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Surveillance capitalism

Discussion in 'Speaker's Corner' started by mrochester, Mar 26, 2019.

  1. dowie

    Caporegime

    Joined: Jan 29, 2008

    Posts: 43,271

    ^^^ this tbh... I'm well aware that Facebook and google will make use of my data in order to target adverts better, I really don't care about this... I'm well aware that these tech firms are funded via advertising and that I'm going to see adverts when I use their services.... oh no I might have more relevant adverts???

    Who are you to dictate what business model google uses? If people are happy to use google and Facebook then frankly you can jog on... If you genuinely believe that there is some huge amount of profit out there to the point where you can successfully run one of these businesses by also paying users as well as giving them free services then you're free to attempt to set one up or indeed so are other entrepreneurs.

    If you don't want to give away your data then you can of course pay for e-mail etc... yourself.

    The irony perhaps is that the likes of google and Facebook are pretty damn secure and have tight internal controls protecting you and your data... yet I presume you shop online etc... and give personal details away to any number of people/businesses - the fact you're posting on these forums alone is testament to that. You're already giving your data

    This has got nothing to do with his point about data though. He said:

    "Let’s hope Apple continue to not monetise user data. They are the last bastion."

    And you're questioning it by having a rant about some customer service issues etc.. and moaning about their products which has got nothing to do with monetising user data.
     
  2. wesimmo

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    Joined: Mar 19, 2012

    Posts: 2,628

    The OP has delusions of grandeur TBH.

    Nobody cares about you and what you're doing, as long as it's not terrorism or serious crime, in which case I'm all for you being monitored.

    Your data on its own is worth nothing, Google actually monetise your data for you and provide you a service in return, and a damn good one at that.

    Whatever they make out of me, they're worth it, as are Facebook, e.g.there's nothing greater as a parent than to be reminded of things that happened years ago when your child was younger.
     
  3. mrochester

    Soldato

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    Location: Newcastle upon Tyne

    All other manufacturers have worse products that use android rather than iOS.
     
  4. mrochester

    Soldato

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    No delusions of grandeur, just an understanding of the value of data and how it is being used by google et al to manipulate users to stay engaged with the platform so that they can mine you for even more data, further profiting from you.

    As people slowly wake up to what is happening to them the backlash against these companies will increase. We must enact tough regulation that gives power and control back to the user instead of continuing to be under the thumb of these big businesses.
     
  5. D.P.

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    Except you are the one that doesn't seem to understand the value of your data.

    Offering a product that people want is also not manipulation
     
  6. mrochester

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    I definitely understand the value of my data.

    The product is not the manipulation. The manipulation is in the algorithm that is tuned to influence your behaviour once you are already engaged with the product, and the algorithm gets better and better and more and more profitable for google the longer you use their product. And you have NO idea how that algorithm works or that you are being subtlety nudged in the direction that google wants you to go.

    You are basically a resource that google mines to generate profit.
     
  7. D.P.

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    just like every company then. Do you have any idea how much you are manipulated every time you walk in to a super market or eat a packet of crisps?
     
  8. anksta

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    Joined: Jan 19, 2005

    Posts: 2,718

    Apple's policies towards its hardware is definitely one of the worst out there no argument there, as a traditional capitalist it does annoy me. Having to send out profit warning letters because your company only makes 90 billion dollars is a bit of a joke.

    But, this debate is around surveillance capitalism, which while maybe not being as immediately damaging to the environment and lots of other things, is a far more insidious and dangerous aspect of big tech, and in that domain, Apple is the least worst and that distinction shouldn't be overlooked.

    This is honestly the worst attitude. You think that the data they're using about you is the data you hand over, age, location, interests etc. and then they serve up some nice relevant ads and that's it. They are reading your emails, the websites you visit that have nothing to do with their companies, the places you visit in regular life, whether you have kids, what your kids might like.

    It isn't about "serving relevant ads" either, that's such a tired excuse, it's about predicting your behaviour, you as an individual. I already gave one example above around prediction behaviour and yet the responses are still all around "well pay for the service then, I like relevant ads" but you aren't given that choice in a lot of areas are you, even after you have paid for the service in many regards. If you pay the best part of a grand for a Google phone, you should own it and everything it produces, but you don't, and if you go through and begin to disable settings preventing it from mining you for profit, you begin to lose functionality. If they said you can have this phone for 500 quid but we'll mine everything from it for data, or a grand and we won't, then that would at least have a bit of honesty, but they don't, they rely, and profit, on your ignorance.

    I said this above, privacy is the 21st century's environment crisis, the fact that you don't think it's an issue, doesn't mean it isn't.
     
  9. anksta

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    Yeah I do know, but the supermarket I walk into is the exact same one everyone else walks into. It isn't an entirely different supermarket dependent on my past behaviour in a dentists office, at the cinema, how fast I walk, the amount of time I looked at a person in the street and the topics of conversation I had in the pub with friends. And the next time I walk into that supermarket it'll still be the same one.

    Equating traditional advertising and marketing with the sophistication of AI powered tracking and customising is flat out incorrect. You are poorly informed.

