Thursday, March 29

Flickr and Yahoo bullshit

I may be forced to cancel my Flickr account. Today I went to flickr and could not login. All I got was this message.
As of March 20, 2007, we're requiring that all Flickr accounts be associated with a Yahoo! ID.
Further information from: Flickr: News
On March 20th, 2007 we'll be discontinuing the old email-based Flickr sign in system. From that point on, everyone will have to use a Yahoo! ID to sign in to Flickr.

We're making this change now to simplify the sign in process in advance of several large projects launching this year, but some Flickr features and tools already require Yahoo! IDs for sign in -- like the mobile site at or the new Yahoo! Go program for mobiles, available at

If you still sign in using the email-based Flickr system (here), you can make the switch at any time in the next few months, from today till the 15th. (After that day, you'll be required to merge before you continue using your account.) To switch, start at this page:

Complete details and answers to most common questions are available here:

If you have questions or comments about signing in with a Yahoo! ID, speak up!

Ahem, bullshit. Of course I knew this was coming for some time. Which is why I let my flickr pro account lapse. I've had these discussions about federated ID systems before... bottom line at least they give you a choice whether to use them or not. They don't force you to tie your IM to you flickr account to your web mail to your e-commerce sites and all your clients data... or rather the credit card info of your clients clients running on yahoo's e-commerce services.

Yahoo's version of Microsoft's Passport is a great solution... buy users by buying up all the latest greatest web services, tie things like e-commerce sites to frivolous and completely insecure things like IM and photo sharing sites... so that a compromise any one place can compromise not just just your data, not just your credit cards... but those of your clients... clients. That's brilliant, that's Yahoo.

Make it so if I walk into a lab somewhere and login into flickr my e-commerce sites are compromised. Make it so ever time completely insecure IM clients are bouncing login requests of the server dozens of times a day my username and password for ALL my yahoo services are floating through the ether for any enterprising young cracker to use.

Make sure you tell people you're doing it to "simplify the sign in process" like it's simply a matter of triviality for their convenience. Use bullshit excuses that really don't mean anything at all like "in advance of several large projects launching this year". Blaa. blaa. blaa. Between using the loo and my desk I thought I'd stop off and grab a pop... you want one?

And btw we've already rolled out new services that require you merge your yahoo and flickr accounts in an effort to twist your arm into tieing your flickr services to yahoo... but you didn't notice... silly you... so now we're cutting off ALL access to flickr until you do what we want.

Make sure you use buzzwords like *mobile*... "we got MOBILE!" like that has anything to do with compromising my security.

I'll tell you what I'm going to do.

Before I use my flickr account as a tool to trash flickr for all the time I invested in them before they got bought by Yahoo and sold me out for the transparent b.s. that this is... there ability to track me better by consolidating their demographic information despite the fact that it compromises my security... to tie my address and credit cards... with what I buy... and what web services I use... so they can offer me... oh this is the stuff I love to hear... "better purchasing opportunities"... that's the stuff I love... yahoo didn't say it... because they think their smart... and a lie about "simplifying the sign in process" will do... but that's what it is... and that's the way the telemarketers put it when they tried to stop congress from "depriving you of purchasing opportunities" by creating the national Do Not Call Registry.

Well... say hello to the future... the future in the coming years is clearing houses like Yahoo helping you by sharing your information with "business partners" of yahoo to help you discover "purchasing opportunities"... or hell maybe they'll just provide all your "anonymous" search results to the federal government to look at... ALREADY BEEN DONE... but heh.. that's why we have checks and balances... the CIA has to get a court order to demand Yahoo release all your email... IM logs... address... credit cards... purchases... and... oh wait, that's right, the CIA doesn't need that under the Patriot act... but they wouldn't abuse the patriot act... OH yeah.. they DID.. shocker there.

And just remember... if your in China, all the government needs to do is ask and Yahoo is pleased to help... like say if your a journalist using a yahoo account to post things critical of the government.

But still even though ALL of the above are true, purty little facts that have already happened... still I'm just being paranoid right?

I have nothing to fear unless I'm a criminal. So... who's the last criminal you know that was a victim of identity theft? When is the last time you heard a story about someone who couldn't fly or flagged by airport security just because they had the wrong name. When is the last time you yourself DIDN'T receive at least 10 "purchasing opportunities" via snail mail each day... are you less than 30 spam mail a day? Has the national Do Not Call Registry worked for you?

All these things are do a crisis in security of personal information. Even if you don't think the consolidation of your personal and credit information by information brokers has played a part in it... do you REALLY thing someone like yahoo is going to SOLVE it for you?

It doesn't take a genius to figure out that yahoo is the next credit information clearing house selling demographic information to the highest bidder or simply providing another level of convenience for abusive intelligence services.

I don't believe it's wrong for yahoo to OFFER you this "opportunity" I believe it's wrong when you don't have a CHOICE. More specifically... fuck you... I only care about MY right to choose. If you care about your right to choose that's cool... if not fuck off, don't speak to me... why are you reading this?

So, what I'm going to do is sign up for yet another yahoo account and tie my flickr account to it... and then when yahoo kicks my ass over and over, making me login and logout over and over every time I go from flickr to another yahoo service that requires a different yahoo username and password... which is the exact OPPOSITE of "simplifying the sign in process"... I'm not going to call yahoo and bitch... not when they told a client of mine in order to disassociate their compromised yahoo mail account from her e-commerce site... they'd have to cancel and wipe it out start a whole new e-commerce site. If that's the response they give someone paying them thousands of dollars a year... infection in the toe... lop off the head and get a new body... then what the hell kind of respect are they going to give me.

I'm not going to "speak up!" to them by filling out a web form. I'm not even going to post another blog post. This is it. I'm simply going to say adios by posting a "good by flickr you betrayed my trust" picture as the last picture you'll ever see on my flickr account like so many others. Maybe I'll start a flickr group called "goodbye flickr" and invite the half dozen flickr expats I already know to let flickr know why they've ditched their accounts.

Flickr is so last year anyway, twitter's the new flickr. Flickr is dead to me now, twitter lives. :P


P.S. Here's a funny little security error... the news suggests you go to to get help with the new sign in or go to to "speak up!". Ironically, you can't view either without signing in. err0rs. Point taken. Flickr and I have a very very limited future.


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