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Creepy or convenient

personperson Where is my mind?'Merica! Veteran

I just opened a coupon mailer from Target and out of 18 coupons only 1 was for an item I don't buy often or sometimes. I do my grocery shopping there and use one of their debit cards to get %5 off all my purchases. That also lets them track all my purchases, so while nice getting coupons that I can use (one was for a free pint of Ben & Jerry's!) it's a bit of an old person shock to be confronted with this sort of change in what a company knows about me.

Several years ago Target sent coupons to a teen girl for pregnancy and baby items based on her shopping habits, causing her father to go to a store and yell at a manager only to find out later that indeed his daughter was pregnant.

This is the world today, do you welcome the convenience or does it worry you to have something know that much about you?

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Comments

  • DavidDavid some guy The Hammer in Ontario, Canada, eh Veteran
    edited January 1

    I heard Target has video and sensor tech that follows the shopper from display to display and tracks what interests them. Then it gets lined up with the (strangely) personal information they collect at the cash out.

    They know what you want to see on sale because they are creeping on you.

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Moderator

    Consider in fact, WHY they know those things about you.
    Because you 'bought' into it. You CHOSE to use their credit card, and so, part of that agreement is that they keep tabs on you.
    These tabs are designed with one thing, and one thing only, in mind: To tempt you to buy more and line their coffers and keep them successful.

    How moral or otherwise you consider that to be, is your choice.
    And remember. You don't have to take them up on it.

    dhammachick
  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran

    When it comes to things like this ...I'm reminded of Shatideva his wisdom is so profound...

    What's the worst that can happen?
    If it does what can you do about it?
    If you can do something about it...Why worry?
    And if you can't do anything about it...Why worry ?

    lobstereggsaviorSteve_BNirvana
  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Veteran
    edited January 1

    I pretty much have accepted that if I choose to use certain products that I will be watched and marketed to. If I don't like it, I will have to stop using those products. Some things have surprised me. I have had private conversations with my husband in our bedroom and been marketed the exact things we briefly talked about. Coincidence? Possibly. But we both have phones in the room, so perhaps not. We also have an Amazon Echo and I'm sure that listens in as well. For me, it's just kind of how things are so I accept the trade off of convenience at this point. I may or may not choose to stick with such things. A bit creepy, yes. But I'm still mostly nameless, faceless, and they are choosing products that match things I've expressed interest in. i actually found a few gifts because of those suggestions.

    That said, I am not a very private person. I mostly grew up with the internet and have used it since I was 17 or so. Sometimes I want to scrap the whole works, sometimes I am glad for it. It is harder for my parents (60s) who spent so much of their lives in private. The idea of anything becoming public is terrifying to them. I don't care so much. My mom doesn't post FB quizzes because they are too private. She has like 12 friends and they are questions like "Have you ever dyed your hair?" But yet she works in a public government job where her name and salary are public information. A decision everyone has to make I guess.

    lobsterperson
  • lobsterlobster Veteran
    edited January 1

    Tee Hee. Convenient ... and to direct the positive potential of ...

    The Amazon Echo does listen for key words. Smart phones are also partly designed for their listening capacity. Surprised if Google Android is selling your targetable words? Run for the hills! :o

    http://www.opendatafoundation.org

    This message sponsored by [### redacted ###]

    During my 'cushion fetish' days, I was doing a lot of searches on Google for 'cushions'. After a while a lot of images for jewellery came up, in particular 'precious jewels'.

    Something was afoot.

    After some research I found out 'cushion' can refer to a type of expensive ring setting/seating. Google data algorithm 'thought' I was in the market for expensive jewellery. :p I was - a precious, priceless stuffed support ... ;)

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Moderator

    It makes me laugh at times, when there is an outcry against intrusion, invasion of Privacy, and Big Brother tactics, as people protest about Officialdom snooping and wanting to know everything... they recoil in horror and indignation, protest and resist such tactics - then plaster message boards ilth all manner of seemingly innocuous information which actually, were they to know it, is scrutinised and viewed by those they purportedly protest about....

