaudio.org/listinfo/linux-audio-user

Louigi Verona
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