If you’re a developer and you cannot make an app without riddling it with surveillance-based components and APIs by Google, Facebook, etc., you’re a really bad developer.

Stop being so careless, lazy, and thoughtless and learn how to make apps that respect people’s rights.

@aral either that or your job depends on doing it.

@zensaiyuki In which case, find a different job. “Just following orders” didn’t fly at Nuremberg and it doesn’t fly here. We are highly skilled and highly privileged people. Our only choices aren’t a six figure salary and stock options or starvation.

@aral maybe that’s true for you and if so, good job. not all of us do have choices. or six figure salaries for that matter.

@zensaiyuki If your only other option to making surveillance-based software is being homeless or starving then this doesn’t apply to you. You’re not being criticised here. And I hope your situation improves so you are no longer forced to make unethical software to survive. Until then, no one can blame you for doing what you have to in order to eek out an existence.

@aral @zensaiyuki Sorry, but that's ridiculous. You are comparing sending usually anonymised user data to someone to build statistics out of with *literally killing millions of people in cold blood*.

You have a valid point. But taking it this far, phrasing it like this, takes away any persuasive power you might have, and makes you honestly look deranged.

@WAHa_06x36 @aral unless the data you collect gets deanonymized and used to target specific groups…

with ads

@WAHa_06x36 @aral honestly i have seen what’s possible and “deanonymizing” doesn’t seem like that huge a barrier to a tyrant. it’s not like accuracy in targeting your scapegoats is all that important.

and okay sure as a dev you can be a conscientious objector but personally i object to putting the responsibility for this shit onto dev’s shoulders, when they’re just the builders not the architect. worse actually because builders have guilds, laws and codes to back them up.

@WAHa_06x36 @aral what we need is laws, and then devs can make money removing all the tracking.

@d599f84e @aral ethically, as a developer i refuse to push such a button. i will only build it.


I was just planning to tell exactly the same 🙂
Also, the bad code of some selfish coders waste a lot of resources (bandwidth, electricity, etc.)

Perhaps you should consider that some people don't have that kind of courage, and also don't have back support.

@aral Problem is that surveillance-based apps makes plenty of money. So salaries are high and attractives. So developpers close eyes on the true conditions and sit down on their convictions. Once in place, it is difficult to come back to it. Comfort and money erase convictions especially if dev have a family to feed. I am not a dev but I think this way of seeing jobs are available in many of professions.

@aral Are you talking about closed-source or open-source APIs?

#OpenSource code can be audited.

I haven't read about #surveilleance code in #React or #golang. A lot of people are looking at pretty much the whole codebase everyday. If it existed, it would be caught and called out already.

Let's not just outright blindly, blanket reject everything that a #SurvellienceCapitalism company builds.

@aral I don’t like blaming people for being unaware of something they were never taught. Especially when the opposite is indoctrinated from the start through advertisements and college assignments. What can we do to educate new developers?

What we can do is keep mentioning #FOSS alternatives, and the websites that collect lists of those, at any opportunity we get.

Always suggest foss, when someone does software/stack selection for work or pleasure.

And when someone wants to connect with you on #surveillancetechnology you say "Gee, I only have Jitsi / Jami / Matrix / or-what-have-you. And I have issues with your suggestions, because.. [#privacy, #ethics plea follows]" and the you talk about the advantages of foss

@aral there's this weird thing popping up that is attacking free software by saying that usable software is more freeing to an individual than strictly FOSS that doesn't give them the level of usability and functionality that they want. eg, adobe photoshop. I wonder if you could address that sometime.
@moonman @aral being held hostage by the adobe is hardly free, but at the same time there's no viable alternatives anywhere else. it's sad

@aral Whilst I agree with this in spirit, the practical result of being *this* principled a dev is that you can't work for most employers. The issue's MUCH bigger than an individual dev and you hurt your message by calling so many of your peers "careless and lazy" like this. Would *love* to unpack this issue: e.g. what to do when your product management/marketing/CEO insists on using GA.

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