    There are what are known as 'Conscientious Hackers' who have two jobs: To protect the computer systems and all internal data from outside prying eyes, AND to access and infiltrate supposedly secure programs and discover and reveal whatever insider information exists that could be of use to their employers. My daughter's friend is such a person, and they work for a Government department, although not a high-up one.....

    One of his duties is to access the Facebook pages of potential employees to garner any information on their religious, racial, gender or political views. This apparently gives a window onto that person's true personality, character, language use and tendencies. Because Facebook is a Public Domain, the Data Protection Act is non-applicable, and such information is legal to obtain, if the purposes are justified, which apparently in this case, they are.

    In some circumstances, nothing is sacred. And like it or not, you are, and can be, watched.

    lobsterpersonVastmind
  • Steve_BSteve_B Far southwest corner of Indiana, USA Veteran
    edited January 1

    I don't see it as a choice to judge whether creepy or convenient. I think it has both attributes in small measure, but both miss the larger point, which is that it's really nothing more than an advancement in the craft of greed, which is itself the lifeblood and sustenance of our society.

    I also don't think there's anybody out there who now knows me, knows my likes, and manipulates me based on that knowledge. It's just algorithms responding to inputs. Nobody connected to it actually knows me in any meaningful (or scary) way. And nobody wants to know me. It's just a system gathering money. If I keep my money in my pocket, the system is innocuos to me.

    lobsterpersonkarasti
  • DavidDavid some guy The Hammer in Ontario, Canada, eh Veteran

    @Steve_B said:
    I don't see it as a choice to judge whether creepy or convenient. I think it has both attributes in small measure, but both miss the larger point, which is that it's really nothing more than an advancement in the craft of greed, which is itself the lifeblood and sustenance of our society.

    I also don't think there's anybody out there who now knows me, knows my likes, and manipulates me based on that knowledge. It's just algorithms responding to inputs. Nobody connected to it actually knows me in any meaningful (or scary) way. And nobody wants to know me. It's just a system gathering money. If I keep my money in my pocket, the system is innocuos to me.

    I know this and it still creeps me out.

  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Veteran

    So investigate what creeps you out about it. What are the feelings attached to the idea of it? And why are they there? What are you concerned could happen with such information? We each arrive at our own conclusions. You might find you aren't terribly worried once you process it all rather than just thinking "This creeps me out" and leaving it at that. You might find that it bothers you enough that you want to take extra steps to stay uninvolved in such systems. But either way, you arrive at a conclusion that works for you and steps you can take to not just be creeped out about it.

  • DavidDavid some guy The Hammer in Ontario, Canada, eh Veteran

    That's very true however I know why it creeps me out and how outlandish it most certainly is.

    I'm not really worried about prying eyes or that my favorite cereal is up for scrutiny. I'm just weary of an A.I. gaining easy access to my home when and if one ever gets out of hand.

  • personperson Where is my mind? 'Merica! Veteran

    I like that the deals offered are things I actually use rather than mostly stuff I'd never buy in the first place. I don't feel like it gets me to buy more than I might normally but it does keep me loyal.

    Part of the problem I see with this sort of customization though is that not only does it cater to us but it also reinforces our comfort zone. It may not be such an issue in terms of which groceries I buy but things like internet searches that are customized to our preferences or our Facebook feed keeps us from new ideas and new experiences.

    karasti
  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Veteran

    Indeed, I really dislike FBs entire way of deciding what it thinks I want to see. For myself, targeted ads do contribute to me buying stuff I don't need and later wonder why I bought. So that is something I need to be more careful of. But it was also responsible for some really neat gift ideas that I wouldn't likely have found on my own. I don't worry much about things like AI or the government going crazy on the citizens. I figure those with that kind of power already know enough about me if they wanted to blow up my house they'd do it before I ever knew they were after me.

    I do wonder how, in the future (perhaps the near future) all of our online stuff will be randomly targeted by hackers. As much as I think it's neat that my phone's location could tell a thermostat to turn on the furnace before I got home, I am not sure how much I trust even curious teenagers to mess with that stuff. And I think the more we give up our "control" of some things, the more dumb we become to understand how things work and then we cannot fix them, or operate them without the convenience if needed. I know so many people who can't even start a fire or filter water or jump their car because there is always something or someone to do it for them. i dont' want to lose or give up those basic skills.

