Duct Tape Dude wrote:
Eh. Seems like FUD to me. We've been at this point for awhile, imo. There's no such thing as privacy anymore, but there is anonymity.
Devices collect data all the time but with the exception of bad actors or state actors, no one would want to tie all that data back to _you_ specifically. Unless you're doing something illegal perhaps.
Heck, in the cable industry, they go as far as to anonymize the mac address of your settop box before sending it to advertisers. No one cares about you! They care about your habit data that gets tied to some arbitrary ID. You are not a human being surveilled by another human. You are a bunch of habits tied to some number in a database for advertising robots, and while it may be uncanny at times, robots don't judge.
By buying into any major tech ecosystem you become one in a billion. Yes, companies make money off the data you generate. But you get all their services in return, and your anonymized data lets robots develop even better future services.
Tell that to the sex workers who got outed by Facebook
And it's not like these people weren't being careful. These people know how to use totally separate accounts, sometimes even completely different devices, and yet big data algorithms trace them back to the same person. Those seemingly-innocuous little buttons present on every site feed back huge amounts of data, so much so that the likes of Facebook and Google almost certainly know not just our real names, but also those of our online alts.
Check out Episode 2 of the BBC documentary 'Secrets of Silicon Valley'
. It starts off interviewing some of the (super smart) people who ran the Trump campaign, and shows a glimpse of what Facebook is capable of. Despite having to work with limited information (such as what beer, or which musicians someone has liked), it is able to estimate someone's personality, right down to their intelligence, religious leanings, and political inclinations.
And yet as you say we happily give them our information. The convenience afforded by Google's services are such that we choose to be spied on
, but that choice may have been made in underestimation of the capabilities of big data. Time to re-read Cyril's editorial, I guess. Can't believe it's been four and a half years since then.