    Let's say I'm wrong for argument's sake. In the pockets and the homes of virtually every single one of us is a device or devices that are capable of listening to our every words, of logging where we go, when and for how long, capable of recording every key stroke, of analysing every picture we take and every song we listen to. That's all possible from a technological perspective I hope you wouldn't argue that, they aren't doing it apparently, but they are capable of it. Then you have the companies that are responsible for this technology, whose profits are based almost solely on the ability to sell attention space to companies who want the best bang for their buck.

    If your argument is that they're not, why wouldn't they? There's no law in place that says they can't, and what laws that are in place they either helped to write, are written by people who ask Mark Zuckerberg how Facebook makes any money at all, or dragged out long enough for them to supersede.

    And if your argument is that they can't because of the technological limitations on uploading and analysing that amount of data (which it isn't) then surely we're just approaching the cliff rather than, what the reality actually is, that we're already plummeting towards a dystopia of manipulation and control.
     
  10. mrochester

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    The difference is these companies don’t have the depth of data that google has.
     
  11. D.P.

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    Now you are in full on tin foil conspiracy zone
     
  12. mrochester

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    Do people really believe the only information google has about them is what they volunteer via a form (age, sex, address, phone number etc)?

    Apparently people do, which is what I was saying in my original post, that people are incredibly naive and ignorant about how insidious the data collection is.
     
  13. mrochester

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    Being aware of what is going on isn’t ‘tin foil conspiracy zone’, it’s called being informed.
     
  14. platypus

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    Good post. I've never underststood this blase attitude either, and I've said it many a time. It's the people who say "I have nothing to hide" that are the worst.

    People may be ok selling their intimate privacies away, but by doing so they're making it ok for these companies to do it to everyone. As you alluded to, it's a selfish attitude, and if it was a government doing it (believe me, they do) then people would be up in arms about civil liberties, or certainly should be, but because its a company that makes it easier for you to see adverts that you're interested in its suddenly ok.

    The real - tin foil hat - danger for me is when companies start using this data for more than advertising. Google already have a tie in with the NHS, it really isn't a giant paranoid leap to see insurance companies wanting to have access to all this health data.
     
  15. anksta

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    I think it's more that they're not aware what they can infer or extrapolate from those data points. If you play that 20 questions game on that Akira, Akala, Akido? or whatever it's called you see how quickly it nails exactly who you're thinking of without ever asking anything seemingly explicit. That's one average website and it has a database of a few hundred thousand relatively famous people.

    Big tech companies are doing that every second with info that includes you. A brand says "who can we get to buy insurance and how" and then play 20 questions until they get a select demographic that includes you, and it's not a demographic dataset as in "over 40s earning above middle income salary" it's "over 40s with a propensity for motorsports, a well hidden touch of xenophobia, kids in university, a rocky marriage" and on, and on.
     
  16. platypus

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    Except your child hasn't made a decision for you to violate their privacy, have they?
     
  17. platypus

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    I think Dolphs post, and your response shows a worrying level of naievity, if you think Google/et al. are using your data to merely better target ads. Also if you think they're merely collecting data that you think you've authorised for them to collect.

    The long game is about data sets. Vast, connected, interweaving data sets of such a complete picture of everything you do. Yep right now all Google may do with that data is sell you adverts (it isn't, thats just all you see of its usage). But what happens when a government turns to Google, or whoemver, and asks them to integrate that data into certain services? We've already had a Google tie in with the NHS where the NHS illegally gave Google access to 1.6 million health records. How often do we see data breaches? Even if Google, or whomever, had the most benign of intentions, it's more the companies that they sell your data to - largely unbeknownst to you - that may have nefarious intentions with your data, or an inability to secure it properly leading to someone with criminal intent getting their hands on your data.

    Finally, what makes me most mad about your blasé attitude - and that of society at large: we seem to be giving up our right to privacy, and all for more convenience and "better targeted ads", and no one cares. So people empower these companies to act like this, and it affects me and my family. What will the generations following do? "Thanks mum/dad for putting my life on social media, but actually I want my privacy back"? Tough, because you no longer own anything you put on line, and worse, your children - who in many cases have no say and know no better - don't own anything that their parents put online of them. My child will go to school with kids who's parents have the same selfish and blasé attitude as people like yourself towards privacy, and as a result want a social media profile and all the rest of it.

    Just because you don't care and don't know enough to worry about privacy doesn't mean that we as a society shouldn't. That is what makes me mad, whenever this sort of debate raises its ugly head.
     
  18. edscdk

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    having seen how apple make their products hard to repair I have stopped suggesting apple to anyone, the obviously want devices locked to users obsoleted after 18 months, rented if possible and not fixable
     
  19. edscdk

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    once AI is properly trained, expect police knocking on your door expressing concern that you fit the profile of and X Y or Z according to their AI systems and you should come with the for "education"... first it will be terrorists, pedos criminals, then it will move to "people thinking wrong"
     
  20. dowie

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    No "they" don't personally read my e-mails no person reads my e-mails but rather their contents are used for better targeting of ads.

    Again, oh no I'll get more relevant advertising in return for a free service... if you're a conspiraloon and you don't want gmail then no one is forcing you to use it.

    It is about advertising, that is their main source of income to claim it isn't about serving relative ads is very naive,.

    I've not claimed there are no privacy issues, perhaps try and deal with what I have posted instead of throwing in straw man arguments. You're more likely to have privacy issues with smaller app makers, smaller companies than you will with the likes of google and Facebook etc...