Posts filed under ‘business’

Privacy is Gone

An New York Time op-ed stated

“Uber had just told all its users that if they were having an affair, it knew about it. Rides to Planned Parenthood? Regular rides to a cancer hospital? Interviews at a rival company? Uber knows about them, too.
Uber isn’t alone. Numerous companies, from social media sites like Facebook to dating sites like OKCupid, make it their business to track what we do, whom we know and what our typical behaviors and preferences are. OKCupid unashamedly announced that it experimented on its users, sometimes matching them with incompatible dates, just to see what happened.
The data collection gets more extensive at every turn. Facebook is updating its terms of service as of Jan. 1. They state in clearer terms that Facebook will be tracking your location (unless you disable it), vacuuming up data that other people provide about you and even contacts from your phone’s address book (if you sync it to your account) — important provisions many of Facebook’s 1.35 billion users may not even notice when they click “accept.”
We use these apps and websites because of their benefits. We discover new music, restaurants and movies; we meet new friends and reconnect with old ones; we trade goods and services. The paradox of this situation is that while we gain from digital connectivity, the accompanying invasion into our private lives makes our personal data ripe for abuse — revealing things we thought we had not even disclosed.
The retailer Target, for example, started sending coupons for baby gear to customers who, sales data told them, were likely to be pregnant. Researchers in Cambridge, England, found that merely knowing a Facebook user’s likes was enough to predict attributes such as gender, race, sexual orientation, political party, potential drug use and personality traits — even if the user had shared none of that information.
Facebook says that it conducts not one but “over a thousand experiments each day,” and a former Facebook data scientist recently revealed that “experiments are run on every user at some point.” A 2012 study in Nature showed that a single tweak modifying an “I voted” button on Facebook increased turnout in the 2010 congressional elections by about 340,000 votes. That is enormous power.

The question to me:Why do I give such corporations the ability to track my most personal communication. I really do not care if companies are using to sell it marketing companies, but selling the information to background check companies so my boss knows my political views or that I am in recovery without him understanding the context of the situtation.  What happens if my boss knows that I am progressive because I feel that our current system of entreperuail capitialism is being destroyed by a cabal of big corporations which just swallow up all their compeition and huge private-equity vultures that are willing swallow companies on the whim and then tear them apart to make an bunch.  In essence, he could read all of the posts without the context of the views

All of the data mining is just raw data.  It is allow the user to make assumptions based on the information contained on the data points without understanding the context in which the data they received is based on.   My concern is that rogue companies will use the data on the whim to destroy people’s reputations or make life crazy for people.  What happened if that data was hacked by a hacker and used for some other nefarious purpose.

I think it is time that the Congress step in and pass a vigorous privacy law to protect the privacy of user’s data and that companies also the have the ability to use the data they need to pitch their product, but also does not invade our deepest, most personal secrets.  Libertarians believe in the belief in the protecting the freedom of the individual from an oppressive.  Yet, they do not blink an eye about corporations having our personal data and use it for nefarious purposes.

Personally, I trust the government more than rogue corporations out there.  Too guys who are trying to chase the quick buck results in people willing trade their values for the easy buck.  Than, that turns into the people who for the rogue corporations.

I do not think that Google and Facebook are rogue corporations.  But the people who they share the data with is what I am concerned about and I do not my personal information leaked to the company to the private bidder.

December 9, 2014 at 6:37 am Leave a comment


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