Just watched #TheGreatHack on #Netflix. What I appreciated about this #documentary on #Facebook and the whole #CambridgeAnalytica scandal, is that it's one of the few #privacy #documentaries to get that protecting personal data isn't just about not seeing personalized ads for stuff you're more likely to want. It's about protecting ourselves from mass psychological manipulation and behavior modification techniques. These are techniques that actually work *best* when people believe they don't.
They depend, though, on having enough personal and behavior data to accurately predict your behavior. Then the algorithms refine themselves by feeding you information and testing if they managed to get you to behave in the desired way.
Just keep testing and refining with enough data and enough people and voila, a democracy where the votes can be bought in large enough numbers that the results can be, too.
Remember, it's not just the ads. It's the content they're choosing to show you. Notice how platforms are moving away from chronological timelines to one's with black box methods where they choose your timeline items you see?
The weak point of this system is that it needs a constant flow of information about what you're thinking and doing.
The good news is that the required level of prediction to understand cause and effect of manipulation is much higher than currently achievable.
The bad news:
1: That doesn't keep them from trying and causing unexpected consequences.
2: States are getting more and more of that data, and they've got tried and tested methods to manipulate people ... physically if needed.
3: By surveying users in this way, is Silicon Valley legitimises surveillance states and undermines democracy.
@Blort I agree 100%
I'm still watching it now but it's the bigger picture that counts here that's for sure. 👍🏻
@Blort It certainly made me dislike brittany kaiser. The level of privilege this person exudes just made me sick.
@Blort I see it a hard problem that some good people seem to be missing the point. The problem is not data gathering or analysing, the problem is illegal data transfer and use. While it sounds ultimately good to prevent data gathering it doesn't work: people do want the results of the data analisation. The fight shall be centered on limited data gathering, anonymisation and ultimately controlling data use, which is where #EU is heading. IMHO.
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