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This synagogue shooting has been pissing me off more and more as the days go by.

Now, to top it off our President is talking about executive orders to eliminate birthright citizenship. This he does while pretending to console American Jews. At least Hitler was honest about hating us non-Aryans. Trump pretends to give a shit about people who are not white Christians. But, he stands clearly on the side of white supremacy.

This is only minimally about Trump though. It’s really about the people he enables. What is scariest about Donald Trump’s America is not Donald Trump. It is how President Trump has laid bare the evil undercurrent of American White Supremacism and now it’s corollary antisemitism.

I suppose we should thank Trump for exposing what we really are.

But we also need to remember that the evil people are still a minority. It’s not to late to reinvigorate the power of love!

Every day, we seem to be making America greater, and greater, and greater again.

In just one week we have seen 14 bombs sent to past presidents and other major critics of Donald Trump AND the worst massacre of Jews in the history of the United States, with 11 people dead.

The country in which I live is no longer some shining light on some hill. We keep hearing people say “Make America Great Again” but that is clearly nonsense.

Perhaps one of the good things about Donald Trump being president of the United States is that China and Japan are now talking about healing their long-lasting wounds and working together. That is a good thing for the world. But, that is a bad thing for our country because it means that we will not remain the world’s great economic superpower.

So, we continue down the path of making America worse. I am among those who deeply loves the country in which I live. It absolutely kills me to see the wanton destruction of what was once the greatest democracy on Earth. That is all I have to say except to urge all of us to pray for the murdered Jewish worshipers and to pray that what little remain of our executive branch will have the balls to call the bombs what they are: assassination attempts. Such evil is NEVER even acceptable to ponder.

Enough!!!!

Back in July I saw an article in Wired asking the question:

“WAS IT ETHICAL FOR DROPBOX TO SHARE CUSTOMER DATA WITH SCIENTISTS?”

You can easily find that online.

What I wanted to share today is that I take a pretty hardline data privacy position and I answer the question with an unequivocal “NO”.

Here’s why:

Say I have a car. Is it mine? I say “yes”.

Suppose I park it in a big parking lot, for example at Disneyland. Is it still mine? “Yes”.

Now, let’s say I paint the car, remove the VIN, take off the license plates, add a bunch of after-market accessories, hit it with a sledgehammer a few times, and change the wheels. Is the car still mine? Of course it is.

In any of those scenarios can someone just decide to take my car and use it for a scientific experiment without my consent? Nope.

Why is my data any different?

In my view, it’s not. I own my data and no matter how you repaint it and “anonymize” it, it’s still mine. In fact, any decent data security guy will tell you that it’s virtually impossible to actually anonymize my data, to remove all identifying information linking it to me. That would be like making all those changes to my car and then having to insure that there is no trace of my DNA left in it. Completely anonymizing my Facebook data or everything in my Dropbox would be an edge case at best. It’s likely not going to be possible.

So, you can’t remove my identity and use my data anymore than you can remove my VIN and use my car, without my consent. That is blatantly unethical.

Now, you might say that I have agreed in some license agreement that my data is different. Why?

When I park my car in that parking lot I get an agreement too. But I don’t need an attorney to help me decide whether or not to park there. If you give me a 50 page legal document to read before handing over my data then you are putting me in an impossible position. You are assuming, rightly, that I won’t understand what I’m agreeing to. That is a common but unworkable business practices and that is not ethical either.

We may have gigabytes of data in the depths of the internet. But, we are still humans and that means we are fallible. I’m your customer and, yes, I’m fallible. Taking advantage of your customer’s fallibility is not an ethical business practice.

Bring on the comments and disputation!

If you happen to be a Python programmer who’s interested in AI and data science then geek out on this pretty surprising tutorial.

How to make a racist AI without really trying | ConceptNet blog
— Read on blog.conceptnet.io/posts/2017/how-to-make-a-racist-ai-without-really-trying/

I have not written here for a while but I did just write a blog post for my employer. If you want to see how my mind works when I’m writing for something other than my own edification, check this out.

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https://www.bluevolt.com/bluevoltblog/doing-nothing-the-sales-impact-of-inaction