I was a bit disappointed in this week’s content. I didn’t feel like there was anything “new” to me and I don;t think my views really changed at all. I’ve been aware of the big tech hoovering and redistributing of data for a long time. It turns out that knowing your customers makes it easier to serve them ads they might actually click on. One of those ads prompted me to go with a different mortgage lender when the lender I was originally talking too ended up taking way to long to respond.
Targeted ads and tracking of user behavior is important. Amazon wants to know if I keep throwing things into my shopping cart or wishlist, but never checking out. If Facebook also knows the things I threw into my amazon cart or on a wishlist, but didn’t buy yet, they can put up tons of ads for the competitors that are 20% less. In that case, everybody wins.
I could attempt to use the Internet in a way that thoroughly anonymizes myself, but I’m not even willing to use duckduckgo for my web searches. Google just performs a little better and I don’t care about my privacy all that much.
Glenn Greenwald says that our actions universally show we greatly value privacy, because no one is willing to turn over their account info for him to read whenever he’d like. I’d argue that the fact that these account are gmail accounts, where ALL of the user’s email is already read by a computer shows that some forms of privacy or more important to us than others.
I wasn’t at all bothered upon hearing that Uber attempts to have you always allow location access. It makes total sense to me that Uber would want and use that data for the purpose of picking up and dropping off (and analyzing traffic patterns). But that EXACT SAME data that doesn’t bother me at all when Uber gathers it, seems like a terrible invasion of privacy when I hear that Uber’s top officers personally tracked an individual’s movements in real-time without their knowledge.
The capacity for information to be misused does not bother me overly much, but I am (and expect to remain) bothered only by the actual abuse of that information.