I've had a bunch of discussions with people here about Signal PINs over the past day.
I don't usually spend this much time on Twitter, so parallel to the direct discussion, these are a few of the adjacent thoughts that have come up for me:
1) I think it's increasingly important to consider how discussions around technology are perceived across the full spectrum of backgrounds (from technical to non-technical) for everyone interested in the topic of their own privacy/security -- which is basically everyone now!
Its interesting that some folks who see discussion around PINs conclude "switch to app X!" where X invisibly stores the same data in plaintext rather than e2e.
Signal's efforts are a discussion b/c we're designing not to store data in plaintext, while plaintext got no discussion
When I think about why tech often fails to serve our interests, I think about rooms like this. So long as software requires large rooms of people staring at computers all day, every day, forever -- I think there will often be a mismatch b/t how we wish tech worked and how it does
Many hope to make technology serve us better by making it "distributed." I (controversially) don't think that would be the outcome, in part because distributed systems are usually *more* complex and difficult to reason about, potentially requiring even larger rooms than this one.
Like what if there were Uber, but "decentralized?" Maybe then all the money can go to the drivers instead? Okay, but so long as that requires huge rooms of people sitting in front of a computer 8hrs a day, every day, forever -- I don't think that version will be any different.