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Notes for HomebrewWebsiteClub 2017-04-05

We started this HWC by discussing future plans for our meetup, especially how to promote it and how to find a better location. (Afterwards, Florian created a group at meetup.com) I've also been building a web site for HWC – mostly for learning CSS Flexbox and Grid layouts, but maybe we’ll turn it into an actual page.

Florian had brought a bunch of interesting links:

This led back to a discussion from 2 weeks before, where we had talked about about tracking and respecting user requests like the Do-Not-Track-header. Joel mentioned the CommonTerms project, which proposes icons for typical clauses in Terms and Conditions.

He showed how on one of his web pages, he does not just disable tracking for users that have the Do Not Track header set, it also clearly indicates this to users:

“Active tracking using Piwik on this page has been disabled based on your browser's Do Not Track (DNT) setting.”

Another example are the cookie banners made by TRUSTe, which allow a visitor to choose between different types of cookies used, if they find the right link to click:

Differential privacy was mentioned, but nobody knew enough to really talk about it. Here is a slide deck about the topic a friend made a few years ago.

Another privacy aspect covered was how federated/distributed systems by design create many additional copies of data, with less centralized control over them. This is of course a desired property, but it also means that these copies might be hard to delete and are presented in different aggregations users might not be aware of. While a deleted silo post is expected to be gone from outside of dedicated archives, a deleted post on a GNU Social/Mastodon instance likely is still visible on other federated instances. If one instance blocks search engines using robots.txt, content from it still might be indexed on other sites. In an IndieWeb context, a site that backfeeds from Twitter likely still shows deleted interactions (and in general shows them in an unexpected context). Many IndieWeb tools also have public logs or APIs retaining data, which might be surprising to users. (e.g. brid.gy, webmention.io)

Other random links that were mentioned:

Talking about our private sites, only I had progress to present: I improved my Micropub endpoint, and I have now explicit headers for replies, bookmarks, …: example post