petej + profiling   143

Force Fed — Real Life
This was the dream of the early internet utopians: that “the web” was a form of real anarchy, a totally voluntary system of association, interest, and desire. But of course, the internet was created and has evolved to serve the needs of capital, not the people who use it. Technology companies have recognized the possibilities for social domination opened up by increasingly geographically dispersed workplaces and communities. And the algorithmic discipline they have developed has a corresponding geopolitical imaginary.

Unlike the liberals, who have proved utterly incapable of a coherent political vision moving forward, tech libertarians have recognized the imminent collapse of the nation-state and its nonsovereignty in the face of global capital. Seeing that London, Tokyo, and New York City have more in common with each other than with Birmingham, Osaka, or Albany, they envision the political return of much smaller sociopolitical units capable of serving as effective nodes in integrated global flows without all the hang-ups of nations, borders, or social services. The “neoreactionary” right wing of this group advocates the return of monarchy, while the Burning Man–types dream of seasteading city-states, or California splitting into six parts. But in all these visions, corporate sovereigns replace national ones. The internet economy is set up to deliver and manage such a world.

The tech-futurists are post-nationalists; theirs is a fundamentally different vision from that of the neo-fascists currently rising to power. The resurgent nationalism and ethno-fascism represented by the likes of Donald Trump are a counter-tendency that wants to reinvigorate the nation-state through virulent racism and hard borders. Despite their far-reaching hopes for ethnic cleansing, these neo-fascists lack a transformative economic vision. They may be able to plunder the wealth of the wrong types of people — queers, Black people, Muslims, immigrants, Jews — who their program of intensified policing, both at borders and internally, would make vulnerable to further robbery, low-wage exploitation, or prison enslavement. Combined with total deregulation and the selling off of what’s left of the social democratic state in one last cash grab, the strategy could offer continued profits and stability of the system for the medium term. But fascist nationalism has no more ability than neoliberalism to actually solve the economic crises of capitalism or save the nation-state.
games  gaming  YouTube  recommendations  algorithms  extremism  neo-Nazism  targeting  profiling  marketing  correlation  masculinity  whiteSupremacism  predictions  conformity  stereotyping  NRx  neoreactionism  libertarianism  post-nationalism  fascism 
november 2018 by petej
After the Facebook scandal it’s time to base the digital economy on public v private ownership of data | Technology | The Guardian
We face three political options. We can continue with the current model, with Facebook, Alphabet, Amazon and others taking over more and more functions of the state. With time, perhaps, we won’t need to worry that their technologies are used to influence elections because most of our lives will depend on what happens in their boardrooms – not on what happens in our parliaments.

Alternatively, we can opt for the kind of pseudo-antiglobalism endorsed by Bannon, reclaiming some autonomy from the tech giants by over-empowering the financial sector (which Bannon, of course, also wants to tame with cryptocurrencies; we’ll see who will tame whom, but so far banks seem to have survived – and even swallowed – their challengers).

Finally, we can use the recent data controversies to articulate a truly decentralised, emancipatory politics, whereby the institutions of the state (from the national to the municipal level) will be deployed to recognise, create, and foster the creation of social rights to data. These institutions will organise various data sets into pools with differentiated access conditions. They will also ensure that those with good ideas that have little commercial viability but promise major social impact would receive venture funding and realise those ideas on top of those data pools.

Rethinking many of the existing institutions in which citizens seem to have lost trust along such lines would go a long way towards addressing the profound sense of alienation from public and political life felt across the globe. It won’t be easy but it can still be done. This, however, might not be the case 10 or even five years from now, as the long-term political and economic costs of data extractivism come to the surface. The data wells inside ourselves, like all those other drilling sites, won’t last for ever either.
Facebook  socialMedia  personalData  surveillanceCapitalism  businessModels  targeting  profiling  advertising  subscription  ownership  dataProtection  dctagged  dc:creator=MorozovEvgeny  dataMining 
april 2018 by petej
Ed-Tech in a Time of Trump
The proctoring software and learning analytics software and “student success” platforms all market themselves to schools claiming that they can truly “see” what students are up to, that they can predict what students will become. (“How will this student affect our averages?”) These technologies claim they can identify a “problem” student, and the implication, I think, is that then someone at the institution “fixes” her or him. Helps the student graduate. Convinces the student to leave.

