A Pew Research study last month took a look at how Americans’ attitudes regarding data and privacy have changed in a post-Snowden world. The findings show that “Americans feel privacy is important in their daily lives in a number of essential ways. Yet, they have a pervasive sense that they are under surveillance when in public and very few feel they have a great deal of control over the data that is collected about them and how it is used.”
Face recognition technology is a powerful way to confirm identity, like fingerprinting. But unlike fingerprinting, it can be done at a distance and without our knowledge or consent. Like other technologies that risk our privacy, opponents fear that it will give unprecedented reach to government, law enforcement and corporations who want to surveil citizens. Think Minority Report . Think 1984.
As of this writing, if you Google the words “Facebook” and “privacy,” the fourth result is an article about a lawsuit over privacy concerns. According to International Business Times , “The complaint centers around Facebook’s photo-tagging feature,” and the revelation that Facebook is creating “shadow-profiles” of non-users. Facebook is using “biometric” face recognition technology to collect data on not only its users, but on everyone else who shows up in its pages as well—which violates Illinois law.
New research has indicated that people are not comfortable with their data being used to categorise and target them, and that they feel they should have more control over how their information is used. But is convenience more valuable than privacy?
Would you pay to use Facebook? Not as a marketer, but as a regular user? An op-ed by Zeynep Tufekci in The New York Times argues that we are all already paying for our Facebook and Google use, only the currency is loss of privacy and control over our own data. In the article, “Mark Zuckerberg, Let Me Pay for Facebook,” Tufekci argues that ad-financed Internet platforms aren’t free, and they don’t serve their users very well. Or even themselves.
We live in an age of really, really huge tech companies like Apple, Google, Microsoft, etc, and one of the great things about this age is that these companies have lots of excess cash. It's an advantage because lately, tech companies seem to be in the habit of taking their excess cash and throwing big piles of it at technological problems and projects.
This week I moderated another Social Media Today webinar as part of their Best Thinker webinar series, this time on the topic of Protecting Your Brand: Privacy, Risk and Compliance. This webinar was sponsored by Tracx and featured speakers from PwC, Actiance, and Tracx. We discussed the risks in social media which we so often ignore.
Citizenfour, the documentary on Edward Snowden's data release of U.S. Government surveillance programs, brought terms like "Deep Web" and "Dark Net" into our daily language. But what are these things and how do you access them?