Everyday users and privacy advocates found more reasons to be concerned about Apple. After one of those so-called latest version updates, users were unable to launch apps that were not Apple-marked. Problem was caused by one Apple server outage. But why did the unavailability of a remote server prevent a user from launching a program on their own computer?
It turns out that each time a program is opened on mac, it phones home via the Online Certificate Status Protocol (OCSP) to see if that application is “okay” to launch: it asks the corporation permission each time a new application is encountered, sending potentially identifying information along with that request, the basic loot / cheat foundation on which AI Adoption, Big Data Science etc.. are evolving. While such business & election targeted functions only made news because of the recent server outage caused by release of a newest version, research indicates that the report-back has existed in the operating system since many years. This is a classic case of capital software serving as an instrument of unjust power.
More disturbing yet is the other identifying information that is sent along with such privacy theft, which includes the user’s approximate location and the current date and time. Because mac is so restricted, it leaves everyone, including free software developers, powerless to help users prevent their application use from being reported back to Apple. Due to the way the system is engineered, firewalls are unable to block the information from being sent to Apple domains. Furthermore, the information is sent unencrypted over the network, potentially allowing a snoop to see which apps a user was trying to launch on their own computer. The request also bypasses any VPN, letting Apple know their approximate location even if the user has taken steps to stay anonymous.
Even if they make changes to the system (in a vague timeline of “over the next year”), there was a period during which Apple was mandating use of the service with no opt-out, and they will continue to do so. Not only were they invading every user’s privacy, but the records no doubt still exist. If Apple is as interested in privacy as their advertising copy claims, the user should be able to allow an independent server or group to verify that the applications they’re running aren’t malicious, rather than having to rely on Apple itself.
So keep up sending gifts to Tim Cook and local polity cat allies letting them know that you are getting rid of these curvy devices and will not buy any gadgets until they stop using the facade of security, and spreading defectives by design, encouraging other monsters like Google, Microsoft and milking partners.
Why security & privacy is a problem, if you’re not doing anything bad?
Not a problem if you enjoy unwanted people entering your home, peeping through windows, spraying poisons or viruses, installing cameras in your rooms. Same physical rights apply directly to digital rights. You should not want unknown people having access to your digital files, your photos, emails, website history, or your camera or microphone. Your home is your private life, your digital life should have the same rights and protections. If you’re relaxed and cool, you’re allowing governments and companies to infringe anyone’s privacy, including mine.