Every Now and Then...

So yeah, every now and then I find something that is disturbingly accurate…

Well, I don’t really care about them having all the info that they have, I’ve got nothing to hide and I actually like personalised ads

The title/alt text is better:

Exactly companies need this data to sell on to other companies that determine if you are suitable for a mortgage, medical insurance, can work at a hospital, with children, be allowed to operate heavy machinery… and so on. Algorithms that determine your future need training data and then unlabelled data to classify.

If you really think that Chris, please let me login to your PC. While you might not have anything to hide, others may have.

Its not that they are collecting the data, its that they (Facebook in particular) aren’t open about what they are doing with said data. Sure, some of it is going to data collection databases and being sold to marketing research places, but there are other, undisclosed places that data is being funneled. I actually was pretty unaware of that fact until Notch (of Minecraft fame) completely scrapped the progress of Minecraft for Occuls Rift once FB acquired that tech stating that he was uncomfortable with what they were doing with personal data and their clandestine manner of obfuscating where that data might be going or what it might be used for.

The fact of the matter is, when you sign up for one of these sites you are met with a EULA/Terms and Conditions/whatever that contains a bunch of packed in jargon about this and that and nobody ever reads it…but you still agree to it. It can be a little unnerving knowing that some skynet-esque algorithm is mining your data in some vaguely Orwellian way that hasn’t disclosed its ultimate purpose, but it is up to you as a user to weigh the pros and cons of that situation; Is them and their possibly evil overlords collecting my data worth the service they provide?

From a personal standpoint, I don’t trust Facebook at all after they made a tweak a few years back (I’ve been on the site since just around its public launch WAY back when you were required to use an ‘edu’ email to get in) that added the very ominous ‘anything you post on facebook becomes the property of facebook and we can use it however we feel’. Up until that point I was maintaining a small group of writers that would write short stories each month and share it with the group via FB, following that shift I no longer felt comfortable with that and very quickly removed all of my art and writing…the problem then being that their policy also comes with the runner that data you ‘delete’ is never really deleted. That permanence is part of my main issue with them as well.

I will not drop any speculation on what their ultimate goal may be, but I will speculate that its probably less of an evil plot and more of a slightly less evil, greedy business plan.