  • nakazcidnakazcid Somewhere in Dixie, y'all Veteran

    What scares me about 'Big Data' as its called is not so much what they're doing with it now (marketing), but the potential for future abuse. What if a totalitarian/theocratic/fascist/whatever government comes to power, and orders Google, Facebook, etc. to start dumping all their tracking data into a government database? They can then target their opponents (or anyone they don't like or just disagree with) for persecution.

    Keromepersonlobster
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Moderator

    @nakazcid , I will say just be glad you don't live in either China or Russia.

  • KeromeKerome Did I fall in the forest? Europe Veteran
    edited January 1

    @nakazcid said:
    What scares me about 'Big Data' as its called is not so much what they're doing with it now (marketing), but the potential for future abuse. What if a totalitarian/theocratic/fascist/whatever government comes to power, and orders Google, Facebook, etc. to start dumping all their tracking data into a government database? They can then target their opponents (or anyone they don't like or just disagree with) for persecution.

    Many Chinese-made phones already come with rootkits in the firmware. Which allows the manufacturer to remotely read any data, install software, track the wearer, or take control of the device including listening to the microphone. Which is a pretty awful state of affairs.

  • nakazcidnakazcid Somewhere in Dixie, y'all Veteran

    @Kerome said:

    Many Chinese-made phones already come with rootkits in the firmware. Which allows the manufacturer to remotely read any data, install software, track the wearer, or take control of the device including listening to the microphone. Which is a pretty awful state of affairs.

    That's one reason I tend to avoid Android phones, as they're mostly made by Chinese companies in China. But even though my iPhone is "Designed in California", it's still made in China. Maybe I should get a...South Korean phone?

  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Veteran

    You'd have to know the imei code (which is easily obtainable from your phone) to work out exactly where it is from. Many Nokia's are still made in Finland, but not all, and you'd only know by looking up the code online. From what I gather anyhow.

    I have a hard enough time worrying about what to do about getting my college student back to college next weekend without wondering if a fascist regime will take over my country and detain me because of my political posts on FB or elsewhere. Is it possible? Sure. But it is not a concern at this point and worrying on that level will only incapacitate me from doing what I can do today. I'd prefer not to have a phone at all, however, having a diabetic kid, I have to be reachable all the time. We wouldn't die without it, but it would make things quite a bit more difficult and he'd have a lot less freedom.

  • nakazcidnakazcid Somewhere in Dixie, y'all Veteran

    @karasti A bit off topic, but if you just need to be reachable you could just get a "dumb" flip phone. Not having email and web on the move could be inconvenient though. And typing texts on a number pad was a real pain.

  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran

    By entertaining such thoughts, (not being mindful) and allowing them to run wild....Paranoia could set in and muck with the mind....

    lobsterBunks
  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    Yesterday I released GROWL 1.9 for Puppy Linux Operating System
    http://murga-linux.com/puppy/viewtopic.php?p=937659#937659

    It a security program for a Linux OS

    and yet ...

    • I tend to use an IPad
    • Don't encrypt or use GROWL myself
    • I do also still use Puppy, running from DVD ...

    The only difficulties I get with Puppy security is when running javascript in a browser which recently told me that 'Microsoft had detected malware on my system' and my computer would be locked for my protection. It was a scam. I do use javascript. (The browser WAS locked - so the browser was vulnerable on any Linux to this 'Lock up') I was not running Windows of course, so it clearly was not from MS.

    The other 'breach' is when running the probes and developing a new version of GROWL. Basically because of where I am going, researching etc Google throws up flags, these are passed on to to the security community who then take an interest in what I am doing . . .

    FUD (Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt is the mind killer)

    http://puppylinux.org/wikka/security

  • NirvanaNirvana aka BUBBA   `     `     ` `     ` Outa Range Fridays thru Sundays South Carolina, USA Veteran

    @federica said:
    @nakazcid , I will say just be glad you don't live in either China or Russia.

