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Old 12 Mar 2024, 09:17 AM   #1
webecedarian
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Privacy and power in tech

What Google’s multibillion payment to Apple says about privacy and power in tech
By Zeynep Tufekci

Companies expect users to accept what they’re given, not know their options or not have the constant vigilance required to keep track of the available options, however limited they may be. Since the power in the industry is concentrated among few gatekeepers, and the technology is opaque and its consequences hard to foresee, default settings are some of the most important ways for companies to keep collecting and using data as they want.

So, how much are default settings worth? Billions and billions and billions...

Even when you might think you know what your default settings are, you can be surprised. On more than one occasion I discovered that my privacy settings had changed from what I thought they were. Help forums are full of similarly befuddled users. Sometimes it’s a bug. Other times, when I dug into it, I realized that another change I had made had surreptitiously switched me back into tracking. Sometimes I learned that there was yet another setting somewhere else that also needed to be changed.

For the whole article:

https://www.twincities.com/2023/11/2...power-in-tech/

https://www.communicationstoday.co.i...and-antitrust/

https://dnyuz.com/2023/11/20/this-is...ingle-setting/
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Old 12 Mar 2024, 10:31 PM   #2
TenFour
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Unless you are willing to not use computers, phones, and the Internet having your data scooped up for targeted advertising is inevitable. Even if you abandon computers, phones, and the Internet your bank, healthcare provider, car company, insurance company, state agencies, etc. all sell your data to brokers. Your best bet is to be a square peg in a square hole and just look like everyone else's data. Your data is just one person's among billions being tracked. A needle in a haystack. If you have serious concerns about being tracked for some nefarious reason you can run, but you can't hide. They found and killed Bin Laden, who was off the grid and not using any technology in order not to be tracked. If you are seriously worried that advertising tracking is going to influence your decisions look inward at your own decision making processes. You don't have to use social media. You don't have to purchase the schlock being advertised. It is up to you.
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Old 13 Mar 2024, 04:46 AM   #3
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Yes its very hard to stay out of thier hands...... But it IS possible.......
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Old 13 Mar 2024, 04:49 AM   #4
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...... But it IS possible.......
Nope, sorry, that boat has sailed. There is no opting out of data collection, no matter what you do. Feel free to knock yourself out, spend lots of money, and constantly be vigilant and worried if you wish, but you are just fooling yourself. All the privacy products are just marketing pitches and they are selling you stuff. If you buy the products their data collection has worked on you!
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Old 13 Mar 2024, 05:08 AM   #5
Bamb0
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Unhappy Yea i guess the best thing is not to end up there in the first place!

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Old 13 Mar 2024, 08:11 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by TenFour View Post
They found and killed Bin Laden, who was off the grid and not using any technology in order not to be tracked.
That's not really a suitable example. Billions were spent tracking Bin Laden's and similar organizations, and although he was avoiding any kind of communications technology, and so were the people close to him, others in his organizations had to use them and could be tracked.
One can do a lot to stay away from surveillance by the big companies, but theirs a price to pay of social isolation. I stay of anything related to Meta, but it means that I am not being informed of things happening in my family (unless my wife thinks it's important enough to inform me) and about many things at work (unless someone thinks of personally informing me by email or sms) because the norm in my country is that everyone is expected to have WhatsApp. One of my coleages doesn't have a smartphone (on principle) and it means that he cannot access some of the systems needed to do his work. We have to do find some workarounds for him (and when there are none he uses his wife's phone).
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Old 13 Mar 2024, 12:50 PM   #7
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Lets try to keep things light on this thread,we dont want it closed

If ya know how to stay invisible it IS still posisble but you cant be on any social media sites,ya just have to be basically hidden from others which most are right in the open...... (And 1/2 of those dont care which is sad)
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Old 13 Mar 2024, 02:05 PM   #8
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If you are on the internet, it's not possible to be invisible. There are a lot of things one can do to reduce visibility. One cannot eliminate visibility on the internet.

Even if one goes "off grid" there are so many ways for that to be compromised even if you are if 100% self sustainable with no contact to the outside world.
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Old 13 Mar 2024, 05:55 PM   #9
hadaso
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One can join a monastery. Nowadays it's not much different from staying off the internet or having no phone. One becomes an e-nun or e-monk or e-hermit (but then eHermit already means the opposite).