But these technologies do not see students. And sadly, we do not see students. This is cultural. This is institutional. We do not see who is struggling. And let’s ask why we think, as the New York Times argued today, we need big data to make sure students graduate. Universities have not developed or maintained practices of compassion. Practices are technologies; technologies are practices. We’ve chosen computers instead of care. (When I say “we” here I mean institutions not individuals within institutions. But I mean some individuals too.) Education has chosen “command, control, intelligence.” Education gathers data about students. It quantifies students. It has adopted a racialized and gendered surveillance system – one that committed to disciplining minds and bodies – through our education technologies, through our education practices.

All along the way, or perhaps somewhere along the way, we have confused surveillance for care.

And that’s my takeaway for folks here today: when you work for a company or an institution that collects or trades data, you’re making it easy to surveil people and the stakes are high. They’re always high for the most vulnerable. By collecting so much data, you’re making it easy to discipline people. You’re making it easy to control people. You’re putting people at risk. You’re putting students at risk.
education  technology  edtech  personalData  surveillance  learningAnalytics  profiling  policing  risk  TrumpDonald  dctagged  dc:creator=WattersAudrey 
february 2017 by petej
Google Is Transforming NYC's Payphones Into a 'Personalized Propaganda Engine' | Village Voice
Without rigorous government protections, individual users are left vulnerable. A senior executive specializing in cybersecurity and privacy at a major international corporation told the Voice that when it comes to protecting user data, the United States falls far behind other developed nations. "If we care about the privacy of our citizens, we should be tightening our privacy protections to be more like countries in the EU and Israel," she said. "Information like my political party is protected overseas; it isn't here. My choice of a male or female life partner, or both, that's protected overseas; it isn't here. My involvement in a union is private information overseas; it isn't over here. It can be taken at will." As a result, the security executive said, she's extremely cautious with her digital interactions. "I have very few apps on my phone," she says. "When I walk down the street, I have wireless service turned off because there's so much information that can be leaking out of your phone that way. Most people don't understand that when they have Wi-Fi turned on, they're announcing their location to the entire city. I have a problem with that."

This freedom to opt out entirely is also the last argument that spokespeople for LinkNYC and the city itself fall back upon when challenged with privacy concerns: If you don't like it, you're welcome not to use it. It's a disheartening place to land, especially when discussing infrastructure that's supposed to be serving people who aren't served otherwise. To Moglen, it's simply an unacceptable conclusion. "That's what they want us to believe, that we have a choice between isolation and monitored connecting," he says. "Those are not adequate choices in a 21st-century world: We are designing the net to track you — if you don't like it, don't use it. The human race is shifting to a fully surveilled and monitored superorganism — if you don't like that, stop being human. That's a poor outcome. The United States is a society that was based around the idea that human beings can have liberty. So give us liberty! And don't tell us that otherwise we can have the death of the net."
technology  NYC  wireless  LinkNYC  Google  networks  advertising  personalisation  profiling  data  privacy  smartCities  GreenfieldAdam  DoctoroffDan  surveillance  tracking  anonymisation  deanonymisation  Gimbal  Bluetooth  location 
july 2016 by petej
Big Data’s Radical Potential | Jacobin
"Big data, like all technology, is imbued within social relations. Despite the rhetoric of its boosters and detractors, there is nothing inherently progressive or draconian about big data. Like all technology, its uses reflect the values of the society we live in.

Under our present system, the military and government use big data to suppress populations and spy on civilians. Corporations use it to boost profits, increase productivity, and extend the process of commodification ever deeper into our lives. But data and statistical algorithms don’t produce these outcomes — capitalism does. To realize the potentially amazing benefits of big data, we must fight against the undemocratic forces that seek to turn it into a tool of commodification and oppression.

Big data is here to stay. The question, as always under capitalism, is who will control it and who will reap the benefits."
bigData  algorithms  control  profiling  productivity  discipline  capitalism 
june 2015 by petej
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