Data isn't the new oil, it's the new CO2
26 days ago by jm
great point.data ethics data-privacy privacy surveillance surveillance-capitalism co2 future profiling consent gdpr
We should not endlessly be defending arguments along the lines that “people choose to willingly give up their freedom in exchange for free stuff online”. The argument is flawed for two reasons.
First the reason that is usually given - people have no choice but to consent in order to access the service, so consent is manufactured. We are not exercising choice in providing data but rather resigned to the fact that they have no choice in the matter.
The second, less well known but just as powerful, argument is that we are not only bound by other people’s data; we are bound by other people’s consent. In an era of machine learning-driven group profiling, this effectively renders my denial of consent meaningless. Even if I withhold consent, say I refuse to use Facebook or Twitter or Amazon, the fact that everyone around me has joined means there are just as many data points about me to target and surveil. The issue is systemic, it is not one where a lone individual can make a choice and opt out of the system. We perpetuate this myth by talking about data as our own individual “oil”, ready to sell to the highest bidder. In reality I have little control over this supposed resource which acts more like an atmospheric pollutant, impacting me and others in myriads of indirect ways. There are more relations - direct and indirect - between data related to me, data about me, data inferred about me via others than I can possibly imagine, let alone control with the tools we have at our disposal today.
26 days ago by jm
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