BIG DATA IS OUR GENERATION’S CIVIL RIGHTS ISSUE, AND WE DON’T KNOW IT

BIG DATA IS OUR GENERATION’S CIVIL RIGHTS ISSUE, AND WE DON’T KNOW IT

by Alistair

“Personalization” is another word for discrimination. We’re not discriminating if we tailor things to you based on what we know about you—right? That’s just better service.

If I collect information on the music you listen to, you might assume I will use that data in order to suggest new songs, or share it with your friends. But instead, I could use it to guess at your racial background. And then I could use that data to deny you a loan.

In the 90sI didn’t sign up for a fly buys card when it seemed everyone else did because I didn’t want my whole spending history in some company’s hands. Fast forward 20 years and I spray information all across the web in many different ways and I’m sure many companies are collecting that stuff and using it for purposes I wouldn’t agree to if I had a say.

We all need to be thinking about this. We need new solutions. The cyber safety experts banging on about sexting and online predators need to face up to the fact that there are much bigger issues they should be confronting and educating people about. End of rant.

 

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