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Communications of the ACM

ACM Opinion

Your Computer Isn't Yours


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laptop computer with watching eyes

Credit: National Post

Jeffrey Paul is founder of EEQJ and keytern.al.

It's here. The world that Richard Stallman predicted in 1997. The one Cory Doctorow also warned us about. Did you notice?

On modern versions of macOS, you simply can't power on your computer, launch a text editor or eBook reader, and write or read, without a log of your activity being transmitted and stored.

The current version of the macOS sends to Apple a unique identifier of each and every program you run, when you run it. It's silent and invisible.

This means that Apple knows when you're at home. When you're at work. What apps you open there, and how often.

And it's not just Apple.

From Jeffrey Paul
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