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Returning to Ground from the Web's Clouds

Jan 05, 2014, 18:00 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Doc Searls)

While relying on the Web and its clouds has increased the range of things we can do on the Net, our freedom to act independently has declined. The browser that started out as a car on the "information superhighway" has become a shopping cart that gets re-skinned with every commercial site it visits, carrying away tracking beacons that report our activities back to centralized servers over which we have little if any control. The wizards among us might be adept at maintaining some degree of liberty from surveillance, but most muggles are either clueless about the risks or make do with advertising and tracking blockers. This is less easy in the mobile world, where apps are more rented than owned, and most are maintained by vendor-side services.

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