I’ve learnt…

Password reuse is still a problem. It’s not surprising that 49% of people make a minor change to their password when their employer asks them to change it. I get it. Who can, or has time, to remember different codes?

Employers have an opportunity, and I’d argue a duty of care, to set new norms around security. At IF we ask everyone to use our password manager and make two factor authentication mandatory as far as possible. It raises awareness about how shaky passwords are, and many colleagues have told me how they now use password managers for their personal lives too. Winning!

I’ve been reading…

Nicholas Colin published the final post in a series on capitalism, which I’ve been thinking about alongside the Feminist Economy principles. What might a different form of capitalism look like that aligns itself not to individual gain but to collective benefit?

Feminine economy from sister.is
Masculine economy from sister.is

Emily’s written IF’s Tech Vision, and it’s full of powerful, critical thinking. My favourite link describes how technological artefacts and systems are not neutral. ‘Do Artefacts have politics?’ is an oldie but a goodie.

Other critical thinking I’ve appreciated is on the loss of ‘micro privacy’, which describes how interaction patterns in messaging services have gradually reduced people’s ability to control what others can know about them. The message in the post is serious and punchy: designers can and should take more responsibility. It also made me laugh - remembering days when my friends and I would log into MSN messenger after school, and immediately make our status ‘offline’ to be cool.

In other news, I’m a couple of chapters into Philip Pullman’s The Book of Dust.

I’ve been listening to…

In November I went surfing in Wales. My favourite break was at Whitesand Bay. Whilst we were driving from beach to beach, I started listening to the podcast How to Fail with Elizabeth Day. In each episode Elizabeth interviews someone different about moments in their lives when they’ve ‘failed’. The point, of course, is that these weren’t really failures but moments of learning and change.

Whitesand Bay, November 2019 (Image: Sarah Gold, CC-BY)

I’ve been interested in…

I’m following India’s Personal Data Protection Bill 2019, currently being discussed in parliament, especially because the protections don’t currently extend to government data collection. With India’s Aadhaar ID service and their proposed facial recognition system, not including government data collection is a big deal.

I’ve appreciated…

My colleague Jo, who organised a brilliant Christmas party last week. After espresso martinis and games, we went to an immersive dining experience that ended in a ball pit. Too much fun.

Wishing you all a peaceful holiday. See you in 2020.