Year of the Reboot

Year of the Reboot

It’s been a tough year, going on two, from a wellbeing perspective. I just want to say: feeling exhausted, traumatised and disoriented is expected. For all of us. It’s natural to deflate when struggling to find breathing space in the midst of uncertainty, conflicting messaging and enforced restrictions.

As people close to me have been going through a turmoil of a year with illness, I have turned inwards. I’ve been head down in work, rebooting both my digital presence (the blogs and their dependencies) and my physical one (moving house).

Seemingly in a culmination of transitional events, a few weeks ago our oldest son left home for college, a 6-hour drive away. His absence from everyday routine creates new holes in space and time that quickly fill up with unfamiliar experiences and emotions. Strange rhythms and unusual friction. Novel opportunites. And alien worries visiting at the oddest of hours.

I’m leaning into all the emotions, making sure not to ignore them. Lest they get the best of me.Knowing you are out there, reading this, is healing. I feel bound to readers by a common interest in helping

  1. tech professionals make services with compassion, and
  2. everyday users stay safe with the technology in their lives.

Perhaps we can find respite in this common interest for a short while, seeing promise in its capacity. Or also save it for later. Find a moment to close your eyes and just be. Find your breathing. And right now… take note of your own wellbeing.Remember to put on your own oxygen mask before assisting others.


reboot : to refresh (something) by making a new start or creating a new version

As I’m rebooting the newsletter (again), just a heads up that you can add to your approved senders list if you want to avoid it ending up in spam. Swedish 🇸🇪 content is at the bottom of the newsletter.

My posts

Apple Child Safety Harms
This post is a lesson in identifying and forecasting impact, outlining how Apple is moving into mass surveillance. I highlight all the risks and provide links to the views of many high-profile voices and organisations.

A Design Ethics Track for Yearlong Bite-Sized Learning
I’ve been holding on to this exciting news since the spring but can now reveal that I’ll be joining the Ambition Empower professional development program as a track leader in Design Ethics. Yes, it’s about rebooting education.


UX Podcast episode 270: Design for safety with Eva PenzeyMoog
On UX Podcast we recently talked to Eva PenzeyMoog about her new book on interpersonal harm through digital products, and how we can work to prevent it. Subscribe options here.


The Social Dilemma | Full Feature | Netflix
If you haven’t seen it yet, or want to share it around, this Netflix documentary is available for free on YouTube until September 30. Well, at least ‘free’ as in surveillance capitalism (you know, YouTube). There is valid criticism aimed against this doc, but as Safiya Noble says: watch it and talk about it.


It’s High Time for Product Designers To Become Privacy Practitioners
Inspirational piece by Stephanie Lucas on how UX designers can and should become privacy advocates. And doers.

The Morally Troubling ‘Dirty Work’ We Pay Others to Do in Our Place
Ethically fraught jobs on which our society depends and which we implicitly condone even as we pay other people to do them. This book is next on my reading list.

Tools and Resources

Policy Guidance on AI for Children | UNICEF Office of Global Insight & Policy
Next month I will be helping out a client with a child impact assessment analysis for health-related services. I was alerted by Virginia Dignum about this great resource from UNICEF.

Ethical, easy-to-use and privacy-conscious alternatives to well-known software / websites
I get this question a lot, and I often refer to This is another good resource to look at, with alternatives for both desktop and web-based software.

Svenska / In Swedish

Öppna Skolplattformen synliggör Stockholms stads upprepade blunder
Min långa sammanfattning av de många turerna, rusande kostnaderna och den osäkra hanteringen av Skolplattformen i Stockholm fick stor uppmärksamhet i våras. Sedan jag skrev detta är det klart att polisutredningen mot Öppna Skolplattformen (appen skapad av föräldrar) är nerlagd. Det finns inga brottsmisstankar.

Försvarsmakten och flaggan
En genomgång av Försvarsmaktens kampanjmaterial inför Pride genom åren. Och lite kritik. Jag är ju i botten kommunikationsvetare och den här djupdykningen i raden av regnbågsfärgade kampanjer gjorde jag helt för min egen skull. Jag fick samtidigt många tacksamma hälsningar för arbetet.

Spärra ombud och adressändring
Visste du att svindlare kan få möjlighet att företräda dig som privatperson i skattefrågor, och bli ombud för ditt eventuella företag, genom att skicka in en pappersblankett till Skatteverket? Jag tipsar som skyddande inställningar du kan göra direkt.

20 av 21 regioner använder amerikanska molntjänster sommaren 2021 – trots Schrems 2-domen – Webperf
Marcus Österbergs granskning av vilka amerikanska molntjänster som de olika regionernas webbplatser använder sig av.

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