Welcome to Still Computing #3!
Still Computing is an email newsletter for curious programmers, largely written by members of the Recurse Center community.
This week’s issue focuses on personal data and how it’s collected, used, and analyzed. Our feature piece is by Aliza Aufrichtig, who built her own period tracking software after becoming dissatisfied with existing apps due to their data usage and export policies. We also have a creative programming contest(!) and a lively Dear Zu in response to a reader’s question about the responsibility programmers have to the rest of society.
We at RC have a complex relationship with online tracking. Recently, we’ve tried not to use it. For example, this newsletter isn’t tracking you! We disabled all open and click tracking before we sent the first issue. However, we do use Google Analytics and store data about page views on recurse.com, some of which is really helpful to us in understanding how people use our website. Most websites would be hard to operate and improve without *some* kind of analytics data, but where does it cross the line into being creepy or a violation of privacy?
It’s a tough question. In this issue, some Recursers grapple with the implications and share their reflections as they work to figure it out.