Hartley Charlton, writing for MacRumors:
The ads are running in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal,
and Washington Post, feature the headline “We’re standing up to
Apple for small businesses everywhere.”
Earlier this year, Apple introduced a number of privacy changes
that curb the ability of companies like Facebook to gather data on
users and target adverts. In iOS 14, Apple has made the
“Identifier for Advertisers,” used by Facebook and its advertising
partners for ad targeting, an opt-in feature, providing more
transparency for users who would prefer not to be tracked in apps
and on websites. The update simply asks users if they want to
agree to ad tracking or prevent cross-app and cross-site tracking
to provide targeted ads.
iOS 14 also has a prominent “Tracking” section in the Privacy
portion of the Settings app, where users can disable the option
for apps to track them altogether. Even if this feature is toggled
off, apps must still ask permission to track users across apps and
websites owned by other companies, which is a blow to the silent
ad-related tracking that has been going on behind the scenes.
And people say Facebook has hurt the newspaper advertising industry. They’re helping!
A full-page newspaper print ad for issue messaging has always had a weird target audience. Most full-page newspaper ads are trying to reach most of the people who read the paper. Full-page issue messaging ads are about reaching very specific demographics in a conspicuous way. But in today’s world, it’s kind of transparent whom Facebook is targeting here: old white politicians.
I think it’s pretty clear what Facebook wants: they want mobile app privacy to go back to the Wild West days of a decade ago, when apps could get away with whatever was technically possible, with all data hoovering invisible to users. They can get that on iOS only two ways: (a) if Apple changes its mind, or (b) if governments around the world force Apple’s hand, by declaring that Apple’s actions in the name of privacy are in fact the abuse of some made-up monopoly. Option (a) is not going to happen, so Facebook is going all-in on (b).
Here’s the thing. Apple isn’t blocking the ability for Facebook to personalize ads, in any way. Apple is just providing users with control over their own privacy. Users can easily choose to keep providing Facebook (and anyone else) with all the information they want. Or they can choose not to.
Facebook sees Apple providing users with awareness of and control over their online privacy as Apple taking away from Facebook access to something that they believe they rightfully should have free and unfettered access to. This is no different than telemarketers feeling like you’re doing them wrong when you add your phone number to a do-not-call list.
I’ll repeat what I wrote in September:
Just because there is now a multi-billion-dollar industry based on
the abject betrayal of our privacy doesn’t mean the sociopaths who
built it have any right whatsoever to continue getting away with
it. They talk in circles but their argument boils down to
entitlement: they think our privacy is theirs for the taking
because they’ve been getting away with taking it without our
knowledge, and it is valuable. No action Apple can take against
the tracking industry is too strong.
Also worth pointing out: the apostrophe in the Facebook newspaper ad’s headline is wrong. A big old dumb quote mark.
Apple’s “Privacy Nutrition Labels” launched this week on the App Store. Apple’s own developer information about these disclosures is plainly written and explains what information they’re requiring from developers, and why. It’s worth going right to the source to know what Apple is requiring here, because the companies who are coming out of this looking bad are attempting to misdirect attention.
To see them in action, just go to any app’s listing and scroll down a bit, and you can’t miss them. View the details for apps that respect your privacy and you’ll see a concise listing. View the details for apps that don’t — like, say, Instagram or Facebook — and you’ll get screen after screen showing just how much information about you they collect. Instagram and Facebook’s app privacy listings look like those crazy-long receipts from CVS. Seriously, that’s not an exaggeration — a single screenshot can’t capture it, you need to make a movie to see how long you have to scroll to see it all.
Most apps I’ve checked have already provided the necessary information. But some haven’t — they’ll be required to upon next submitting an app update, though. Among the apps with no information yet provided: the “Official Trump 2020 App” — an app that was exposed earlier this year as so privacy invasive that MIT Technology Review described it as “a voter surveillance tool of extraordinary power”.
Also with no information yet provided: any of Google’s apps. Not a good look.
John Gustavsson, writing for The Dispatch:
While Sweden’s death numbers compare favorably to the U.S., they
stand in stark negative contrast to our Scandinavian neighbors who
introduced lockdown measures: Per capita, we have nearly five
times as many deaths as Denmark, nine times as many as Finland,
and more than ten times as many as Norway. In total, as of this
writing, 7,514 Swedes have lost their lives to Covid-19, which
works out to a death rate of 742 per 1 million citizens. The
equivalent numbers for the other Scandinavian countries are 164
per million (Denmark), 83 per million (Finland) and 72 per million
(Norway). There is, in other words, no doubt that Sweden’s
approach has led to excessive deaths.
Why did Sweden adopt this approach, and why was it not rapidly
abandoned in April when it was clear that our neighbors were doing
far better than we were?
