Loss of Privacy

 As everything on the internet is open, marketable & transparent, eg Google can collect data from

- Google+ (contacts, photos, etc)

- Phone (time, date & call duration, SMS details)

- YouTube (videos you watch, etc)

- Apps (documents & calendar. etc)

- Your device (browser details, unique device no., mobile network, search history, interests, etc)

- GPS (current location, etc)

- Gmail (contact list, messages, etc)

More on loss of privacy (private information can be harvested, stored, analysed and sold. For example, facial recognition technologies allow governments to spy on their citizens

"...how companies disseminate and monetarise our browsing habits, whereabouts, social media actions; how hackers can break into our home security system and nanny cams and steal their data or reprogram them......smart homes are able to understand our physical and emotional states..."

Judith Shulevitz 2018

Google's response to a lawsuit against ad-targeting

"...A person has no legitimate expectation in privacy in information he voluntary turns over to third parties..."

as quoted by James Hutchinson et al, 2014

Even though Google is known as a search engine and e-mail service, 84% of its 2013 revenue (around US$ 60B) comes from advertising based on information it has about people's lives.

"... Everything you search or write in a Google service - especially the free services - is up for grabs by advertisers..."

James Hutchinson et al, 2014

Our willingness to give up our data, for free, has allowed Internet companies to create vast monopolies or oligopolies that build fortunes.

"...They pay very little tax, employ very few people and manipulate what see, while selling our data to others for enormous sum. We have been lured into spending most of our lives on the Internet and giving away all our research and other usable data for free......we have to change......massive and dangerous flaws in our platform-based, network, networked digitised economy by giving individuals the ability to control and charge for the information and content that they own and create by living their lives online..."

Jaron Lanier (computer scientist who helped pioneer virtual reality in the 1980s) as quoted by Joanna Gray, 2016d

An example of loss of privacy is USA's National Security Agency (NSA)

- under "Prism" (surveillance system). NSA and others are able to access private information, eg e-mails and Internet communications, from hundreds of millions of users. - this information is stored by major players in social media/Internet/telecommunications sector like Google, Facebook, Yahoo, Microsoft, Skype, Apple, AT&T, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, etc
- also, NSA stole information by tapping into the undersea cables of Google and Yahoo; it implanted spying devices in a 850,000 + computer systems in around 90 countries (Snowdon, 2014)

Concerns about privacy mainly centre around 2 Internet organisations, ie Google and Facebook. In fact, Google has considerably more access to private data, in terms of quantity and sensitivity, than Facebook

"...Google has a much bigger footprint when it comes to tracking and profiling everyday lives of billions of people..." 

Wolfie Christi as quoted by 
Drew Harwell 2018 

"...people who have downloaded there Facebook data have been surprised to find catalogues of their online relationships, events and messages, as well as which advertiser has their contact information. The download of one's Google trove could be even more exhaustive, including users' full browsing and searching and by-the-second data on their activities and real-time locations..." 

Drew Harwell 2018 

"...Google's parent company, Alphabet, runs the world's most popular search engine ( Google), smart phone operating system (android), Web browser (Chrome), video site (YouTube) and e-mail service (Gmail) giving the company unprecedented details of its users' daily lives.

Google and Facebook share a duopoly that dominates online advertising, and Google shows no signs of slowing down. It is considered an industry leader in driverless car development (Waymo), smart-home appliances (Nest), and artificial intelligence (through Google AI and Deep Mind), all of which need users' data to thrive..."

Drew Harwell 2018 

Both Google and Facebook were used by Russian sources to spread misinformation during the 2016 US presidential election.

Cambridge Analytica's use of data from around 90 million worldwide users has exposed Facebook's lax policies on privacy and highlights customers' fear about how their data might be used against them.

In addition to the concerns with tech giants (Facebook, Google, etc) around privacy and online data collection, there are other areas of concern like Internet connected, smart TVs. These TVs allow data companies to identify what people are watching, on a second-by-second basis, and share this information with other companies to send targeted advertisements to the TV and other devices (like mobile gadgets); without the knowledge or consent of owners. It is persuasive monitoring on your TV. Marketeers are keen to get their products in front of the people most likely to buy their products. An example of a smart TV company is Samba TV,

"...Samba TV is one of the biggest companies tracking viewers' information to make personalised show recommendations. The company said it collected viewing data from 13.5 million smart TVs in United States......a company with little name recognition tracking your behaviour, then slicing and dicing it to sell ads..."

Sapna Maheshwari, 2018

In 2018 these smart TV companies are not subject to the strict rules and regulations regarding viewing data that has traditionally applied to cable companies.

Google classifies the data it collects into 3 categories:

i) things you do (what you search for, which websites and videos you look at and where you went) 

ii) things you create (your e-mails, contacts, calendar events, photos, documents, etc) 

iii) things that make you 'you' (name, birthday, e-mail addresses, phone numbers, etc)

There is an expectation that things on the Internet should be free like use of Google maps, applications on Facebook and Instagram, etc. Furthermore, there is an expectation that the Internet is a wide open space, without government interference and available to be used at no cost to anybody with the interest and means to get online. 

The entrepreneurs on the Internet usually make money by selling advertising, ie 

"...The Silicon Valley firms offered advertisers a different deal, though, not the mass market approach of a 30-second radio spot or a quarter of a newspaper page. Facebook promises ads in front of the eyeballs of just the right person, having learnt who had what by paying attention to online activity..." 

Lee Schafer 2018 

What is your personal data worth? 

in 2017 "...Facebook generated about $US 19.5 billion in the US and Canada and revenue from its users, working back to around $US82 each...... applying expenses and taxes, the value of the date is around $US20.72..." 

People finding out, via Internet & social media, sensitive Government information before it is released to the general public

Phishing (spear-phishing) = when staff who have access to sensitive information are fooled into supplying it to those that shouldn't have it, eg mistakenly clicking on a fake email from your bank, etc. The weakest link is the human element

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