If someone chooses to stay away from all humans, they have to go somewhere like Antarctica or the Sahara dessert or some other place where there are very few people and still some space left to be far away from anyone. And then they immediately appear on the maps of those that spend the billions on those "eyes in the sky", who then are sure that if someone is in such place they must be hiding from them, and anyway they'd like to know a bit about them for their files.
The same with staying off the internet, or staying away from where almost everyone else hangs out: if you do it, you're an outlier, and they check you out. You belong to a small special group, and that makes you more interesting for anyone trying to make a profit.


The only way to hide in a crowded world is to mix in the crowd. That means joining whatever platforms are popular, and doing what most people do, that is using them almost but not totally passively.
I don't stay off anything Meta and using my own domain because I want to hide from surveillance. I know that doing this actually makes me stand out for the data collectors. I do it because I don't want my online identity to include someone else's trademark (Gmail, Outlook etc.), and I don't like entities that fool people to believe their closed networks are general purpose public communication networks (Meta, Apple), and when possible I prefer to support small businesses (humans) rather than big corporations (non-human entities). But of course the big corporations can still follow me, and profit by selling my info to small businesses... and they can force me into their networks by convincing enough small businesses that there is no extra profit in serving people outside these networks, or that this extra profit is not worth the effort.


So the most sensible thing for most people is to just relax, leave their false illusions behind, look around and stroll around the ground until they feel at home, and let the makers of rules read their minds and cheat them blind.
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Old 13 Mar 2024, 09:05 PM   #10
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So the most sensible thing for most people is to just relax, leave their false illusions behind, look around and stroll around the ground until they feel at home, and let the makers of rules read their minds and cheat them blind.
The thing you need to ask yourself is how do the apps, services, and platforms you use benefit yourself. Is the tradeoff of providing your data to some company worth what you get in return? Or, is the price you pay for some service providing you with a benefit commensurate with its price? Personally, I don't feel I am being "cheated blind" by the apps and services I use. If I did feel that way, I wouldn't use them. In fact, I don't use Meta products because I hate their interfaces and how they manipulate people for "engagement." Luckily, nobody in my family uses Meta's stuff much, so I am not missing anything. OTOH, I really like and use many Google products, and so does just about everyone I know. These products provide lots of value for me and my family. But, you have to use them with eyes open that you are paying for them with some of your data being used for advertising purposes.
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Old 13 Mar 2024, 11:11 PM   #11
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I don't mind being served advertisements based on what they can find out about me. I use several Google products and usually they don't try to trap me and certainly not to trap me into some private network of theirs, open only to communication between their customers (aka users). Google offers good interfaces into some public networks (Gmail to the public mail network; the search engine to the public web. Also Google forms to the public web, and several other such services that are interfaces to networks they do not own). The evil ones are those that try to trap you into something you can use to interact only with their own subscribers. I think Microsoft was a bit like that in the past, and has become a bit more like Google in the present, not locking you into having to use their products.
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Old 9 Apr 2024, 10:55 AM   #12
webecedarian
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TenFour View Post
Unless you are willing to not use computers, phones, and the Internet having your data scooped up for targeted advertising is inevitable. Even if you abandon computers, phones, and the Internet your bank, healthcare provider, car company, insurance company, state agencies, etc. all sell your data to brokers. Your best bet is to be a square peg in a square hole and just look like everyone else's data. Your data is just one person's among billions being tracked. A needle in a haystack. If you have serious concerns about being tracked for some nefarious reason you can run, but you can't hide. They found and killed Bin Laden, who was off the grid and not using any technology in order not to be tracked. If you are seriously worried that advertising tracking is going to influence your decisions look inward at your own decision making processes. You don't have to use social media. You don't have to purchase the schlock being advertised. It is up to you.
It just happens that although I didn't plan it that way, I have almost no electronic footprint. I don't do anything financial online. I mostly use a landline.

I'm not so very concerned, but I operate on a "need to know" basis for outsiders.
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Old 26 Apr 2024, 11:31 AM   #13
webecedarian
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Nope, sorry, that boat has sailed. There is no opting out of data collection, no matter what you do. Feel free to knock yourself out, spend lots of money, and constantly be vigilant and worried if you wish, but you are just fooling yourself. All the privacy products are just marketing pitches and they are selling you stuff. If you buy the products their data collection has worked on you!
I think data collection is a wide range, and you can probably choose, for instance, to avoid purchasing online, which may cut down on a lot of information.
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Old 26 Apr 2024, 07:47 PM   #14
chrisretusn
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I think data collection is a wide range, and you can probably choose, for instance, to avoid purchasing online, which may cut down on a lot of information.
I believe this to be a very important point. I think purchasing online might be one of the biggest data collection activities on the internet.
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