Author Topic: Internet and government: data holding and use.  (Read 1024 times)

Dave

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Internet and government: data holding and use.
« on: March 30, 2018, 11:45:59 AM »
There is a great deal in the news at the monent about Cambridge Analytica, their methods of data gathering and who uses their services for what purposes. America's election and the Brexit referendum are both quoted as being affected by data gathering and manipulation. Butvtherecare accusations of even more political and commercial data collection and manipulation in developing nations.

On another forum, that I no longer visit, some members were vociferous against "Big Brother" government agencies collecting data, especially health data, about them in a central database that other government agencies and departments could access. Yet were equally vociferous against any restrictions on the Internet and web.

Though I view any "powerbase", governmental or private, critically and with scepticism wherevthere is a smidgeon of trust it is for the governmental rather than purely commercial, profit based (but tax shy), organisation. I am happy for my medical data to be added to the database because there is a very good chance that it will help reduce drug use and improve health and quality of life. I would hapilly donate genetic material for correlation purposes to that end.

There is, rightly, a lot of shouting about the NRA's effects on a narrow issue situation in America, yet the biggest, and richest, lobbyist is said to be Google.

Google, as we know, is the prime search engine of choice, by a long way. Google's share of Internet access is also growing, especially in vulnerable 2nd and 3rd world countries, via airborne or orbital assets.

There are many metrics for the world's largest companies but looking through a few the following seems to give an indication of the shift in "power", categorised in terms of area of activity, over the kast 10 years.

Despite Facebook's losses in value (and "face"?) due to the latest personal security matter there seems to be balanced opinions as to whetger thiis will do tgem, and Internet companies in general, lasting harm in terms of reduced influence and trust. The energy companies may possibly be losing investment popularity because of environmental concerns, public opinion can be a big factor for some investment funds relying on income from the public.

Google knows where I eat out, where I shop, to some degree what I buy. Do you think there should be even more regulation on what data can be collected and held and how that data is used?

Who do you trust? The government? The Internet companies? Both? Neither? Don't care?

14 day poll.
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No one

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Re: Internet and government: data holding and use.
« Reply #1 on: March 30, 2018, 12:52:50 PM »
Who do you trust when everyone's a crook?

Dave

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Re: Internet and government: data holding and use.
« Reply #2 on: March 30, 2018, 12:55:23 PM »
Who do you trust when everyone's a crook?

Look for the least bent crooks. Then you may not get hooked into as many sticky patches.
« Last Edit: March 30, 2018, 02:53:31 PM by Dave »
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Davin

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Re: Internet and government: data holding and use.
« Reply #3 on: March 30, 2018, 02:49:23 PM »
Neither. What we need, at least here in the US, is an amendment that protects our privacy to some degree.

Always question all authorities because the authority you don't question is the most dangerous... except me, never question me.

Dave

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Re: Internet and government: data holding and use.
« Reply #4 on: March 30, 2018, 02:57:35 PM »
Neither. What we need, at least here in the US, is an amendment that protects our privacy to some degree.

I was wondering about this and your Constitution. Never read all the ammendments but is there not something about the government not being able to sequester property without compensation. Is your data, your life habits, not your property? No doubt conflicting legal definitions of "property" equal the numbers of actors wishing to grab it.

And, yes, I changed my vote.  Though it is not easy to avoid either of the bogeymen, and thus felt constrained to chose, I later decided it is OK to be paranoid in this resoect!
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Davin

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Re: Internet and government: data holding and use.
« Reply #5 on: March 30, 2018, 03:03:27 PM »
Neither. What we need, at least here in the US, is an amendment that protects our privacy to some degree.

I was wondering about this and your Constitution. Never read all the ammendments but is there not something about the government not being able to sequester property without compensation. Is your data, your life habits, not your property? No doubt conflicting legal definitions of "property" equal the numbers of actors wishing to grab it.

And, yes, I changed my vote.  Though it is not easy to avoid either of the bogeymen, and thus felt constrained to chose, I later decided it is OK to be paranoid in this resoect!
We have the 4th amendment that protects against unreasonable searches and seizures, that doesn't help to fix the issue though. One problem, is that congress keeps giving agencies bypasses to that and while many companies put up a fight for at least a while, there are now very few that will fight an order from a government agency for customer data. It started (well, it got worse by a few magnitudes), with 9/11 and the PATRIOT act. It's still unconstitutional, but how does one prove that the government took their data unreasonably? Especially when there is no oversight.

The other problem, is that people "agree" with the end user agreements that "authorize" the companies to use personal data in many ways up to and including selling it.