    One might add: the USA, after that Intrepidly traitorous Donald Jeepers Trump and his ilk take power. It is a historical fact that in times of national crisis or perceived national crisis, such as under the Wilson administration during World War I, rights and privileges get suspended in order for the president's program to proceed more smoothly. Labor gets swindled and big money gets rewarded.

    Now, under President Donald Jeepers-Creepers Trump it is clear that everything will become extremely urgent, and we will have this-and-that "Emergency" which will trump precedent and common reason.

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Moderator
    edited January 2

    Frankly, in my opinion, every Government under the sun is up to something shifty, some of which they keep secret because it is highly confidential and NOT in the public interest to be revealed (National Security threats and all that) but most of which they keep secret because they're shifty, sneaky, sometimes immoral and always looking out for number one. Therefore, be under no illusion that Trump is unique and the only one of his ilk. He's just very public and prominent in his evident slipperiness....

    silverSteve_BBunks
  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Veteran

    @nakazcid I actually tried a dumbed down phone, but with my carrier it was barely any cheaper for the lack of email. My sons' teachers and coaches all communicate via email. I don't use the phone for much use-email, text and phone. It's an older smart phone so it's paid for at least, lol.

  • NirvanaNirvana aka BUBBA   `     `     ` `     ` Outa Range Fridays thru Sundays South Carolina, USA Veteran
    edited January 2

    Demonizing classes, races, and ethnics is something that Hitler and Mussolini did. There's always some need for secrecy in government, and I seriously doubt that people such as Barack Obama are underhanded and naughty people. Geez.

    BTW, where I come from, Target is pronounced Tar-JHAY.

    I'm not sure I agree with this "Creepy or Convenient" paradigm. For me, it's more a matter of "Intrusive or Convenient?"

  • ZenCanuckZenCanuck Toronto, ON Explorer

    I'm getting to the point where I don't care what they know about me, if they know enough to not show me any more car or car-related advertising, since I don't own a car.

    OTOH, on Facebook they're showing me well-targeted clothing store ads. Too bad I don't have a lot of money right now to buy their cool stuff. Oh, look, there are some quickie loan ads now :)

    dhammachicksilverNele
  • DeformedDeformed Veteran
    edited January 4

    I don't find the small factoids about us, like specific items one has purchased, as concerning as the potential larger picture that is constructed out of smaller bits of data. The power that, say, a social media company like Facebook or Google can leverage just by putting together many many smaller pieces of data about you is a bit disturbing. From just consumer item consideration (google), to buying habits, to your topics of interactions with friends (Google, facebook), to where you travel (gps), it all paints a much bigger "map" of your overall patterns, and especially when other things about you can be predicted through formulas and such. That gives a huge amount of power to companies who everyone just happens to put enormous trust in with this data.

    So it's really the large volume of small, seemingly inconsequential pieces of data about you that are most concerning, imo.

    person
  • SpinyNormanSpinyNorman It's still all old bollocks Veteran

    I don't like cookies, and clean them out on shutdown. I stopped using my Tescos Clubcard because they kept sending me coupons for stuff they were promoting but I didn't want, and anyway I don't like people knowing about my shopping habits, particularly the ice-cream...

    Farcebook and Gargle are the spawn of the devil by the way, don't let their evil tentacles grab hold! :p

    Nirvana
  • NirvanaNirvana aka BUBBA   `     `     ` `     ` Outa Range Fridays thru Sundays South Carolina, USA Veteran

    @SpinyNorman said:

    Farcebook and Gargle are the spawn of the devil by the way, don't let their evil tentacles grab hold! :p

    ^ DOUBLE AWESOME!!!!

    I don't "get" this connecting to sites to buy or look at stuff through Facebook. What a Convenient way to compromise your security. No thank you, I never use passwords across sites.

  • KeromeKerome Did I fall in the forest? Europe Veteran

    These days I advise most of my friends to just use a password manager like LastPass. That way you can get it to generate strong passwords unique to each site which you won't be able to forget, and you only have to remember one decent password for your LastPass login.

    dhammachickkarastiAwakeningWisdom
  • dhammachickdhammachick crazy Aussie BUJU Sydney, Australia Veteran

    @Kerome said:
    These days I advise most of my friends to just use a password manager like LastPass. That way you can get it to generate strong passwords unique to each site which you won't be able to forget, and you only have to remember one decent password for your LastPass login.

