Part 3: The Contemporary Fight
The ‘post-information revolution’ era has begun. For better or for worse people are now players in a game where information has value and people are the source of that information.
Tech giants like Facebook, Instagram and Google make their records into data mines. All of our search terms, interactions, hours of activity, conversations, interests, purchases, complaints, and conflicts are catalogued and fed to algorithms; in turn, producing models, categorizing us users.
Patterns in the data, containing shadows of our digital selves, are packaged and sold to other companies or given up at the request of authorities. These algorithmic byproducts can determine whether a bank grants a loan, a single mom gets insurance, or a student gets a call back for a job offer. Worse, they can determine the severity of our punishment should we get into trouble with the law.
If this all sounds alarmingly dystopian, that’s because it is.
Beyond consuming our social media, Big Data is growing all around us with the emergence of the Internet of Things (IoT).
Just about anything with a battery or that can be plugged in is now more of more value if rigged to capture and broadcast data. More often than not, the data is transmitted back to the manufacturer or to a third party and sold, in turn, to anyone willing to buy. All of this with near zero oversight.