The Future for Humanity and Data Analytics
The less aware of how the data is used the less power you have in the nascent society that we all live in. As everything provides an input into data collection, everything we do now to regulate and understand its impact will affect the future use of all data analytics tools. Big data is a microscope to see what we have never seen before. But it’s what the entities that use these tools don’t want us to know or realise which is the existential threat to the underpinnings of democracy itself.
Now data analytics is being used by rouge actors and private firms to achieve real world outcomes for government and political clients, corporations, and NGO’s. Public opinion is being fabricated, entire populations are being manipulated and democratic outcomes and being subverted. This modern political and democratic crisis force us to now reflect on the principles we have enshrined in law about how we want to treat the internet as a form of technology and what rights we all have in using the internet. Individuals and as population.
Now with the realisation of weaponisation of information and of data has emerged in overt outcomes such as Brexit and the election of Trump in 2016, is this a true representation of where modern warfare now is flexing its muscle and where this new form of warfare will continue to take place.
The US military now focuses on online data analytics in circumstances us as ISISS and integration terrorism, Russian interference and also domestic individuals that now are being conflated as nation security threats form white nations extremist groups. But now data gives them the incentive to profile everyone for efficiency.
The reality is that tech companies and the world’s population is blindly trusting Companies with huge amount of resources. We are now allowing private companies that affect domestic and geo politics. Non-state actors that are being used as intermediaries. There is no expert regulator in any part of the modern world that looks over the shoulders of these companies and asks, what is the real-world consequences of these action and is this infringing on civil liberties and freedoms.
The line between manipulation of real-world outcomes through data analytics and the use of propaganda or public relations campaigns run by all governments around the world have become to similar to provide consistent criticism and as capitalism steam rolls towards complete manipulation of the consumer. We now see a merging of media and state ambition and a new ubiquitous desire for data analytics.
The division between authoritarian community China and The United States is becoming less defined as the US allowing private companies to monitor everything and anything we do. Harmful impacts are now being seen form two or three large companies monitoring everything that we do and giving recipients of that data complete profiles of who we are. Facebook, one company that has never faced any real consistent regulation, or been given rules that put consumers first. These companies do not follow due process when whistle blowers come forward, that suppers information on the platforms that themselves are being criticised.
The successful 2016 election, was masterminded by Steve Banon’s outsourced firm, Cambridge Analytica. They gathered as much data as they could to then offer consulting in terms of advertising strategies, targeting strategies and they primarily focus on election research. They are accused of elected based data gathering that they used to target specifically undecided voters. Some of their strategies include creating an app free to download that you can play quizzes on. History, math, pop culture. But to install the app you have to give the creators the rights to gather and use your public profile information and your list of friends. It sounds innocuous, but through that because they were able to get direct access to that information through the app, profiles were made on an estimated 50 to 100 million Americans. With this information they could go to the campaign and give direct strategies on how to target these users. Such as these are the kinds of Ad’s you should run, this is the type of language you should use, this is the content you should include. Cambridge Analytica refers to these strategies themselves as ‘Psychological Warfare’. The way they employed the messages in reality is emotion manipulation because they have such detailed information.
They use advanced behavioural analysis to manipulate your emotions to achieved their desired outcome. This has now not become just about what companies want you to by. It is how governments want you to vote, how to act, what to want. It is based on human emotions and psychology being up for grabs and available to these entities while the vast majority of the population has not been educated in a way that will enable them to understand this. Facebooks response to this has been hostile and muted. Only recently have they now agreed to pay their largest possible fine by regulators that’s been handed down and now accepted by Facebook, being 500,000 Euros. A small price to pay for affecting the history of an entire nation.