While there are many reasons, I believe a significant part of the
answer lies in Swedish exceptionalism. Whereas American
exceptionalism is about America’s unique place in the world,
Swedish exceptionalism is about being immune to any disasters
that may happen in the rest of the world.
Dan Diamond, reporting for Politico:
A top Trump appointee repeatedly urged top health officials to
adopt a “herd immunity” approach to Covid-19 and allow millions of
Americans to be infected by the virus, according to internal
emails obtained by a House watchdog and shared with POLITICO.
“There is no other way, we need to establish herd, and it only
comes about allowing the non-high risk groups expose themselves
to the virus. PERIOD,” then-science adviser Paul Alexander
wrote on July 4 to his boss, Health and Human Services
assistant secretary for public affairs Michael Caputo, and six
other senior officials. “Infants, kids, teens, young people,
young adults, middle aged with no conditions etc. have zero to
little risk….so we use them to develop herd…we want them
infected…” Alexander added.
“[I]t may be that it will be best if we open up and flood the zone
and let the kids and young folk get infected” in order to get
“natural immunity… natural exposure,” Alexander wrote on July
24 to Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Stephen Hahn,
Caputo and eight other senior officials.
They put in writing what seemed obvious — yet unbelievable — all along. There was no plan. Just let everyone get sick and watch hundreds of thousands die needlessly.
MSNBC host Chris Hayes took heat in July for his flat statement that “Trump is objectively pro-virus” because it was a terrible thing to say about the President of the United States. But it was the plain truth.
Noah Weiland, reporting for The New York Times:
“Everyone wants to describe the day that the light switch flipped
and the C.D.C. was sidelined. It didn’t happen that way,” Mr.
McGowan said. “It was more of like a hand grasping something, and
it slowly closes, closes, closes, closes until you realize that,
middle of the summer, it has a complete grasp on everything at
Last week, the editor in chief of the C.D.C.’s flagship weekly
disease outbreak reports — once considered untouchable — told
House Democrats investigating political interference in the
agency’s work that she was ordered to destroy an email
showing Trump appointees attempting to meddle with their
Often, Mr. McGowan and Ms. Campbell mediated between Dr. Redfield
and agency scientists when the White House’s guidance requests and
dictates would arrive: edits from Mr. Vought and Kellyanne Conway,
the former White House adviser, on choirs and communion in faith
communities, or suggestions from Ivanka Trump, the president’s
daughter and aide, on schools.
“Every time that the science clashed with the messaging, messaging
won,” Mr. McGowan said.
Edits on CDC guidance from Kellyanne Conway and Ivanka Trump. Truly, a kakistocracy, in power for the outbreak of the worst crisis our nation has faced in generations.
David Leonhardt, writing for The New York Times:
The U.S. was not alone in suffering a resurgence this fall. Much
of the world did. But many other countries responded to that surge
with targeted new restrictions and, in a few cases, with an
increase in rapid-result testing. Those measures seem to be
working. Worldwide, the number of new cases has fallen over the
In some countries, the declines are large: more than 50 percent
over the past month in Belgium, France, Italy, Kenya and Saudi
Arabia; more than 40 percent in Argentina and Morocco; more than
30 percent in India and Norway.
And in the U.S.? The number of new cases has risen 51 percent over
the past month.
On the one side, Americans who insist the threat is not real. On the other, the rest of us, who find the other side’s obstinate, belligerent ignorance unreal.
Hunter Schwarz, writing for AIGA’s Eye on Design:
The campaign also updated its typefaces in time for Vice
President-elect Kamala Harris to join as Biden’s running mate,
after Biden senior creative advisor Robyn Kanner reached out to
type designer and Hoefler&Co. founder Jonathan Hoefler. “The first
message I sent to Jonathan was, ‘talk me out of Gotham,’” Kanner
said. “He called me, and we had a three-hour conversation about it
and we went through the weeds of type.”
Kanner ultimately chose Decimal, a sans serif inspired by vintage
watch lettering that was released last year and featured in the
Netflix series “Abstract,” as the primary typeface, with the serif
Mercury as a secondary typeface. Kanner, who talks about design in
musical terms, likened the two typefaces to major and minor chords
that could be used to arrange text in a graphic like notes of a
song. They were both chosen in part for their connections to
truth, Kanner said. Decimal was “true as time,” while Mercury held
the “truth of the written word” because it had been used by
publications like The Atlantic.
A neat trick they’ve pulled is that for the post-election transition, they’ve switched the two typefaces, with Mercury doing primary work and Decimal doing secondary accents. They work together both ways, but they work differently. With Decimal singing lead vocals, the work felt like advertising — which it was. A campaign is selling voters on a candidate. With Mercury in the lead, it feels more like the voice of serious people getting to work. They’re not selling anything now — we bought it — and this is the brand they’re using as they begin to deliver. Just flipping the roles of Decimal and Mercury shows the magic of deft typography — it’s the same brand with a different tone.