I don't want personal data to always be protected no matter what, I'm fine with the warranting process that had been working very well for a long time.

Always question all authorities because the authority you don't question is the most dangerous... except me, never question me.

Arturo

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Re: Internet and government: data holding and use.
« Reply #6 on: March 30, 2018, 04:24:30 PM »
Neither. What we need, at least here in the US, is an amendment that protects our privacy to some degree.

I was wondering about this and your Constitution. Never read all the ammendments but is there not something about the government not being able to sequester property without compensation. Is your data, your life habits, not your property? No doubt conflicting legal definitions of "property" equal the numbers of actors wishing to grab it.

And, yes, I changed my vote.  Though it is not easy to avoid either of the bogeymen, and thus felt constrained to chose, I later decided it is OK to be paranoid in this resoect!
We have the 4th amendment that protects against unreasonable searches and seizures, that doesn't help to fix the issue though. One problem, is that congress keeps giving agencies bypasses to that and while many companies put up a fight for at least a while, there are now very few that will fight an order from a government agency for customer data. It started (well, it got worse by a few magnitudes), with 9/11 and the PATRIOT act. It's still unconstitutional, but how does one prove that the government took their data unreasonably? Especially when there is no oversight.

The other problem, is that people "agree" with the end user agreements that "authorize" the companies to use personal data in many ways up to and including selling it.

I don't want personal data to always be protected no matter what, I'm fine with the warranting process that had been working very well for a long time.

The user agreements are always very ridiculous. Every time someone wants to sign up for a website, they have to read a novel of terms and agreements. And they are always subject to change.

But I voted neither. Personal information is protected when you go see a doctor, or a specialist of any kind. It's protected under a lot of other agencies you visit in the living world. But when it comes to online activity, that is somehow free game for whoever has the cash.

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Davin

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Re: Internet and government: data holding and use.
« Reply #7 on: March 30, 2018, 06:11:32 PM »
Neither. What we need, at least here in the US, is an amendment that protects our privacy to some degree.

I was wondering about this and your Constitution. Never read all the ammendments but is there not something about the government not being able to sequester property without compensation. Is your data, your life habits, not your property? No doubt conflicting legal definitions of "property" equal the numbers of actors wishing to grab it.

And, yes, I changed my vote.  Though it is not easy to avoid either of the bogeymen, and thus felt constrained to chose, I later decided it is OK to be paranoid in this resoect!
We have the 4th amendment that protects against unreasonable searches and seizures, that doesn't help to fix the issue though. One problem, is that congress keeps giving agencies bypasses to that and while many companies put up a fight for at least a while, there are now very few that will fight an order from a government agency for customer data. It started (well, it got worse by a few magnitudes), with 9/11 and the PATRIOT act. It's still unconstitutional, but how does one prove that the government took their data unreasonably? Especially when there is no oversight.

The other problem, is that people "agree" with the end user agreements that "authorize" the companies to use personal data in many ways up to and including selling it.

I don't want personal data to always be protected no matter what, I'm fine with the warranting process that had been working very well for a long time.

The user agreements are always very ridiculous. Every time someone wants to sign up for a website, they have to read a novel of terms and agreements. And they are always subject to change.

But I voted neither. Personal information is protected when you go see a doctor, or a specialist of any kind. It's protected under a lot of other agencies you visit in the living world. But when it comes to online activity, that is somehow free game for whoever has the cash.
Something has to be done about those user agreements too.


Along with big corporations lobbying and pushing for them to be able to make money off of our user data, there are a lot of people who think that if one puts data out onto the internet, they shouldn't be upset that other people can access it. While that was an alright way to think back in my day, when the internet was young, that kind of thinking doesn't fit with the modern internet. Where going out on to the internet was something that one did back in the day, now we are always on the internet. We need to get the majority of people on board with privacy protection, or wait until the kids who know better start voting. By then though, there is going to be a huge mess to untangle.

Always question all authorities because the authority you don't question is the most dangerous... except me, never question me.

Arturo

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Re: Internet and government: data holding and use.
« Reply #8 on: March 30, 2018, 09:58:06 PM »
Quote
By then though, there is going to be a huge mess to untangle.

That always seems to be the case somehow.

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Davin

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Re: Internet and government: data holding and use.
« Reply #9 on: March 30, 2018, 10:10:35 PM »
Quote
By then though, there is going to be a huge mess to untangle.

That always seems to be the case somehow.
Well, there will always be a mess to clean up, but the last time it was this messy in the US was around the 1920's-1930's.

