Running Naked through the Internet category archive
The New York Times reports on how stores use bluetooth beacons to track your every move. A snippet (emphasis added):
In order to track you or trigger an action like a coupon or message to your phone, companies need you to install an app on your phone that will recognize the beacon in the store. Retailers (like Target and Walmart) that use Bluetooth beacons typically build tracking into their own apps. But retailers want to make sure most of their customers can be tracked — not just the ones that download their own particular app.
So a hidden industry of third-party location-marketing firms has proliferated in response. These companies take their beacon tracking code and bundle it into a toolkit developers can use.
The makers of many popular apps, such as those for news or weather updates, insert these toolkits into their apps. They might be paid by the beacon companies or receive other benefits, like detailed reports on their users.
Professor of Communications Joseph B. Walther explores why persons continue to use Facebook despite the recent spate of revelations about the craven venality of its algorithmic manipulative tactics and porous “security” protection. A snippet (emphasis added):
I have been studying the social dynamics of the internet for 30 years, and I suspect what’s behind these apparent contradictions is something psychological. People know about Facebook’s problems, but each person assumes he or she is largely immune – even while imagining that everyone else is very susceptible to influence.
The psychological tendency at work here is called “the third person effect,” the belief that media don’t fool me, and maybe don’t fool you, but all those other people are sitting ducks for media effects.
Ironically, this dynamic can encourage people to support restrictions on media consumption – by others. If someone uses, say, a social media site and feels immune to its negative influences, it triggers another psychological phenomenon called the “influence of presumed influence.” When that happens, a person worries that everyone else falls victim, and supports efforts to protect others, even if they think they themselves don’t need the protection.
I commend the piece to your attention.
At Psychology Today Blogs, Mike Brooks argues that no one really cares about your “social” media posts, certainly not in proportion to the amount of time most “social” media users spend using “social” media. He offers several arguments.
Among other arguments, he suggest that others care about your posts to the same degree that you care about theirs:
If you were able to recall someone’s post from last week that you “liked,” how much time did you spend thinking about their post after liking it? My guess is, “None.” This assumes a previously “liked” post did not pop back up on your social media feed for other reasons.
Follow the link to see what you think of the rest, then be sure to use one of icons at the bottom of his article share it on soc–oh, never mind.
Bloomberg reports on how Big Data is trying to steal all privacy. Here’s a bit:
For several years, Amazon and Google have collected data every time someone used a smart speaker to turn on a light or lock a door. Now they’re asking smart-home gadget makers such as Logitech and Hunter Fan Co. to send a continuous stream of information.
In other words, after you connect a light fixture to Alexa, Amazon wants to know every time the light is turned on or off, regardless of whether you asked Alexa to toggle the switch. Televisions must report the channel they’re set to. Smart locks must keep the company apprised whether or not the front door bolt is engaged.
This is not good.
I second the advice that Farron gives at the end of the video: Turn off the “Location Services” in your phone or tablet unless you have a positive need for it. Also, when considering installing a new app, inspect the permissions it requests carefully. If they seem hinky, find an alternative.
Naveed Saleh reports that enthusiasm for Facebook seems to be waning, citing surveys that show more and more persons are taking longer breaks from the Wells Fargo of social media and that a significant number of persons are removing the Facebook app from their smartphones.*
At Psychology Today Blogs, he suggests ten reasons why this might be so. Here’s one; follow the link for the rest.
*Even if you don’t intend to dial back you Facebook usage, not using their smartphone app is a wise choice. It spies on users relentlessly. When I visit Facebook, which I must do once or twice a month as part of outreach efforts for outfits I reach out for–when you do outreach, you have to reach out to where the people are–I use a private browser window, so Facebook cannot continue to spy on me after I’m done with them.
At the Seattle Times, Jacob Silverman calls it for what it is: Surveillance Capitalism. A snippet:
In an era when consumers are increasingly transparent to the companies that furnish them goods and services (not to mention their governments), perhaps we should expect scandals such as these. But we shouldn’t allow that foreknowledge to become an excuse for complacency. Most people still have no idea to what extent their communications and everyday behaviors are being monitored, nor do they understand how personal data is in turn leveraged for everything from targeted advertising to credit scoring, police threat assessments to job applications. Companies like Facebook and Google are now using anything from search histories to fluctuations in Wi-Fi signals to try to anticipate where we are and where we’ll go next. To be a modern consumer is to be watched, but the last year’s scandals have shown that coercion and secrecy are part of the bargain.
In The Roanoke Times, Betsy Biesenbach muses on what gives the Zuckerborg such a hold on person. A snippet:
But Facebook offers us something more — it allows us to the be the center of our own universe. We can “like” other people’s posts, we can commiserate with them, we can satisfy our inner voyeur by lurking, or we can hide behind our anonymity and attack complete strangers — and never have to get off the couch. It’s only a simulation of human interaction, but it can feel like the real thing, and we’re in control of it all.
I normally keep the GPS on my Android phone turned off, unless I have a positive need to use it. For example, I turn it on when I am using Move! Bike Computer to record a bicycle ride. Also, I don’t use the phone for navigation. I use maps.
Remember maps? They are big and colorful and easy to read and don’t talk back.
Yesterday, I turned the GPS on to perform a function and neglected to turn it off when I was done.
After going out for Sunday morning breakfast at our favorite breakfast place (it’s not fancy, but the food is good, the prices reasonable, the people nice, and the country ham to die for), we stopped at a local commercial emporium to purchase some items. Shortly thereafter, I received a message from Google asking me to provide a review of [name of commercial emporium].
I won’t make that mistake again.
It’s not Google’s business, or anyone else’s business, where the hell I choose to shop. Or where you choose to shop.
And people worry about the NSA and surveillance, for Pete’s sake, while they run nekkid through Silicon Valley without consciousness of their nekkidness, as Adam and Eve in Eden before eating the fruit of the tree of knowledge.
We are doomed.
The man told the family he had audio recordings from inside their house. He sent back the files and indeed, they were the family’s conversations, Danielle said.
In a statement to KIRO, Amazon said, “Echo woke up due to a word in background conversation sounding like ‘Alexa.’ Then, the subsequent conversation was heard as a ‘send message’ request. At which point, Alexa said out loud ‘To whom?’ At which point, the background conversation was interpreted as a name in the customer’s contact list. Alexa then asked out loud, ‘[contact name], right?’ Alexa then interpreted background conversation as ‘right.’ As unlikely as this string of events is, we are evaluating options to make this case even less likely.”
And this surprises you how?