How your data is used against you
20th March, 2015 —
Starting our list of links from the last week is a couple of brilliant, and accessible, TED talks. Big thanks to Rose Weisburd for helping me find a lot of resources this week.
How your data is being used
The curly fry conundrum: Why social media “likes” say more than you might think
TED talk by Jennifer Golbeck.
How algorithms shape our world
“We live in a world run by algorithms, computer programs that make decisions or solve problems for us. In this riveting, funny talk, Kevin Slavin shows how modern algorithms determine stock prices, espionage tactics, even the movies you watch. But, he asks: If we depend on complex algorithms to manage our daily decisions — when do we start to lose control?” TED talk by Kevin Slavin.
Welcome to the Brave New World of Persuasion Profiling
“If persuasion profiling makes it possible for a coaching device to shout “You can do it” to people who like positive reinforcement, in theory it could also enable politicians to make personalized appeals based on each voter’s particular fears.” By Eli Pariser on Wired.
The Politics of Trending
“Through this lens, trending is merely visibility granted by the algorithms of a closed, private corporation… Indeed, Twitter is not designed as public even as it fundamentally derives from public input and data, and parades as common grounds.” By Eunsong Kim on Model View Culture.
Twitter puts trillions of tweets up for sale to data miners
“Computer systems are already aggregating trillions of tweets from the microblogging site, sorting and sifting through countless conversations, following the banter and blustering, ideas and opinions of its 288 million users in search of commercial opportunities.” By Juliette Garside on The Guardian.
Never trust a corporation to do a library’s job
“As it turns out, organizing the world’s information isn’t always profitable. Projects that preserve the past for the public good aren’t really a big profit center. Old Google knew that, but didn’t seem to care.” By Andy Baio on Medium.
Data ownership and regulation
Data ownership in an undercompensated world
“3 problems - 1. Income Inequality, 2. Misaligned Profit-User Incentives, 3. Corporate-Government Surveillance” Jeremiah Lee's fantastic talk from SXSW.
Why the cookies law wasn't fully baked – and how to avoid being tracked online
“A study lead by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) showed that 94% of UK websites feature a banner or some other cookie warning – well above the European average of 74%. However, it also found that British sites place an average of 44 cookies on your first visit, well above the average of 34 across the European countries surveyed.” By Nicole Kobie on The Guardian.
Bring Antitrust Action Against Google and Other Big Data Platforms
“There is a strong argument that federal regulators should be looking at how to structure data platform sectors to both promote more competition and encourage more consumer power within those sectors. Given the near-monopoly of certain platforms in search advertising and social networking, European regulators are already looking closely at the connection between industry concentration and the loss of consumer privacy.” Data Justice Policy Campaign.
Global opposition to USA big brother mass surveillance
“Tech companies have a choice to make about the future of the internet. Should it be a place for expression, or repression? They can ask their users to leave privacy rights at the door when logging on, or give them control over their personal data,” said Salil Shetty.” on Amnesty International.
Free Your Data
“Free Your Data is an initiative and a movement to enlighten, inform and challenge you with the truth behind what happens to your data. Together we will make our voices heard, initiate change and create a lasting impact on the way our data is treated.” Campaign for data ownership.
The “sharing economy”
Series: The real sharing economy
“Sharing, real sharing, could allow humanity as a whole to produce, consume, and emit less while improving quality of life through greater social interactions, fairer wealth distribution, and stronger community relationships. But sharing needs to go far beyond profit-seeking smartphone apps for unregulated taxi services (Uber) and vacation rentals (Airbnb).” A new series about Sharing on Grist.
The sharing economy is bullsh!t. Here’s how we can take it back
“‘Sharing’ has been appropriated and stripped of all meaning by people trying to sell you things, much like sustainability was. Once “green” became hip and important about a decade ago, corporate bigwigs started preaching about sustainable profits and misleading eco-labels got slapped on single-use disposable plastic water bottles. These days, share-washing is the new greenwashing.” By Sam Bliss on Grist.
What the Sharing Economy Takes
“Sharing is a good thing, we learned in kindergarten, but that wisdom was soon called into question by the grown-up world of getting and spending. Now, New Age capitalism has spun out a wonderful invention: the “sharing economy,” which holds out the promise of using technology to connect disparate individuals in mutually profitable enterprise, or at least in warm feelings.” By Doug Henwood on The Nation.
For Tech Titans, Sharing Has Its Limits
“In an email disclosed in the case, a lawyer for Mr. Zuckerberg wrote to the opposing lawyer, “As your client knows, Mr. Zuckerberg goes to great lengths to protect the privacy of his personal life.” Which adds a wrinkle: Some people requiring nondisclosure are the very ones who have built an industry on its opposite, the disclosure of personal information.” By Matt Richtel on The New York Times.