Got an email today from someone asking me to delete their data from Pinafore because they decided to stop using the app. Of course my response was: Pinafore only stores data in your browser; I have no control over it. 😊

I guess a lot of people are surprised by a website that actually acts like a pure client-side app? As in, doesn't really have any dependency on the server other than serving up static resources?

But then I also wonder if the flipside is true: do people tend to assume that "apps" are always pure clients, whereas "websites" always store data on a server somewhere? Because that's not the case – both platforms can store data on either the client or the server; there are no hard limits.

I'm also constantly surprised by the faith that some people place in apps versus websites. On a website, I can pop open the Dev Tools, see what network requests it's making, inspect its storage, block it using an ad blocker, etc. With a mobile app these kinds of tools exist, but they're way less accessible to the average user.

I guess most of this faith comes from 1) the app store acting as a gatekeeper for trustability, and 2) the smoother, more polished experience inspiring confidence. Maybe?

I also think there's a perverse effect here where someone can easily identify how many 3rd-party requests or other sneaky stuff any website is doing, so websites frequently get outed for it. So the web as a whole appears more suspicious, when its main fault is being an open platform.

But then again: do I have any idea what my native apps are doing while I'm sleeping? How how many times they're phoning home, and to whom? I did Android dev for years, and I honestly have no idea how to check this.


@nolan I think this is an important point. People may not be aware how often their TVs and speakers are sending data to companies.

My top blocked domain on my pi-hole right now is to Sonos. How would I know that if I wasn't a) savvy enough to set up a pi-hole and b) privacy conscious enough to bother.

Whereas anyone running an ad blocker in their browser can see how much stuff is getting blocked.

@darth_mall Yeah, I have a Chromecast, and I was surprised to learn that it tries to bypass the Pi-Hole DNS and use Google's DNS instead. I had to actually block Google's DNS entirely in order to get it to switch. These devices really are black boxes for the most part.

@nolan yeesh. That's evil.

We just use the built-in apps on our TV. For a while, I think the top blocked domain was to Samsung, but we generally have music going more than the TV, so I'm not surprised that Sonos overtook it. 😁

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