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Author Topic: An interesting look at what 'Big Data' means to privacy  (Read 4681 times)

mwb1100

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An interesting look at what 'Big Data' means to privacy
« on: May 02, 2014, 03:52:49 PM »
How One Woman Hid Her Pregnancy From Big Data

For the past nine months, Janet Vertesi, assistant professor of sociology at Princeton University, tried to hide from the Internet the fact that she's pregnant — and it wasn't easy.

...
According to Vertesi, the average person's marketing data is worth 10 cents; a pregnant woman's data skyrockets to $1.50. And once targeted advertising finds a pregnant woman, it won't let up.

Deozaan

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Re: An interesting look at what 'Big Data' means to privacy
« Reply #1 on: May 02, 2014, 04:53:54 PM »
She makes a scary point about how the act of just trying to avoid being tracked makes you appear immoral or criminal. And that right there is a problem. :(


MilesAhead

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Re: An interesting look at what 'Big Data' means to privacy
« Reply #2 on: May 02, 2014, 07:59:35 PM »
I won't post song lyrics as they never read the same without the music.  But this does kind of make me think of the Jefferson Starship tune A Child Is Coming

Edit: btw clicking play the song wants to download something.  I didn't go there.  I remember how the song sounds.  :)

Innuendo

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Re: An interesting look at what 'Big Data' means to privacy
« Reply #3 on: May 02, 2014, 09:54:25 PM »
She makes a scary point about how the act of just trying to avoid being tracked makes you appear immoral or criminal. And that right there is a problem. :(

This reminds me of some research I was doing for school that showed that if a person does *not* have a social media presence (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) people view that person as suspicious and as someone who has something to hide. Furthermore, employers look upon that employee (or potential employee) as someone who hasn't kept up with the times and that person is less desirable as an employee.

It's a brave, new world, Mr. Huxley.

Stoic Joker

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Re: An interesting look at what 'Big Data' means to privacy
« Reply #4 on: May 03, 2014, 07:44:58 AM »
She makes a scary point about how the act of just trying to avoid being tracked makes you appear immoral or criminal. And that right there is a problem. :(

This reminds me of some research I was doing for school that showed that if a person does *not* have a social media presence (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) people view that person as suspicious and as someone who has something to hide. Furthermore, employers look upon that employee (or potential employee) as someone who hasn't kept up with the times and that person is less desirable as an employee.

It's a brave, new world, Mr. Huxley.

Okay, so as long as I have a FaceBook page I can be considered/perceived as "current" regardless of my 70's wardrobe?? Far Out Man! :D

...Kidding aside ... This little peak at the current depth of the rabbit hole scared the shit out of me too.

40hz

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Re: An interesting look at what 'Big Data' means to privacy
« Reply #5 on: May 03, 2014, 11:31:27 AM »
It's a brave, new world, Mr. Huxley.

Got that right. Had it happen to me.

Not too long ago I had a young manager who worked for a potential new client ask to be "friended" in my Facebook account.

When I explained that I don't do social the media 'thing,' this person smirked and said "Yeah sure!" And then went on to tell me how "everybody has a Facebook account these days."

When I said I didn't, and never planned on signing up for Facebook because I didn't like its policies or trust its management, this youngster made it very obvious they were annoyed - and didn't believe me.

My business didn't get their contract. And I've often wondered if the annoyance of this one manager over my not being able to give a Facebook friending was the primary reason. Especially since this company appeared to be quite happy with everything else about us.
 :tellme:

ewemoa

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Re: An interesting look at what 'Big Data' means to privacy
« Reply #6 on: May 03, 2014, 04:40:57 PM »
So where's the movement against these kind of things? ;)

Innuendo

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Re: An interesting look at what 'Big Data' means to privacy
« Reply #7 on: May 03, 2014, 07:21:36 PM »
My business didn't get their contract. And I've often wondered if the annoyance of this one manager over my not being able to give a Facebook friending was the primary reason. Especially since this company appeared to be quite happy with everything else about us.

