How interesting to see this thread being resurrected 3 years later.
What we know now that wasn't commonly known 3 years ago.
1. That there is a booming business out there that buys and sells consumer data. Let's call it "Big Data". With unlimited storage capacity, Amazon, Google, Facebook, Netflix, Twitter, YouTube, and others are tracking every purchase, every search, every "like", your social circle and what they are into, and the networks and associates that you are connected to. Once they've installed their cookies on your computer, they're tracking you. They scan your photos with facial recognition software and know who you were at the party with, they listen in on your conversations and even sex via Alexa, and they know when and where you drive your car. NSA is listening to every phone call. Most of us would be absolutely shocked to know how comprehensive and accurate the files that they keep on us are.
2. They can predict they kinds of shows you want to watch. They predict the products they think you'll buy. They predict when you're going out, what you'll order when you get there, and perhaps even what you'll wear.
They target their advertisements directly to what they assume you'll want, or what your circle of friends want. So not only are they catering to what they are increasingly sure you want, but they are also leading you toward their pre-set conclusions. Buy this. Vote like this. Support this cause. Think like this.
3. These people are not politically neutral. They have an agenda. If that sounds like crazy conspiracy guy, then smirk, but its true. Does anyone think Apple or Amazon or Google isn't trying to shape public opinion?
4. Your data is being sold. Constantly. Why would Facebook create this massive "free" infrastructure that billions of people use? How do you get income off of offering a free social website? Advertisers pay millions and millions because Facebook can target their message directly to the people most likely to buy their product or service.
5. The vast majority of people say, "Whatever" and click the "Acceptance of terms" page.
Sorry if this little rant just swerved violently into Cider Press territory, but it all goes back to Paul's OP: it's an invasion of privacy.
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Nicole Alderman wrote:They still ask these questions at each child wellness check-up. It rather aggravates me, because we're given a form with all these questions (how often does your baby breastfeed, do you serve juice, do you have feelings of postpartum depression, do you have guns in the house, do you have fluoride in your water, etc). We fill out a form while waiting for the doctor, and the doctor doesn't even discuss the questions with us. I could see asking those questions if the parent was going to be educated about the "right" answers...but they don't. What do they do with these questionnaires we fill out?
It's not just those questions. Why do they ask a ton of medical history if they are not going to use it? I have REALLY complex health stuff, if I fill out a form accurately, it's a chaotic mess. They glance at it, and that's it. Why do you ASK if you don't need to know and aren't going to use the information?! When I did medical work I had forms, I asked about everything I needed to know, and ONLY that. And I went over the forms, and asked about every single item that was checked, and took good notes, because I needed the information, that's WHY I asked! If I asked possible pregnancy status, that was to be sure I didn't hurt you or a baby, not so I could put you on a list that sells baby stuff. I wonder how much of the medical data on forms gets data mined. "Oooh, he had heart issues 10 years ago, put him on the email list of things to scare him about so he'll buy stuff from us!"
I needed to get test results back fast last week, I had to sign up for one of the hospital portal things. There was no decline option on the data mining. I read every word of the agreement, and damn near threw up as I clicked "accept." This is SO immoral.
I do not do fb, never have, I run ad blockers and cookie blockers, and everything I can. The only place I say things that could get me data mined is on permies, and I KNOW crawler bots run through here, they hit everyplace on the net. There is no place safe, and I HATE that. Permies is at least friendly, smart people to talk to as I feed the crawler bots. I wish the world wasn't like this. :( I hate feeling paranoid all the time. But turning a blind eye to it just means you don't see it coming up behind you, you can't attempt to avoid something you are not aware of.
I reread the OP here, Paul's thing on them asking questions in public that you don't want the answers to be public knowledge (if they even need it.). That, to me, is a criminal offense. I'm a dumpster diver, and I pay attention to things, and I have been stalked, and I KNOW how easy all of this is to milk for information. One guy in the room jots down your phone number as the receptionist reads it to you, and you may have a VERY serious problem. Throw away papers without shredding them, and I can tell you more than you would expect about your life from them. I'm not a problem, I have no malicious intent, I'm not going to use that information against people. There are people who do, and it's SO SO SO easy. "Shredding my papers is a pain in the ass!" Having your identity stolen is a LOT more effort to deal with. I wish I know how to wake people up.
I'm at Verizon waiting to get service and the guy in front of me is setting up service on a new phone. I've now heard his name, address and four digit security code.... Privacy in this type of situation is generally a joke. But I still try for me and to give it to others.
It's actually interesting to watch. I am very careful what I do online, I seldom if ever buy anything, I don't click on adds, I don't watch movies or sports. I don't have a TV. I have a 20 year old car and no cell phone. I pay cash for just about everything. I don't think their algorithms know what to do with me.
I can usually identify the "exploration" adds--"Lets see if she takes the bait. If she does, we have one more data point nailed." Which is really meaningless, since I usually click on stuff for one specific purpose and then I move back to familiar territory. And because I'm a writer I often research odd stuff.
But there's the programming aspect as well, and I see people falling for that all the time. Get asked once, you'll refuse. Get asked fifty or sixty times, you're likely to give in from simple exhaustion. And once you give in, even once, they've got you. Click "accept" and they know whether you read it or not by the amount of time spent on the page before you click--or if you selected the link to the actual document, or just read the company-verbiage precis. We're being programmed to accept this level of oversight, and the fact that we have no privacy. Think about yourself 20 years ago, and how you would have responded (or did respond) to these same attacks on your privacy.
Likely you would have responded very differently.
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