I just now set up a small site for it at https://whynottrack.com/! It's open source -- GitHub link in the footer -- so anyone can PR changes / reasons / etc.
I suppose calls for better regulation, purpose oriented data collection and stricter enforcement and penalties but by no means does simply don't track/collect data is an answer where there are actual practical applications.
Only two of your examples (parental controls and location sharing) require any kind of network, and those could be done with a private VPN running at home.
The design of cloud-based services is purely for convenience and collection. Sometimes if the collection can be controlled, the convenience is worth it, but every beneficial algorithm could be run locally.
- Reliability. The cloud is available with little or no downtime, to 5-8 nines (5 minutes to 1/3 of a second of downtime per year). Each nine costs roughly 10x the previous one.
- Bandwidth. Residential service may work for your own personal file transfer needs, but if you're sharing to the world, even a modest degree of traffic results in a hug-of-death.
- Security. Ideally, cloud systems are managed and monitored against network attacks, as well as affording physical security practices.
- Updates. This becomes Somebody Else's Problem.
- Ongoing development. Dittos.
It's not that these aren't addressible by individuals, but it's a lot of effort to do so, and at population levels, people are simply unlikely to be able or willing to do so. A small percentage, yes. The vast majority? No.
Raw compute power is a tiny fraction of the concerns involved in service hosting.
Smartphones are a massive leap forward in low-power/energy-efficiency, but my 2013 desktop machine (KGPE-D16) still creams every smartphone ever manufactured on any metric other than power consumption.
I'm kinda tired of hearing nontechnical people congratulate themselves on having a "supercomputer" in their pocket.
Interestingly, this attitude used to be default even here on Hacker News ~5 years ago. I am so glad to see it's changing. Why I'm finding this interesting? Because this audience always knew what's going on even without layman articles like this, but did not care for some reason. This shows how just knowing isn't enough sometimes. Public sentiment matters.
But at the same time, the practice of regularly and routinely recycling user identities is ... well, it really does prevent the formation of a community.
The most toxic community I'd ever encountered was a supposedly "kinder and gentler Reddit", the late and unlamented Imzy. A core feature was that individuals could spin up a new pseudonym on each individual thread.
The result was both absolutely disorienting and gave rise to vicious bandwagon and brigade attacks.
Whatever problem Imzy was trying to solve, that was the wrong solution.
(I'm aware that chans often follow a similar tactic, and that ... they tend not to engender highly constructive behaviours.)
And of course, HN stands at odds with this theory as well. No one "knows" me on HN. I don't have a reputation, or a real identity, and I'm cordial enough. (I hope) HN enforces conduct, and this enforcement is not defeated by anonymity.
That's not one you're willing to make and you adjust your behavior accordingly. HN can't be all things to all people. And that's okay.
You clearly find some value in HN as it is because you continue to use it. Something to consider: changes you might like to see may very well change the community as a whole to make it less a place you want to be. Hard to say, without running the experiment, but one of the hazards is that running the experiment could irreparably damage/change HN. And rebooting it would be likely nigh impossible. (If it were easy, we'd all create the fora we wanted.)
ADP is one of the largest paycheck processors in the United States. But almost no one realizes that if their paycheck comes through ADP, their salary information is being sold. Remember, this is also a company that knows when you've been hired, fired, has your Social Security Number, and a lot of other very personal financial information. According to a New York Times article from a few years ago, ADP is selling you out worse than even the cell phone companies. Yet, there was zero uproar about it that I noticed.
As for bank balances, I was very surprised to learn recently that bank balances are not part of credit scoring. I have a substantial amount of emergency savings. The last time I pulled my credit reports, it wasn't on any of them.
I'm sure that's happened.
> to some legal agreement almost no one has the time to read or expertise to understand in its full implications... New Declaration of Human Rights
In the same breath: complain about long documents that no one reads, propose authoring an unenforceable, even longer document that no one will read.