Companies Tracking Customers

It turns out this isn’t limited to cookies through browsers and overt tracking software.

There’s another software package that businesses use to track their users activities. Log4j

is used on computer servers to keep records of users’ activities so they can be reviewed later by security or software development teams.

Businesses are secretly tracking our activities as we interact with them digitally, not just quietly through cookies and tracking tools. Maybe not only those teams, either. It wouldn’t surprise me if marketing teams were using our data, and if other teams were putting together packages of our data to peddle to other companies.

Grassroots Infiltration

Bill Melugin (@BillFOXLA), of FOXLA, known also for his reporting from our border along the Rio Grande Valley, had this Twitter thread concerning the close ties the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors has with the People’s Republic of China, especially as concerns Americans’ DNA records. I’ve reproduced the thread below, absent the tweeting headers for easier reading.

One other thing: the Los County County Supervisor at the end of the thread that Melugin tried to contact, Hilda Solis, is the same Hilda Solis (D) who sat in ex-President Barack Obama’s (D) Secretary of Labor chair and did so much damage during his first term.

Pay No Attention to the Woman Behind the Curtain

That’s the mantra of Progressive-Democrats, who are enthusiastically supportive of President Joe Biden’s (D) nominee for Comptroller of the Currency, Saule Omarova.

Ms Omarova wants to put an “‘end to banking’ as we know it”—again, her words—and transfer private banking functions to the Federal Reserve, where accounts would “fully replace” private bank deposits. The Fed would control “systemically important prices” for fuel, food, raw materials, metals, natural resources, home prices and wages.

And, she says

the Fed should be remade into what she calls “The People’s Ledger.”

And

Biden’s Attack on Our Oil and Gas Industry

President Joe Biden’s (D) and his Progressive-Democratic Party syndicate’s hatred of our oil and gas production industry is well known, and he wants to include $6 billion in additional taxes, fees, and fines on those industries in their reconciliation bill.

But those penalties also will explode the cost of a myriad products Americans use, and destroy the availability of too many others—all beyond such petty uses as fuel for our getting to and from work, or heating our homes in winter and cooling them in summer.

Invasive IRS

In an exchange between Wyoming Senator Cynthia Lummis (R) and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen that occurred during Tuesday’s Senate Banking Committee hearing, Lummis decried Yellen’s proposal to have banks report to the IRS the (allegedly aggregated) “inflows” and “outflows” to/from all accounts larger than $600.

Yellen’s response was to describe the already extensive invasion of personal financial data the IRS demands and to pooh pooh the added reporting because it’s only two additional pieces of easily ascertained information onto the 1099-INT form.

And:

the IRS has a wealth of information about individuals if you work at a job where you get labor income

“Unfair and Absurd”

President Joe Biden (D), through his Press Secretary Jen Psaki (via her daily press conference), said that it’s unfair and absurd that businesses should pass on to their customers the costs represented by higher taxes that Biden and his fellow Progressive-Democrats want to impose on them.

There are some…who argue that, in the past, companies have passed on these [tax] costs to consumers. … We feel that that’s unfair and absurd, and the American people would not stand for that.

Why shouldn’t businesses pass on the costs represented by taxes?

Pope Francis, Communion, and Abortion

This is a subject into which I’m going to poke my Protestant nose, which may be a symptom of my own sin of arrogance, but there it is.

Pope Francis insists that communion is a gift to all of us, not a prize for the perfect. He also says,

What must the pastor do? Be a pastor; don’t go condemning. Be a pastor, because he is a pastor also for the excommunicated.

He’s right, too, as far as he goes.

He also emphasizes

Whoever has an abortion kills. It is a human life. This human life must be respected—this principle is so clear.

Big Tech, Big Brother

This time, it’s Tim Cook’s Apple.

In a report released [last] Wednesday, the company argues that allowing users to download apps directly onto their iPhones without having to use Apple’s App Store would harm customers by threatening privacy protections, complicating parental controls and potentially exposing users’ data to ransomware attacks.

Say that’s true. It remains the user’s personal choice to run that risk. It remains the user’s personal responsibility to deal with that risk.

Is Cook denying the personal agency average Americans have in their decisions and in their property?

Privacy—and Trust

Parents of children in the People’s Republic of China have a new “aid.”

ByteDance is peddling a “study lamp” that lets teachers and parents constantly monitor children, ostensibly while the children are doing their schoolwork.

The lamps come equipped with two built-in cameras—one facing the child and another offering a bird’s-eye view from above—letting parents remotely monitor their children when they study. There is a smartphone-sized screen attached to each lamp, which applies artificial intelligence to offer guidance on math problems and difficult words. And parents can hire a human proctor to digitally monitor their children as they study.

Patient Privacy

The Wall Street Journal article headline says it all.

Google Strikes Deal With Hospital Chain to Develop Healthcare Algorithms

Alphabet, through its Google subsidiary, is going to be given access to patient records—patient identification, medical history, drug prescription and use, Internet-connected medical device use and medical device-originated reporting—by a major healthcare provision chain, HCA Healthcare Inc.

Dr Jonathan Perlin, President of HCA’s Clinical Services Group and Chief Medical Officer assures us:

Data are spun off of every patient in real time[.]

In real time. As the patient is hooked into the Internet via an ostensibly privacy-protecting connection.