Albeit services like Facebook or Google are free, the trade-off is a tremendous amount of private user information that is being stolen in order to power their insatiable marketing machines. The problem is that while ignorance plays a role, these free services never made it clear "to consumers what is being taken, and how that information is being used."
[...] as more questions are asked the discrepancy between the claim that there’s ‘nothing to see here’ vs the reality of sleepless surveillance apparatus peering over your shoulder, logging your pulse rate, reading your messages, noting what you look at, for how long and what you do next — and doing so to optimize the lifting of money out of your wallet — then the true consumer cost of ‘free’ becomes more visible than it has ever been.
The tradeoff lie is unraveling, as the scale and implications of the data heist are starting to be processed. One clear tipping point here is NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden who, two years ago, risked life and liberty to reveal how the U.S. government (and many other governments) were involved in a massive, illegal logging of citizens’ digital communications. The documents he released also showed how commercial technology platforms had been appropriated and drawn into this secretive state surveillance complex. Once governments were implicated, it was only a matter of time before the big Internet platforms, with their mirror data-capturing apparatus, would face questions.
|"Cell phone numbers are better identifiers than email addresses."|
|Governments' Requests for Users' Data on Facebook Increased by 24% in First Half of 2014|
|Creepstream: Looking at Insecure Camera Feeds From Around the World|
|“Keeping trust is glorious and breaking trust is disgraceful.”|
|Tech Companies' Requests to Disclose Surveillance Denied by U.S. Department of Justice|
|“Buying a new smartphone every two years is taking a toll on the planet.”|
|“Google and Facebook figured out how to commodify 'reality' itself by tracking what people do.”|
|“New York Central trains in the Hudson River valley in 1928 and 1929”|
|“The latest warning sign for cities who are considering signing over public spaces to major tech companies.”|
|“Scientific evidence that digital distraction is damaging our minds.”|
|The (Very Scary) People of Public Transit|
|How to Avoid Jury Duty|
|CaptchaTweet: Write Tweets in Captcha Form|
|"Waymo is reportedly planning to take the next step towards offering a commercial driverless car service in early December."|
|“We need to make algorithms transparent, regulated, and forgiving of the flawed creatures that converse with them.”|
|“Forget reading the book of life—we’re now learning how to write it.”|
|“Bias, error, and misuse of Artificial Intelligence technologies.”|