Tag: Privacy

Keeping secrets

I tried to keep my unborn child secret from Facebook and Google by James Temperton

This lack of control, when you pause to think about it, is alarming. Short of throwing off the shackles of modern life and taking up a nomadic existence on the Great Steppe, keeping anything secret from the internet – or exercising any real control over how your personal data is used and abused – is nigh on impossible. For Brockell and the thousands of other people dealing with the loss of a child, that lack of control is hugely upsetting. For others, attempting to exert control over what happens to your data reveals the impossibility of our privacy predicament.

This statement, “Police the social media use of anyone who knows about the pregnancy and might inadvertently post about it”, borders on harassment and controlling other people’s free speech. Even in the age before computers and the Internet, a wise person would tell you “A secret once told is no longer a secret”. Also, I…

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Photo CC0 by Matthew Henry On Unsplash

Thieves of Experience: How Google and Facebook Corrupted Capitalism

Thieves of Experience: How Google and Facebook Corrupted Capitalism by Nicholas Carr

Silicon Valley’s Phoenix-like resurrection is a story of ingenuity and initiative. It is also a story of callousness, predation, and deceit. Harvard Business School professor emerita Shoshana Zuboff argues in her new book that the Valley’s wealth and power are predicated on an insidious, essentially pathological form of private enterprise — what she calls “surveillance capitalism.” Pioneered by Google, perfected by Facebook, and now spreading throughout the economy, surveillance capitalism uses human life as its raw material. Our everyday experiences, distilled into data, have become a privately owned business asset used to predict and mold our behavior, whether we’re shopping or socializing, working or voting.

Zuboff’s fierce indictment of the big internet firms goes beyond the usual condemnations of privacy violations and monopolistic practices. To her, such criticisms are sideshows, distractions that blind us to a graver danger: By reengineering the economy and society to their own benefit, Google and Facebook are perverting capitalism in a way that undermines personal freedom and corrodes democracy.

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