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News Is Big Brother Watching You?

  1. Apr 7, 2017 #1
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2017
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 8, 2017 #2

    Borek

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    You can't because you don't have a control over the technology used.

    In general there is no problem with designing a web around concepts guaranteeing anonymity - but no protocol used was designed this way (apart from some later hacks like Tor project), so you are on the lost position (unless you run into sticks and stop using the web at all).
     
  4. Apr 8, 2017 #3

    Borg

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    From the last sentence in the article:
    While there are some things you can't control, there are some things that you can. A lot of what I see is unnecessary collection of data like a company wanting to know your full name, address and phone number if you call them with a question about their product. I don't give out information without a valid need-to-know and certainly not to get an answer for a simple question. If the representitive insists, I either give them fake information or take my business elsewhere.
     
  5. Apr 8, 2017 #4
    It's really hard to protect yourself, and it will be harder with time. On internet we are always giving all our privates informations to thousands of companies (ad, app, website...) We can't control all..
     
  6. Apr 10, 2017 #5

    russ_watters

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    On the contrary, we have total control over our personal information on the Web, yet we willingly give it up without a second thought when we feel like it might enable us to find some information on Google or generate a "like" on facebook.

    The issues of what employers can monitor that isn't work related vs what we gleefully hand over on the internet are totally different. When it comes to the employer/employee relationship, the laws are pretty well established and strict, even if employers try find new and innovative ways to exploit their employees. And when it comes to freely posting your personal information on someone else's website, that's clear-cut too: they own it! (so choose wisely and don't complain about the consequences of your own choices)

    There is very little about what happens on the internet that is new, it is just more efficient at doing what companies have done with retail/advertising for decades (tracking the habits of their customers). And by "decades", I mean millenia.

    Why is it scary when Google puts ads up on CNN.com for exactly the product you just googled 30 seconds ago, but awesome when the bartender at your favorite bar starts pouring your favorite drink before you get to your seat?
     
  7. Apr 11, 2017 #6

    Borek

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    A lot depends on how you define the personal information.

    Birthdate, address, name - sure, you can elect to not give them in places you think don't need these data. Say "bye bye" to booking tickets, using online banking, buying online and so on, as these operations do require giving information.

    But there is no way to be sure nobody can build your profile that can be used to identify you (commonly used devices, IPs, browsers, hours of activity, visited sites). That in turn means when you start to google for pregnancy tests and early pregnancy symptoms (it definitely tells something very personal about you) keeping this information disconnected from the real identity is very difficult, if not impossible.
     
  8. Apr 11, 2017 #7

    russ_watters

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    Almost...
    There it is: the way to not get recognized and tracked in public places or by companies you do transactions with - online or in real life - is not to do those things/visit those places. It's the Bin Laden Method (or Brangelina Method).

    Again, the thing that people don't get and really need to is that when they are sitting on their couch in their underwear, buying stuff on Amazon, their digital self is walking through a shopping mall interacting with retailers. There is no logical/ethical difference between the physical version and the digital version, but lots of people erroneously believe there is.

    I expect the wording of my previous post felt coy, and that was by design. I want people to walk head-first into the self-contradiction in order to expose it: people are looking for privacy in public. They can't have it and never could because it is a self-contradiction.
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2017
  9. Apr 11, 2017 #8

    jack action

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    I think the discussion is getting away from the OP. Sure, it is easy to refuse to give your name on a website, but that is not the problem presented. The article is talking about being forced to give unnecessary informations to do your job to your employer. "Forced" in the sense that you can loose your job or be punish in some kind of way. Of course, you can always say «Find another job.» But is that realistic?

    The problem can even be greater than that:
    Those are the real hard questions to answer. Because I don't think telling people not to get out of their house if they don't want their whereabouts to be put into a database, sold to the highest bidder, is a good answer.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 8, 2017
  10. Apr 13, 2017 #9

    Borg

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  11. Apr 13, 2017 #10
    if big brother is watching, I'm screwed
     
  12. Apr 15, 2017 #11
    I can choose to go to a different bar, where they don't know me and can drink anything else in anonimity.
    The barman will pour whatever drink for me regardless of whether I tell them my name, shoe size and what porn I like.
    Soxiety is not coercing me to require to provide information to that barman in order to catch a bus or park my car*


    +---+
    *I refer to completely unrelated and often public services which necessitate the use of 'smart' apps.
    The only means of obtaining such apps are through providers such as Alphabet, Apple or Microsoft and in turn this demands providing them with data.
    There is only Hobson's choice.
     
  13. Apr 16, 2017 #12

    russ_watters

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    You are not required by law to use a smart phone, much less any particular app. You present these choices as if one is a choice and the other isn't, but both are.
     
  14. Apr 19, 2017 #13
    Really, avoiding the petty pedantry, how much "CHOICE" does one have in parking their car or using public transport?

    At no point did I ever mention anything about any legal imperative. Not sure where you got that idea from.

    Sure I could "choose" to live in a less progressively "tech and moneyless-society oriented" nation (It appears you live in the United STates where you are still able to park your car without requiring a cell phone etc.) , but again, how much (in reasonable and practical terms) choice does one have?
     
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2017
  15. Apr 19, 2017 #14

    russ_watters

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    I'm 100% sure how that relates to what we were discussing, but I'll give it a try: Often the choices we make are multi-layered and that may inform to the issue here. As a personal philosophy/outlook(and politics...), I believe a person will be much happier and more successful in life if they take the wide view of personal choice and take full ownership of them:

    I like driving and I like my car. There is no public transportation near my job. Do I have to drive a car? No, I don't. One co-worker bikes a considerable distance to work every day (and is in great shape). Broader; I like living in the suburbs, my sister is a "city person". She doesn't like driving and didn't even bother owning a car for years until she married a guy who had one. Our choices led us to these realities, so I don't think it is reasonable to say I "have to" drive while she has a "choice" to take public transportation. And since I take full ownership of the choices that led me here, it makes me less upset about my long communte than someone in a similar situation who feels s/he is being "forced" to drive.

    You can - and I do - apply the same logic to my smartphone or anything else, for that matter. Yes, even things that may seem to be annoying/coercive take-it-or-leave it "choices"...which, by the way, I don't even really accept as a problem or reality anyway. Most of the "choices" we have can be reduced to a series or collection of binary take-it-or-leave-it choices that are really collected into groups and judged/weighed as multiple options.
    I know you didn't: I mentioned the law because under my outlook, that is pretty much the only true form of coercion there is in our every-day lives (aside, perhaps, from our own biology). Everything else is voluntary, even societal/peer pressures. Our entire disagreement is on what is/isn't a choice, so I was telling you where I see the line to be.
     
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2017
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