Update: If you are particularly interested in this issue, check out this post by noted privacy and cryptography expert Bruce Schneier.

Darth Vader Readers, I tried. Really, I did. As you may remember, I rolled out privacy-sensitive sharing buttons with great fanfare just a couple of weeks ago. The idea was to let people share Letters Blogatory posts with their Twitter followers, Facebook friends, etc., but to give them the choice whether to activate the sharing buttons (which allow social networks to gather data about your web browsing).

Unfortunately, the sharing button software I was using stopped working when I upgraded other software, so I had to remove them. But I really liked the idea of social sharing! And so with a heavy heart, I am including the privacy-invading sharing buttons at the foot of Letters Blogatory posts. I think it is ridiculous that the social networks use these buttons to track web browsing, and I think it is ridiculous that there’s no way (no way I could find, at least) to create an “opt-in” system. But these buttons are ubiquitous on the web, including on law blogs, and very useful. And so I am just going to use them, despite my misgivings.

I have two requests for you. First, if you are really concerned about this change, please let me know. If my readers don’t want them, then I don’t want them.

Second, if you know how to program computers and you would like to help fix the software conflict that led me to remove the privacy-sensitive buttons, please let me know! The Internet would thank you.

I will be making the appropriate changes to my privacy policy soon.

Photo credit: Bernie Thomas