TWIG 614: Swipe Down For Frog

Beep boop - this is a robot. A new show has been posted to TWiT…

What are your thoughts about today’s show? We’d love to hear from you!

Maybe I’m missing something, but I don’t see any settings for Sidewalk on my Alexa app, under account settings. And I’ve looked around in the other settings.

Or am I just jumping the gun here?

This is from my Pixel phone:

And this is from my Fire HD tablet:

Me either. But I presume that is because I am not in the USA and this must be a USA only initiative (for now.)

Yes, it is US only.

I think I have actually figured out my issue. I know I have 1 Echo that is to old for Sidewalk, but I also have a Echo Dot that I thought was new enough. But it isn’t. So I don’t have any Sidewalk compatible devices. I’m assuming that’s why I don’t have the option to opt-out.

With regard to the UK cookie laws, this is nothing new.

This is how it has had to be since 2019. This is just the official UK ratification of the EU GDPR rules.

Most EU websites already comply with this. The key points are:

  1. Essential cookies can be used, but the user has to be informed - essential are classed as:
    a. 1st party cookies used to recognise the users preference for cookies
    b. 1st party cookies used to recognise a returning users
    c. 1st party cookies used for essential site navigation
  2. 1st party cookies for tracking, logging etc. are not essential and have to be opt-in.
  3. 3rd party cookies are never essential and cannot be automatically opted into.
  4. with the exception of 1.a. no cookies can be automatically enabled - i.e. you have to show the cookie setting for this, but it is possible to have it on and greyed out.
  5. each tracking cookie and things like links to social media websites have to be disabled, until the user enables them (i.e. you cannot show a Twitter link or Facebook link and image on the site, unless the user has opted in).

Point 5 has been the case for over half a decade. heise, Euopre’s biggest IT magazine, wrote the Shariff add-on for websites many years ago and it is available on GitHub:
GitHub - heiseonline/shariff: 👮 Shariff enables website users to share their favorite content without compromising their privacy.

This provides individual sliders for each network (Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook etc.) and they are all greyed out to start with, the user has to physically change the slider for each social media site they want to interact with.

Depending on the site, I usually leave the 3rd party tracking cookies disabled and allow the local, essential cookies. That said, on my home network, those 3rd party tracking sites are blocked at the DNS level anyway.

What a lot of companies do is have a big green “accept all” button and a mouse grey “manage options” (but the same size, so compliant), the eye automatically jumps to the green accept button, so I suspect a lot of people never notice the manage button.

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@big_D put this in much greater detail above - here I am simply tagging along to say: the amount of times that TWiG discussed a future in which a new or changed regulation inevitably ushers in the utter destruction of any form of small and medium commercial enterprises in the internet is … too damn high. :wink: Or, as Jeff would put it: the “death of the internet” with him being the more or less lone “defender of the internet” in a world of crazy-gone bureaucrats and old media, with Murdoch as Sauron. I know things need to be made simple for listeners to get the point, but…

Everyone and their Grandma was up in arms about GDPR outlining how everything would come to a grinding halt. It did not. Everyone was agitated about EU regulations on cookies, copyright, this, that, the other thing and how it would pulverize our way of life, of the internet, of everything - and, lo and behold, life kept going on.

All in all: if it seems like one law change in the UK might kill all commercial life on planet earth, maybe there’s more (boring stuff) to the story. A question might be: ok, sounds interesting / exciting. Why is this not going to be effective? In an aside, Leo asked “how are they going to enforce this?” - and that may be one of the many points.


Part of it is that advertisers have become used to have way too much information.

The advertising industry survived decades without the detailed information and it can survive again, once the private information is no longer available to them. Declaring they have a right to the information doesn’t make it so.

Track the site and page I visit, use that to personalise my adverts, but do not track me across the Internet. That is my decision, whether I wanted to be stalked or not, it is not the advertising industries. If they behave like good internet citizens, I’ll stop blocking them.

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Jeff blames Murdoch for stirring up moral panic around tracking and cookies but I would also place some blame on a rapacious ad tech industry, data brokers and advertisers who have an insatiable appetite for our data, despite having little relative need or ability to truly add value for the exchange; nor do any of them have a great track record when it comes to security.

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Jeff blames Murdoch for EVERYTHING bad in the world!! :joy:


“Do you want your frog to be sweating” was the best line of the show. :smiley: