Apple Wants to Protect Your Identity … by Cloning You
According to The Atlantic, Apple last February acquired several patent from Novell. Among them, one is quite interesting. Its aim is to protect privacy by creating a fog of fake identities, complete with real activity on the Internet.
As the patent itself says, the objective is to “make any data collection about a principal less valuable and less reliable.”
It’s quite an interesting acquisition. On one hand, Apple could use it to provide more privacy for its user. Apple’s UDID — an unique device identifier of all iOS devices up to the current generation — has been abused by advertisers to track and profile user behavior across multiple applications, often violating user privacy. Apple vowed to solve this issue in the next release of iOS.
It’s not just about being nice to your users. Mobile is the future of consumer computing. Undermining the effectiveness of independent mobile advertising networks would also boost the struggling iAd, who underperformed since it was introduced last year. Facing an antitrust probe, Apple could circumvent it by requiring that all tracking on its iOS devices be approved by the users: they could get approval as part of the iOS shrink wrap license (they already do for the many tracking activities they already do), while independent networks would have to bug the user explicitly about it. It fits quite nicely with the Do Not Track initiatives of all major browsers (some more reluctantly than others), which is going to be a big theme once the new IE comes out and focus attention on it.
Google and Facebook, along with a lot of smaller fishes, could be negatively affected if these kind of patents were to be implemented widely (as in all future iOS mobile devices). Their core revenue comes from how well they know their users.
Squirro is growing steady and well. We are looking for a talented Python developer to augment our team.
I joined Squirro in mid January and it has been an exceptionally good experience so far. The company is great, the vision is spot on, the co-workers (many of them also co-founders of the company) are brilliant and charming, and Zurich is a wonderful city to live.
Here’s the job spec:
We are looking for an experienced Python developer for full-time employment.
You will be part of the core platform team building Squirro, the personal digital research assistant. Within days you will be taking over the responsibility for sizable portions of this new platform. You’ll be part of a small developer team building a scalable real-time application. And that 100% in Python.
Together we’ll build an open platform based on REST web services.
- Extensive experience with Python
- Familiar with HTTP / REST, especially aspects such as performance and caching
- Familiar with asynchronous processing and queuing, for example using RabbitMQ
- Experience with testing and test-driven development
- Work permit in Switzerland, which is given for citizens of EU and EFTA member states
Existing knowledge in any of the following is not required but helpful:
- Experience with search technologies such as Lucene, Solr, ElasticSearch
- Cloud deployments, especially with Amazon Web Services
- Configuration mangement with Puppet
About the company
Squirro is a Swiss startup. We are a team of passionate Internet geeks and entrepreneurs. We love Python and are very open about how we develop. We mainly use Flask and our own WsgiService at the moment. We work with Git, believe in testing, continuous integration and continuous deployment. Our work is structured with Scrum.
We are located in Zurich, Switzerland. The city has repeatedly been rated as one of the very best cities to live in.
In the first phase we built the online note-taking tool Memonic.com available on the web as well as mobile and desktop devices. Now we are expanding the Memonic platform to become a real-time knowledge gathering tool. Call it the next level of note-taking.
Get in Touch
- Patrice Neff
- Email: patrice /at/ memonic.com
- Skype: patriceneff
- Phone: +41 44 586 98 98