    The IT Network support worker in me says thank you!!!!!! That's what everyone should be doing :+1:

    AwakeningWisdom
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Moderator

    I managed to get into the 'create account' page, but then it 'locked up' and wouldn't do anything. Now, after trying again, to get the free download, it won't even do that...

  • Steve_BSteve_B Far southwest corner of Indiana, USA Veteran

    I hereby appoint myself representative and spokesman of the Luddites, and proclaim:
    I detest passwords! I make them as simple and memorable as the rules allow, and iterate them when I have to change them. So when "#3Oboefish" expires, my new password will be "#4Oboefish." I print my employee number and passwords for all my accounts with a labelmaker and put them on my laptop next to the trackpad, along with the phone number of the cheerful multicultural Helpdesk. I have no idea what Lastpass is or how to use it, but it's hard to beat the simplicity and reliability of a labelmaker.

  • dhammachickdhammachick crazy Aussie BUJU Sydney, Australia Veteran
    edited January 12

    headdesk @Steve_B you are the stuff of a Network Engineer's nightmares. :anguished:

    Seeing a username and password recorded with the device still breaks me out in cold sweats :tongue:

  • SpinyNormanSpinyNorman It's still all old bollocks Veteran
    edited January 12

    My passwords include Pali words and mathematical constants. What fun!

    dhammachick
  • SpinyNormanSpinyNorman It's still all old bollocks Veteran

    @Kerome said:
    These days I advise most of my friends to just use a password manager like LastPass. That way you can get it to generate strong passwords unique to each site which you won't be able to forget, and you only have to remember one decent password for your LastPass login.

    What if LastPass get hacked or you forget that password?

  • Steve_BSteve_B Far southwest corner of Indiana, USA Veteran

    @dhammachick said:
    headdesk @Steve_B you are the stuff of a Network Engineer's nightmares. :anguished:

    Seeing a username and password recorded with the device still breaks me out in cold sweats :tongue:

    I know I say this in a tongue-in-cheek way, but in all seriousness, how likely is it that someone would actually take my laptop, access it, and start nosing around in my files? And what harm would realistically come from that if it did happen? I concede it's not zero, but it's very very low. Certainly not worth the constant aggravation of passwords for everything, changing passwords all the time, delays, helpdesks, helpdesk surveys, etc. My car keys are always in the ignition. My house is unlocked.

  • dhammachickdhammachick crazy Aussie BUJU Sydney, Australia Veteran

    @Steve_B said:

    @dhammachick said:
    headdesk @Steve_B you are the stuff of a Network Engineer's nightmares. :anguished:

    Seeing a username and password recorded with the device still breaks me out in cold sweats :tongue:

    I know I say this in a tongue-in-cheek way, but in all seriousness, how likely is it that someone would actually take my laptop, access it, and start nosing around in my files? And what harm would realistically come from that if it did happen? I concede it's not zero, but it's very very low. Certainly not worth the constant aggravation of passwords for everything, changing passwords all the time, delays, helpdesks, helpdesk surveys, etc. My car keys are always in the ignition. My house is unlocked.

    Well in a business environment it's actually against protocol in most businesses to leave your equipment in compromising situations. You'd be cautioned by HR and when commencing employment you sign a user agreement to not do what you do. When I saw breaches, I would go and reset the person's password and then they'd have to call me to get a new password.

    Steve_B
  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Veteran

    @Steve_B You'd be surprised how fast and easily someone can access your computer, install key loggers, and get all of your passwords. If you don't do anything you have to worry about other than social media, then you probably aren't very high risk (and if you secure your home network and don't use things like McDonald's, hotel and airport wifi). But if you do any banking or other types of things online, it's not that hard to get that information. I could care less if someone looks at my facebook. But my student loans (along with my information attached to my son's financial aid and school stuff), my taxes, and my banking are all online, so I am pretty cautious with those passwords. I simply know too many people who've had problems with their information being held "hostage" for money. It's amazing how common it is.