Always question all authorities because the authority you don't question is the most dangerous... except me, never question me.

Dave

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Re: Internet and government: data holding and use.
« Reply #10 on: March 30, 2018, 10:21:13 PM »
There is a new law starting in Europe in May, the General Data Protection Regulation, that - it is hoped - will reduce and simplify the usage agreements and limit how personal data is handled. But, as ever, it has its problems:
Quote
EU data protection law may end up protecting scammers, experts warn.
Sweeping new European data protection regulations may have the accidental effect of protecting scammers and spammers by killing the WHOIS system used to link misdeeds online to real identities offline, security experts have warned.

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which comes into effect in May, contains a raft of measures intended to strengthen data protection for Europeans.But some of the new rights and responsibilities will conflict with decades-old technologies that have provided much-needed transparency on the internet, says Raj Samani, the chief scientist at cybersecurity firm McAfee.
https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2018/feb/06/gdpr-data-protection-law-scammers-whois-tools-internet-european-privacy
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Icarus

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Re: Internet and government: data holding and use.
« Reply #11 on: March 31, 2018, 12:30:26 AM »
Those who are mining data are indulging in an offshoot of the advertising business. Google, Amazon, Wal Mart, AIG, and any of the corporate units that can afford it, are trying to figure out what we will buy.

I agree with Dave in that I do not care if someone knows my health status or what medicines I might buy. Our HIPPA rules are claimed to protect us from the prying eyes of the medical insurance industry.  The premise is that if the insurer knows that I have a potentially serious condition they will charge me more for my insurance.  I cannot help but notice that they charge me plenty even though I have no physical problems whatever except for the ordinary stuff like short term gastric disturbances or other simple malady that I take care of without needing to consult a physician. 

I would like not to have my preferences of political parties, religious choices, or my sex life  catalogued.  Never mind, it probably is on record somewhere or several somewheres. What the hell, Amazon already knows what kind of books I am most likely to buy. E-Bay already knows what I am likely to shop for.  My grocery store may know what kind and what quantities I am likely to buy.

Every one uses a credit card rather than cash these days. My large grocery chain can see that my credit card can be matched to the check out receipt which may list that I have bought expensive Spanish Chorizo sausage instead of the less expensive Mexican variety.

Relax folks. The digital age has made it impossible for us to maintain any meaningful degree of privacy.


Dave

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Re: Internet and government: data holding and use.
« Reply #12 on: March 31, 2018, 04:17:07 AM »
I know of one person who, though she has an ancient dumb cellphone, eschews all digital devices and uses cash. OK, she has a debit card that informs someone she probably shops at Tesco because she uses the ATM there to get the cash.

Not paranoia, she 's just making a point she feels strongly about.

What I want to know is, if they are so smart, why I am encouraged to buy a, say, pressure cooker immediately after buying a pressure cooker!? When Tesco did money off coupons they would send eight for products I commonly bought and two "'hooks" for carefully selected other stuff that others with similar buying patterns also bought. Amazon are quite blatant with this ploy but I am very, very rarely attracted enough to follow up. Luvkily I seem to be "ad-blind".
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Madbunny

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Re: Internet and government: data holding and use.
« Reply #13 on: March 31, 2018, 07:42:44 AM »
The ability to collect data has always existed.  Companies, and the government have in my opinion always held a similar ability to do so.

Up until relatively recently, say the last 20 years or so the problem wasn't the collection, but the data visualization and the mining of that data for useful information.
YOU can download some of this yourself if you want to see what I'm talking about.

https://www.facebook.com/settings  (click on 'download a copy of your facebook data')
https://support.google.com/accounts/answer/3024190?hl=en  (click on download your data)

Its all there, but what you're missing is the ability to compile it in a way that lets you make sense of it, or make predictive guesses based on that data.
There are now people, programs and AI sorting utilities that can make those educated predictive guesses, a profile of YOU and what your habits are.  There is a phrase; 'past behavior is the best indicator of future behavior'

Companies use it to predict how to push stuff into your field of view that they can sell you, governments use it to generate behavioral red flags or track aberrant individuals.
I suspect that there is no putting this genie back in the bottle. 

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/asia/china-police-facial-recognition-technology-ai-jaywalkers-fines-text-wechat-weibo-cctv-a8279531.html
We know that it can be done, and as a rule people are more than happy to give up personal liberty for the sake of both the illusion of safety and convenience.




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Re: Internet and government: data holding and use.
« Reply #14 on: March 31, 2018, 01:31:15 PM »
Who do you trust when everyone's a crook?

No one, by that I don't mean you.
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