Yes, I'm sure that's what it was. When you refused him, in his mind you were either lying to him, thus you had something to hide or you were telling the truth, and you aren't current with the times. This manager wasn't wanting to friend you on Facebook because he liked you. It was part of the background check they do. Once he had been friended on your social media account, he'd have gone through everything visible on the account with a fine-toothed comb to see if you were the type of person they want to do business with.

Don't get me started on how many employers are starting to ask for social media login credentials as part of the interview process and a preliminary background check. Some states have made this practice illegal, but the vast majority of them still consider it to be legal.

Innuendo

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Re: An interesting look at what 'Big Data' means to privacy
« Reply #8 on: May 03, 2014, 07:24:53 PM »
So where's the movement against these kind of things? ;)

You can sign up at the booth between the bridge table and the shuffleboard area at the old folks home. ;)

Seriously, social media is an accepted part of everyday life now. Ever pay attention when you're in the break room at work or out to eat at a restaurant? Lots of people sitting at tables together, but they aren't talking to each other. They all have their faces buried in their phones, most likely checking their Facebook pages.

Shades

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Re: An interesting look at what 'Big Data' means to privacy
« Reply #9 on: May 04, 2014, 08:45:12 AM »
Facebook always sends me mail messages about how happy they are that I have logged in, which I do more or less every 6 months or so.

They only excuse I accept from someone burying his/her head in their phone is if their partner is overseas and starts to whatsapp-ing.  Because any other case you are offensive to others sharing the table and you might as well sit alone as you are not contributing to the conversation/activity.

As I have played many tabletop game sessions in my teens and twenties, I enjoy the interaction taking place at the table. I have seen what it does to otherwise shy people. Board games can be very entertaining as these also require social interaction. Even a local LAN party would have more social interaction in its thumb, than all of Facebook combined.

[rant]
Facebook is an insult for intelligence, it is a shame the English language uses that same word for another concept and than Facebook is a godsend. Normally I'll honestly respond to all questions you/an employer/government official asks of me. This information exchange is quite restrictive in nature and exists after that in the memory of a friend or possibly in the database from employer/government. That is quite acceptable to me.

Facebook (or other "social" networks) makes this info available to anyone, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. After all that info is all only one hack away from being on the streets, to be sold to the highest bidder. Furthermore, Facebook actively tries to connect all kinds of other info to your person with or without your permission, also to the highest bidder, while hiding behind EULA's and heavily buried privacy settings.

The above is my main gripe with social networks in general and Facebook in particular. If I would find myself in the situation to be employed in the US and I would meet such a moron manager, I would make sure not to have Facebook account but from the most obscure social network I could find.

That way he/she cannot complain about me not having a "social" presence on the web, only that we disagree on the choice of network. And hopefully drive home the point that the manager should have enough brain to ask me for my information, instead of relying on data, coming from a 3rd party, that might have data I don't agree with associated with it for commercial reasons. Or because of "bit-rot". Or because of untruthful information given by the person.

If they still insist on getting my credentials, I would demand for a recent security audit of their whole computer system. If they cannot prove to being able that they cannot store my credentials in a proper way that hackers cannot reach these, I might as well throw my credentials on the proverbial street and in that case I cannot guarantee anymore if my profile contains the correct information. Implying that employment at their company makes me liable for a situation out of my control is not a big plus for them.

Unreasonable from me? Yes, in a similar fashion as them demanding my credentials!

Still insisting? The world needs more HR drones...only these ones need to be launched by the Obama administration!
[/rant] 


Innuendo

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Re: An interesting look at what 'Big Data' means to privacy
« Reply #10 on: May 04, 2014, 12:27:24 PM »
I wondered when my comments would invoke a rant. It's a very rant-worthy state of affairs we're in right now & what makes it worse...what makes it so infuriating...is all the invasion of privacy that is rampant from all directions and the vast majority of the population simply do not care.

I was discussing this and other things with my instructor and the topic of privacy in connection with law enforcement came up. There is technology available in patrol cars right now that features an always-on camera that is capturing license plate information and transmitting the data back to headquarters to be compared against a database looking for infractions. The privacy concern is that this technology could be easily modified to make tracking people's movements across the city a trivial affair. Since most people live fairly routine lives, it'd be easy with this information to make educated guesses where anyone was at any given time of the day.