    Steve_B
  • Steve_BSteve_B Far southwest corner of Indiana, USA Veteran

    Of course you're both right on all counts. However, having battled technology to a tolerable stalemate, I'm certain to continue with my decades-long recalcitrance at this point. And better yet, I've noticed that I'm apparently contagious, as the rebellion is spreading in our workplace. As Abba Eban said, "Men -- and nations -- will behave wisely. But only after first exhausting all other possibilities."

    dhammachick
  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Veteran

    So I just read this article. it's long, but very interesting. It's about the psychoanalytical company Trump hired to run his campaign in the fall. Steve Bannon is on the board (which explains much more why he got the job he did) and perhaps why he's on the NSC now too). It has made me think much differently about this data we've been talking about. and all the silly quizzes I take on FB out of fun.

    http://motherboard.vice.com/read/big-data-cambridge-analytica-brexit-trump

    personShoshinlobster
  • personperson Where is my mind? 'Merica! Veteran

    @karasti said:
    So I just read this article. it's long, but very interesting. It's about the psychoanalytical company Trump hired to run his campaign in the fall. Steve Bannon is on the board (which explains much more why he got the job he did) and perhaps why he's on the NSC now too). It has made me think much differently about this data we've been talking about. and all the silly quizzes I take on FB out of fun.

    http://motherboard.vice.com/read/big-data-cambridge-analytica-brexit-trump

    Really good article, it goes a long way to explaining why Trump won despite all the indicators pointing towards Clinton.

    It definitely falls into the creepy category but I'm not overly concerned at the application in this case, it seems like just an improvement to target marketing. By the next election everyone will be using these tools. Go back to the Kennedy-Nixon debate and those who listened on the radio thought Nixon won while those who watched thought Kennedy won because Kennedy got the idea of wearing makeup and being photogenic before it was common knowledge. It looks like Trump did the same thing here, he used a powerful new tool and it not only got out his vote but suppressed the Clinton vote. When everyone uses it, the advantage won't be so powerful.

    It does make me wonder though, what other more devious ways could this be used to manipulate us?

    karasti
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Moderator

    I'm so glad I don't facebook.

    Bunks
  • @person said:
    It does make me wonder though, what other more devious ways could this be used to manipulate us?

    Tee Hee.

    First of all the article confirms part of what I have been aware was happening but not the mechanism. So many thanks @karasti.
    This profiling and online info bubble creation is being used for marketing as @person mentions. So for example as well as the paid ads, google also filters your initial page results to favour links that will make it money.

    How this interaction bubble is being created by our respective ministries of propoganda/communication I am not sure as this mechanism is not usually revealed. Perhaps someone is aware?

    Fortunately the awakened are also projecting and inserting memes, loop breakers, bubble bursts, postive reinforcement, behavoural models etc.

    Here is centuries old text, 'The Art of Worldly Wisdom' for those so inclined ...
    http://www.sacred-texts.com/eso/aww/aww10.htm

    person
  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Veteran
    edited January 31

    For my part, I never received a single ad, but my FB profile is full of Bernie likes and I'm about as liberal as they come, lol. So Trump wasn't interested in me. And I do try to do a good job of fact checking. I never trust a single thing on FB without verifying it from multiple credible sources. I've always tried to be an educated voter, but I'd guess 90% do not. (just based on what I see, no facts here, lol)

    I hope the dems are now aware of this so they can level the playing field. With Steve Bannon on their board, I wonder if he is so caught up in the conservative agenda that he will focus only on offering services to those campaigns? Or if he loves money enough to offer it to everyone. I know he's not the only decision maker of course. I would think he'd have to step down now that he holds such a high position in Trump's admin??

    On the flip side if more people were aware of how this worked, they could use it to their advantage, too. But that takes a lot of work and people like to work as much as noodles these days as far as challenging their thinking skills. I find it fascinating in an odd way. I doubt the people who really gave a lot of credence to the stuff they were targetted with will ever admit that was the case. They think they made educated discerning choices. But they can't explain why they believe the stuff they believe, which explains A LOT.

  • personperson Where is my mind? 'Merica! Veteran

    @federica said:
    I'm so glad I don't facebook.

