Too many companies say they care about an important issue, sponsor events, and then turn around and fund organizations (or politicians) that actively fight the important issue. This behaviour by corporations is unethical and wrong. One person got so sick of companies claiming to be in favour of issues only to fund campaigns opposing it that he built an app to out the corporations. The Bobbele app allows you to scan a barcode and see what corporations fund behind the scenes, plus any controversies the companies are embroiled in.
A good example is Google since they gave up on doing no evil their controversy list is rather long.
From the creator of the app:
I use the wikipedia dumps that are provided monthly and go through all articles to filter out company and product related ones and all the relevant sections which might be controversial. I do a lot of post processing then to link all the companies based on the parent and owner information so luckily no manual labour and its easy to keep up to date!
Large tech companies find ways to make money off of your data without you knowing about it, they might even be sharing personal information about you with governments or advertisers. If that makes you uncomfortable (I hope it does) then you should consider looking for alternatives to mainstream software services and applications. For example you can replace Google with Ecosia or DuckDuckGo.
Thankfully there’s a group that is dedicated to making our tech more ethical and encouraging people to find these ethical solutions in an easy way via one site: ethical.net.
You can join in the conversation about ethical technologies and uses at their forum.
Ethical.net is a collaborative platform for discovering and sharing ethical product alternatives â€” whether that means purchasing from a social enterprise, thrift shopping, or learning how to fix your old phone instead of buying a new one.
What do we mean by ethical?
We know that â€œethicalâ€ can mean very different things to different people.
But for us, it’s broadly about pursuing sustainability instead of growth, and putting people above profit.
Be My Eyes is an app designed to help people with low vision to get help from thousands of people around the world. It works by connecting people with vision problems to those with good vision. For example, a blind person might need to know which object is red so they take a picture with their phone and a volunteer using Be My Eyes lets them know. The app has been available on iOS and now Android users can join in on the fun!
The app is free, anonymous, and available 24/7. Anyone can join as a volunteer or end user. Thereâ€™s no commitment when joining, so for sighted people, this is a great way to make the world better just a few minutes at a time. Its creators report over 270 thousand help sessions, with over 500 thousand sighted users helping 38 thousand blind ones.
eBird is a mobile app that has been around for a few years and used around the world. As a result the app has been used to collect a rich dataset of bird sightings which provides enough data for researchers to have a very accurate understanding of some bird species. You can use the data to see how birds react to ongoing climate change or just to find out what’s migrating through your area.
“eBird data has become so good and so accurate in the Americas that we can track the full life cycle of populations of birds and watch them in real time as they kind of flow over the continents,” said Rondel.
She recommends people who are newer to watching birds also download the Merlin Bird ID app, which guides users through a series of questions to help them figure out which species they are seeing.
Beyond logging their own sightings, the app also helps bird enthusiasts find the birds they want to catch a glimpse of. The app allows users to search a specific bird and pull up maps that show where the birds have been spotted in the past.
Thanks to the bravery of whistleblowers we know that the Five Eyes are monitoring all internet chatter regardless of who’s talking. This is a big concern for people who care about freedom and rights to have personal communication. As a result, Amnesty International put together a review of messaging apps so you can make an educated decision around what app you use. They cover the basics of what apps are available and what concerns there are around messaging security.
Why is end-to-end encryption important?
End-to-end encryption is important because it protects your personal data even as it passes through the companyâ€™s servers. It means that the company is not able to decrypt your messages or see the content. It recently emerged that Yahoo allowed US intelligence officials to scan hundreds of millions of YahooMail accounts. This could easily happen with instant messaging too, if itâ€™s not end-to-end encrypted.