Running Naked through the Internet category archive
From time to time, I have heard Bob Cesca suggest on his podcast, when discussing some particularly egregious “social” media mischief, that “we are not ready for the internet.”
Now comes psychologist Glenn Geher to say much the same thing, using the slightly more scholarly term of “evolutionary mismatch.” Here’s a bit from his article (emphasis added):
The human mind evolved under conditions that are, in many ways, quite different from the conditions that so many of us find ourselves in today. During the lion’s share of evolutionary history, human communication was exclusively of the face-to-face variety. Remote forms of human communication did not come on the scene until well after agriculture emerged about 10,000 years ago. In terms of organic evolutionary processes, 10,000 years is a blink of an eye. We, you and I, right now, have minds that evolved for ancestral, face-to-face communication.
Our minds did not evolved for large-scale remote communication. In fact, when people communicate with others who have their identities partly or fully concealed, as is so often the case with remote communication, a very general pattern emerges: People behave badly.
Methinks he has a point.
I can push my coffee maker’s “on” button all by my ownsome, thank you very much.
Via Bruce Schneier.
I wouldn’t have one of those “smart speakers” in my home on a bet.
If Big Data wants to spy on me, they can do it the old fashioned way and peer through my windows, but I will damned if I voluntarily invite their monitoring devices into my house. Heck, it’s difficult enough to fend them off in my web browser.
(I learned of this news story because I listen to Le Show and you should to.)
El Reg reports on the intrusiveness of the Zoom app, which is trending as more and more persons use it to work from home in these viral times. A snippet:
“What makes this extra creepy is that Zoom is in a position to gather plenty of personal data, some of it very intimate (for example with a shrink talking to a patient) without anyone in the conversation knowing about it. (Unless, of course, they see an ad somewhere that looks like it was informed by a private conversation on Zoom.)”
Read the rest, then pick up the landline.
Farhad Manjoo points out that it can–is–happening here. A snippet:
In China, the government is building a frightening surveillance dragnet in broad daylight, stitching together facial recognition, fingerprint and other databases into an all-seeing eye aiming to closely watch more than a billion citizens.
Indeed, because of a dearth of laws protecting our privacy — and almost no high-profile political discussion about the stakes at hand — Americans are sleepwalking into a future nearly as frightening as the one the Chinese are constructing. I choose the word “sleepwalking” deliberately, because when it comes to digital privacy, a lot of us prefer the comfortable bliss of ignorance. As a result, much of the surveillance engine operates underground — just beyond where many of us dare to look.
Speaking of sleepwalking, I was talking with someone this morning–in person, in fact–who dismissed our own corporate digital surveillance society by saying, “Everyone does it anyway.”
At the San Francisco Chronicle, Joseph W. Cotchett note the efforts of Big Data to weasel out from under the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA). Here’s a snippet (emphasis added):
At first glance, the CCPA looks like it is finally wresting control of our private information from these companies and returning it to the users. However, we shouldn’t feel totally empowered yet. Some companies have expressed their intent not to follow the CCPA. It’s been reported that Facebook claims it is not subject to the CCPA because it does not sell information, but instead, “shares” information.* This is typical of the anything-goes attitude of the internet and the power that flows from personal information. This follows a $5 billion penalty and new restrictions on Facebook in July for violating consumer privacy.
Face, we have admitted–nay, invited–these parasites into our most private lives and now, like electronic bed bugs, they have no intention of leaving.
*A distinction without a distinction, methinks.
I only turn on “Location Services” when I have a positive need, which is hardly ever, but, after reading Zandar’s comments at the end of his post, I explored my “smart” phone and found and changed some privacy settings I was previously unaware of.
David describes the pressure being put on his podcast to allow his listeners’ and viewers’ data to be tracked.
The EFF has issued a report on how Big Data is all up in your business. Here’s a bit from the press release:
“Behind the One-Way Mirror” focuses on third-party tracking, which is often not obvious or visible to users. Webpages contain embedded images and invisible codes that come from entities other than the website owner. Most websites contain dozens of these bugs that go on to record and track your browsing, activity, purchases, and clicks. Mobile apps are equally rife with tracking code which can relay app activity, physical location, and financial data to unknown entities.
If you use the inner webs, you need to follow the link.