Open up a web browser or power up a smartphone—pretty much essential for modern-day living—and you’re walking straight into a privacy minefield. That much you know. Especially after the news earlier this week that Unroll.me, a popular service that lets you unsubscribe from multiple email lists with a single click, was selling data it had mined from all your mail. What you might not realize is that your surrendering of your privacy isn’t just an accident—it’s the purposeful design of a particular breed of app makers and web designers employing a practice known as “dark patterns.”
If you possess a cell phone older than five years, you’re in for some bad luck. A new plan to upgrade the way sites like Google and Twitter are verified will force users without the newest technology to surf on the non-encrypted web. Basically, users might not have access to verified websites like Facebook starting Jan. 1.