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I think locking down a system by default, but offering a way to gain elevated priviledges, while educating and properly warning users before certain actions is better than taking away everyone's control over their own devices, and therefore restricting their freedom.



The problem with that approach is $popular_social_media app comes along and coaxes users to relax said privileges "because reasons" and before long there's a signigficant proportion of users who altered the security model of their device without understanding what is going on.


Personal freedoms have always had risks, but is it really warranted to take them away in this case and not offer a way to get them back in any shape or form?

Looking at recent Samsung devices, is Google Services Framework really that integral to the security of my device that I must be forbidden from disabling that package? Isn't there an alternative way to achieve a comparable level of security, but without slurping up my personal data?

The consequence of security does not have to be a complete loss of control, nor the inability to prevent in a practical way the collection of our personal data.

Not to mention the whole security argument falls apart when perfectly fine Android devices are left without security updates 2-3 years after purchase.


I think there could be an argument that the personal freedom you mention, when risks are realized, can degrade the experience of the world at large. Lazy example: a botnet running on many machines compromised as described above sending spam email to innocents.

I’m still on the fence about whether that justifies their protocols. I think I actually lean toward “no”, but I’ve also lately become keenly aware of the difficulty of even simple things like keeping everything up to date, and my lack of real insight into what those updates include. If I’m effectively trusting them anyway, might as well trust them to get it to me ASAP, right?

I’m also enough of a realist to assume there’s a Fight Club style “A times B times C > X” reputational/financial risk logic going on here. If there’s few enough of the devices out there, it’s probably cheaper to apologize (legally, as in settle).


Apple is not taking away personal freedoms.

They create products, which they offer for sale. People can freely choose to purchase those products or not.

Apple has opinions about how to make products, which are embodied in the products they offer for sale. Other companies have different opinions. This is how a market is supposed to work.

I don’t think we should talk about Apple as if they are a government taking away freedoms. It confers too much authority upon Apple and too much victimhood upon customers.


That argument kind of breaks down when you have a monopoly on the market like Apple and Google do. If there isn't a viable option to their product then i'm not free to choose.

We shouldn't be talking about Apple like a government, but the government should probably be regulating this a bit better;


Are you seriously making the case we should be thankful about the restrictions they put on their products, because at least they exist? Is it somehow a problem to wish for things to be better, even though they could be worse?

They patently did contribute to the erosion of freedoms that people fundamentally used to have with their hardware.


> The problem with that approach is $popular_social_media app comes along and coaxes users to relax said privileges "because reasons" and before long there's a signigficant proportion of users who altered the security model of their device without understanding what is going on.

And the problem with a single signature authority, as we're seeing in China, is being murdered by an illicit state, or undergoing active discrimination in many other ways even in most western countries.


If people do that, that's on them. So long as the device appropriately warns people, I fail to see how it's the companies problem to baby people who don't know what they're doing. It's their device, if they want to break out, let them.

It's like saying "Why should we have knives? It's only a matter of time until $popular_social_media comes along and tells people to cut off their index fingers and before long there's a significant proportion of users who can't point anymore".


No, it's not at all like that. Knife users will be perfectly capable of understanding what they're doing when they cut off their fingers, and assessing its impact on them. They don't even need pages of warning text to explain this.

That's not the case for smartphone (etc) users.


A lot of tools have safety measures which can't be circumvented by their users (e.g., you have to use both hands to start thems). The reason being that some dangers are easily underestimated, even by experienced users. Manufacturers do indeed much better about the inherent risks of their products than users.

If a knive could be built which allows to cut food, and protects you from cutting off your index finger, wouldn't that be great?


Are you really comparing an object which holds a threat of blood loss, loss of organs and possible death as requiring similar safeguards as a phone?


"Appropriately warns people" is nearly impossible and shouldn't be brushed away as a non issue.


I think this is a valid concern, and perhaps verifiable. How many Windows user actually create a non-admin account to use for their everyday work? I find, anecdotally, that a helluva lot of them don't; in fact, the very idea is foreign to them.


I'd argue this is largely a question of defaults and ergonomics.

Most users will leave the default settings if they don't have an active need to change them. Easily usable (and understandable) tools and interfaces prevent most needs from arising in the first place.

Concrete example: The root account on many Linux distros is disabled by default. I've never felt the need to enable it, because sudo does everything I need. Secure default, useful tools, unlockable system.

Historically we haven't had either of those things. Poor design and implementation led to bad choices by clueless users. The resulting mess is used as an excuse to restrict freedoms. The cure is arguably worse than the poison.


I agree with you. However, my point is that these people don't see the need to create the non-privileged account, even though there is a strong one.


Ok, popular app requires elevated privileges, gets compromised, removes any remote control Apple might have to stop/cleanup the mess, and then breaks iOS

Now what? Millions of users have to wipe and restore their phones or throw them away and buy new ones because someone's app trashed the phone? That would cripple Apple


Realistically what would you gain by doing that?




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