Surveillance capitalism turns a profit by making people more comfortable with discrimination
Facebook’s use of “ethnic affinity” as a proxy for race is a prime example. The platform’s interface does not offer users a way to self-identify according to race, but advertisers can nonetheless target people based on Facebook’s ascription of an “affinity” along racial lines. In other words. race is deployed as an externally assigned category for purposes of commercial exploitation and social control, not part of self-generated identity for reasons of personal expression. The ability to define one’s self and tell one’s own stories is central to being human and how one relates to others; platforms’ ascribing identity through data undermines both. ❧
October 15, 2018 at 09:34PM
Anyone who isn’t an expert on the internet would be hard-pressed to explain how tracking on the internet actually works. Some of the negative effects of unchecked tracking are easy to notice, namely eerily-specific targeted advertising and a loss of performance on the web. However, many of the harms of unchecked data collection are completely opaque to users and experts alike, only to be revealed piecemeal by major data breaches. In the near future, Firefox will — by default — protect users by blocking tracking while also offering a clear set of controls to give our users more choice over what information they share with sites.
Some tracking scripts may be harmless. But others are designed to recognize I.P. addresses and embed cookies that collect information prized by advertisers.
Administrators: But they were give us the technology for free…
Really? Why not try pooling small pieces of resources within states to make these things you want and protect your charges? I know you think your budget is small, but it shouldn’t be this expensive.
For 20 years, privacy advocates have been sounding the alarm about commercial online surveillance, the way that companies gather deep dossiers on us to help marketers target us with ads. This pitch…
Tech is already cynical about data collection, but the public is just starting to understand its implications.
Google Home Mini is losing the ability to use it by touching the button on the top, after a reviewer raised concerns that it was recording without his consent.
There are plenty of reasons why teachers join ambassador programs. For some, this is how they gain access to potentially great tools that…
EFF has run a full-page ad in this month's Wired, addressed to the technology industry, under the banner "Your threat model just changed," warning them that the incoming administration has vowed to spy on and deport millions of their fellow Americans on the basis of religion and race, and that they are in grave risk of having their services conscripted to help with this effort. (Trump is also an avowed opponent of net neutrality)