    So you're aware, it's not just facebook. They get info on you from lots of places, credit card purchases, phone GPS and apps, internet activity, etc.

    karasti
  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Veteran

    Yes, indeed. FB is a major player because of all the quizzes people are willing to take and the vast pages people can "like" and so on. But they get it from everywhere. Every app you use on your phone tracks everything you do, including even how fast you move and what that means about your personality. All of that is tracked by the apps you use, even just messaging apps, and reported back, and when you install any app, you give them permission to do so. Amazon, netflix, even things like yelp all record data about you and what you are doing online. It's all built to collect data and sell it to whoever will pay for it. If you use the internet you are tracked and your data sold.

    With the information the company had that Trump was using, they created phone apps that allowed neighborhood canvassers to know which houses in their area were the ones that were most likely swing voters, and how to approach them using which information bits they were most likely to buy into and listen to. It's pretty crazy.

  • TiggerTigger Toronto, Canada Veteran

    I read the article about big data that you posted @karasti and I am seriously worried about what is happening. If this is all correct, we are in BIG trouble

  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Veteran

    This is what my uncle said about it, I tend to agree. The question is, do we just work with what is, or how do we otherwise teach people there is another way?

    "What does this all mean? One way to put it, very bluntly, honestly and perhaps a bit harshly, is that Americans, who are almost universally infatuated with superficial entertainment, appearance and material gain, are as easy to read as a Golden Book and as easy to manipulate as a simple wooden puppet, because self-mastery is essentially non-existent, and because they could hardly care less about being engaged citizens.

    It is interesting and important to not only understand the linked account of what happened, but to also contemplate the future -- a future in which Artificial Intelligence (AI) can be employed to accomplish similar manipulations and thereby achieve various specific results. Once the data collection methods and the basic algorithms are known, simple AI systems can and will do all the rest, with or without human guidance or interaction. Although AI has a long ways to go before it will be able to do most of what many have envisioned that it will someday be able to do, the abilities of AI to accomplish the tasks for the type of manipulation described in the article are already developed, as are the data collection methods and the analytical and manipulative algorithms, meaning the future for such manipulation of large populations is essentially now."

    The manipulation part the the possible consequences is what is worrisome to me. Here, we at least are aware of being able to attempt to see things for what they are, and try to question our own minds and where our opinions arise from. But this is not a normal practice for Americans who will not even begin to grasp what it means that their opinions, perhaps, aren't nearly so much their own as they think because they've never questioned it. It makes perfect sense to me now, like I said, why they can never answer as to why they feel or think a certain way about any topic. I doubt they know. :anguished:

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Moderator

    @person said:

    @federica said:
    I'm so glad I don't facebook.

    So you're aware, it's not just facebook. They get info on you from lots of places, credit card purchases, phone GPS and apps, internet activity, etc.

    No, I know, but at least it's one place they can't 'keep tabs' on me....

  • Steve_BSteve_B Far southwest corner of Indiana, USA Veteran
    edited February 1

    Karasti, thank you for posting that fascinating article.

    Reading it, I'm reminded that Country music publishers allegedly use data in a similar way. Songs with certain elements and phrases make more money. It also reminds me of Unilever Liverpool and the evolutionary biologist who became the world's best fluid dynamics designer with no background in that field. But I don't want to tell that story right now. What I do want to mention is this little tidbit from the article:

    What's Next?

    But to what extent did psychometric methods influence the outcome of the election? When asked, Cambridge Analytica was unwilling to provide any proof of the effectiveness of its campaign.

    Here's what I can now see is next. The use of this subliminal manipulation was not done for the election as an event, and it would be a mistake for us to continue to think of the election as a discrete event. The process was not temporally finite -- it is still happening. Bannon is in the White House. In the White house. Data is still being employed for manipulation of minds, apparently-berserk tweets are still being created and launched, still searching out dispersed collections of malleable minds, now with the full participation and political/financial backing of the country's chief executive and the resources at his command. And it's not just tweets of course. Odd, inscrutable, "berserk" actions. Why would we think they are not data driven and carefully choreographed?

    It wasn't just the election. It is also now the government -- this is how they are governing. They have, very literally, taken over the White House.

    lobsterkarastiperson
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