Former Apple engineer David Shayer explains on TidBITS why he trusts Apple’s new exposure notification. He touches the internal processes that prevent excessive user tracking:
Once I had recorded how many times the Weather and Stocks apps were launched, I set up Apple’s internal framework for reporting data back to the company. My first revelation was that the framework strongly encouraged you to transmit back numbers, not strings (words). By not reporting strings, your code can’t inadvertently record the user’s name or email address. You’re specifically warned not to record file paths, which can include the user’s name (such as
/Users/David/Documents/MySpreadsheet.numbers). You also aren’t allowed to play tricks like encoding letters as numbers to send back strings (like A=65, B=66, etc.)
Next, I learned I couldn’t check my code into Apple’s source control system until the privacy review committee had inspected and approved it. This wasn’t as daunting as it sounds. A few senior engineers wanted a written justification for the data I was recording and for the business purpose. They also reviewed my code to make sure I wasn’t accidentally recording more than intended.
Read the whole thing. It’s fascinating.
New lyrics for a new time. Roy Zimmerman and friends to the melody of The Lion Sleeps Tonight:
In the White House, the mighty White House the liar tweets tonight
In the West Wing, the self-obsessed wing the liar tweets tonight
Chris Humphrey writing for the South China Morning Post:
“Vietnam responded to this outbreak early and proactively. Its first risk assessment exercise was conducted in early January – soon after cases in China started being reported,” Park says.
I’m impressed with Vietnam’s reaction to this crisis. They closed cinemas, bars, karaoke parlors early, then restricted access to restaurants and finally closed everything that’s not absolutely necessary.