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Tag Archives: privacy

I don’t have a Facebook account, and as much as people try to convince me to get one, I invariably refuse for a number of reasons. Among those reasons, there is one that stands out. Yes, privacy is a concern, but this reason is even deeper, more fundamental, than that.

You won't find me on Facebook

Image credit: FSF

I always say that getting a Facebook account would compromise my principles, but nobody asks how. Let’s start with a superficial reason for not getting an account: I don’t want to provide my real personal info. This, of course, stems from the privacy concern mentioned earlier. “Alright,” you might say, “but lots of people create accounts with fake names. What’s the issue?”

Everyone doing something doesn’t make it right. Everyone lies, but lying isn’t right.

If you actually take the time to read Facebook’s Terms of Service, you will encounter Section 4:

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I just found out that Yahoo! is planning to discontinue their Yahoo! Mail Classic version and forcing everyone to switch, that is, “automatically upgrade”, to the newest version of Y!Mail (“Minty”). While yes, I do use the newest version, I do object to this.

Yahoo! Mail Classic screenshot

Yahoo! Mail Classic (image from GIZMODO)

Not everyone has the best Internet service, Yahoo!. What about those people in rural areas who have a relatively terrible bandwidth and slow speeds? Do you not want them using Y!Mail?

Y!Mail Classic was mostly simple HTML. Minty uses lots of images and way too much JavaScript. Just recently, Y! added a ticker of the trending topics on Yahoo!. I hid that (along with the numerous ads) by tweaking Firefox’s userContent.css because I don’t need it! I have NoScript installed, too, and I would rather disable JavaScript; I could do that in Classic, but not in Minty, because it didn’t rely so much on JavaScript. This was one of the advantages of using Yahoo over Hotmail, because Microsoft didn’t offer a noscript version. Sure, I could always use the mobile version, but it is really impractical to use it on the desktop.

Y! already forced everyone to switch to the new interface back in 2011 from their old “All-new Yahoo! Mail” interface. I really miss that version. It was functional! If it’s functional, you should give it to the user as a fall-back choice.

This next bit is even worse. From their official announcement:

When you upgrade, you will be accepting our Communications Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. This includes the acceptance of automated content scanning and analyzing of your communications content.

(Emphasis added)

Invasion of privacy, much? This is one of the reasons why I don’t use GMail. Sure, it’s automated, and not that I have anything to hide, but they’re still going through my stuff, and for the purpose of giving me targetted ads, of which I have no use for!

I’m disappointed in you, Yahoo!. This might just be what it takes for me to leave. Does anyone have any good alternatives?

via How-To Geek
via GIZMODO
via TechCrunch


This reminds me of Microsoft supposedly removing Windows Classic in Windows 8. I’ll save that for a future post.