It was very frustrating because no matter what point I made he failed to see that there was a privacy issue with this...or at least, any issue worthy of worry.

To loop this back to the OP, big data takes many forms. We are under the microscope in many ways in our daily lives that our parents and grandparents didn't have to worry about.

40hz

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Re: An interesting look at what 'Big Data' means to privacy
« Reply #11 on: May 04, 2014, 01:12:34 PM »
It was very frustrating because no matter what point I made he failed to see that there was a privacy issue with this...or at least, any issue worthy of worry.

Precisely.

Unfortunately, as long as the average Joe can watch his sports programs on TV; get his nekkid' wimmen channels after the wife and kids have turned in; and not have to think about anything more than is absolutely necessary (because they've automated it) - he'll be ok with nearly anything that comes down the pike.

A friend of mine summed up their mindset as: "It's not my problem - so what's your problem?"

At least we don't need to worry about the coming American surveillance state any more. It's already here. :(

MilesAhead

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Re: An interesting look at what 'Big Data' means to privacy
« Reply #12 on: May 04, 2014, 01:57:50 PM »

MilesAhead

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Re: An interesting look at what 'Big Data' means to privacy
« Reply #13 on: May 07, 2014, 02:57:14 PM »
Quote
Unfortunately, as long as the average Joe can watch his sports programs on TV; get his nekkid' wimmen channels after the wife and kids have turned in; and not have to think about anything more than is absolutely necessary (because they've automated it) - he'll be ok with nearly anything that comes down the pike.

This made me think of the "steel belted radials" part of Beale's rant posted above.  :)

TaoPhoenix

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Re: An interesting look at what 'Big Data' means to privacy
« Reply #14 on: May 07, 2014, 03:11:57 PM »
I just wondered that HIPAA seems to be one of the few law sets that everyone at least pays lip service to - sure I bet a few things happen ("Beneath the Surface" - Damn you LD overdose!) But at least the level of cross tracking seems way lower.

I wonder if things like Pregnancy count as "Medical" information, and then you can pull in HIPAA to slow something else down?


SeraphimLabs

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Re: An interesting look at what 'Big Data' means to privacy
« Reply #15 on: May 08, 2014, 01:04:31 PM »
My workaround to the facebook problem is I keep my facebook in my business name.

That way if anyone asks to be able to login to it, I can respond with okay but you have to sign this nondisclosure agreement and contract with my company in order to access company confidential resources.

To date nobody has ever taken me up on it, and given that I keep the account in a perpetually dormant state there's nothing there to see anyway.

People need to not be so eager to put their life stories on the internet. Your facebook is the easiest possible way to have your identity stolen, because anyone can get the info they need to social engineer their way into your accounts from it.

Stoic Joker

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Re: An interesting look at what 'Big Data' means to privacy
« Reply #16 on: May 08, 2014, 04:41:48 PM »
People need to not be so eager to put their life stories on the internet. Your facebook is the easiest possible way to have your identity stolen, because anyone can get the info they need to social engineer their way into your accounts from it.

+1 - I swear it's like some kind of drug or something. I have a FaceBook account that I setup under a pseudonym about a year ago, just to see if I could. I never did anything with it; no pictures; no profile; no content. I just checked it...and I have 7 friend requests. Seriously??

...Are they trying to draw me out of my shell or something??

Zoiks.

MilesAhead

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Re: An interesting look at what 'Big Data' means to privacy
« Reply #17 on: May 09, 2014, 07:44:49 AM »


+1 - I swear it's like some kind of drug or something. I have a FaceBook account that I setup under a pseudonym about a year ago, just to see if I could. I never did anything with it; no pictures; no profile; no content. I just checked it...and I have 7 friend requests. Seriously??

...Are they trying to draw me out of my shell or something??

Zoiks.

I signed up with Facebook just because it can be used to sign into other sites.  Leaving a comment on a software blog,as example.  It's handy for "one off" interactions. Almost a replacement for the "bug me not" browser AddOn.  :)