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Why 'Datafication of the World' Has Me Worried
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Re: Unwise use of data
  • 10/24/2013 12:54:51 PM
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..

Fabian writes (in his blog entry)


Given an economy increasingly relying on a business model grounded mainly in advertising and the exploitation of private data that it inevitably leads to, the probability for nefarious impact is considerably higher than the beneficial one ....

Don't get me wrong, wise use of big-data can yield serious benefits, some of which are already visible. But we should be at least as much concerned with the risks of datafication and technology as we are optimistic about their potential for good.

Increasingly there is too much of the latter and not enough of the former.


 

Right on target. I think this is in excellent framing of the Janus-faced character of the implications of big data.

 

Re: Unwise use of data
  • 6/22/2013 10:35:00 PM
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Broadway, this blind trust in government is a new phenomenon as the nation's founders were expressly more concerned with threats from government suppression than external ones. Since we don't have a long history of government oppression like other countries I suppose that is the basis but we are quickly catching up.

Re: Unwise use of data
  • 6/22/2013 10:24:06 PM
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@rbaz, be careful what you wish for. If we were to have a public debate -- a serious and honest one (which probably can't happen, but let's suspend disbelief) -- about this current issue of security for the greater good vs. privacy and constitutional rights, we would probably find that a majority of people in the US would agree to lose some of their rights in the name of that greater good. Americans typically have a greater trust in their government and authority figures (soldiers and police) than many other nations smartly do not.

Re: Unwise use of data
  • 6/22/2013 5:02:56 PM
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Callmebob , there has always been collaboration between government and industry especially in research but never before had it involve such deep intrusion and threats to individual rights. Government and industry represent their interest while no strong presence represent the average joe's interest. Unions are impotent and social/polical groups or associations are under attack. In pursuit of the greater good needs defining.

Re: Unwise use of data
  • 6/22/2013 2:28:12 PM
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I'm with you. Big government working in tandem with big business is unsettling. The Supreme Court has already ruled that Businesses are people. Politicians in government rely on business leaders to fund campaigns and initiatives and scratch each others' back. Now you have Government hiring Big Data contractors to do work for them.

Re: Unwise use of data
  • 6/21/2013 1:05:27 PM
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SaneIT,

Fines for violations CAN be effective if they are at the same level of the profits made--if the French, for example, fined Google a billion, I can assure you they would think twice about misuse, abuse and security. But the French just fined thenm 100.000 for six violations. It's a rather cheap cost of doing business.

The problem, of course, is that these humongous firms practically control politicians, of whom there are many corrupt, and are only interested in creating the impression that they are doing something.

Furthermore, privacy and security are a cost and if it does not affect profit in some tangible way, it's not gonna be treated properly. Besides, data thieves are always gonna be steps ahead of whatever steps companies take and they are much more sophisticated technologigally about hacking in that the companies are at protection.

Let's suppose they did apologize? Would that ensure it won't happen again? But let's suppose they were required to compensate individuals with attention-catching sums. Wouldn't you feel better then?

It's all in incentives. Create a system that rewards rather than punishes abuse/indifference and the consequences are predictable.

 

Re: Unwise use of data
  • 6/21/2013 7:30:54 AM
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We've talked before about who loses when data is lost and I agree that in most cases it is the individual who has the most potential for harm.  A company being fined doesn't put them in the situation that having your identity stolen does.  I have yet to see an apology from any of the companies who have been hacked that promises to make things right should an individual be harmed due to the data loss.  I've seen some offers for free credit monitoring but to me that's a cheap way to make people feel better without actually doing something, then of course when the free monitoring runs out, it becomes a pay to play service.

Re: Unwise use of data
  • 6/20/2013 3:07:07 PM
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sabala,

What fascinates me is what it would really take to trigger a US revolution.

Re: Unwise use of data
  • 6/20/2013 2:13:58 PM
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Viva La revolution! Your paper sounds fascinating. I'll look forward to it, Fabian.

Re: Unwise use of data
  • 6/20/2013 1:26:17 PM
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sabala,

I am well familiar with that chilling.

There is a good reason why advanced societies like the West have deteriorating education and its substitution with training. Conformism is preferred to critical thinking for obvious reasons.

Iam in the process of revising an old article I posted on my old site and will repost it on my new site: Lenin, Trotzky and the tyranny of knowledge and reason which you may find interesting.

 

 

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