Monday, January 09, 2012

The Price of No Privacy

We tell ourselves that we’re in control of our lives. That we control our privacy. That there isn’t a cost to using Facebook and other social media. That our “lunch” really is free.

We know better don’t we? The BBC used to let bloggers “embed” videos. I can’t find the link to do so now. But I want you to watch one. Before I put up the link, I want you to remember some words from Al Gore.

“The potential for manipulating mass opinions and feelings initially discovered by commercial advertisers is now being even more aggressively exploited by a new generation of media Machiavellis. The combination of ever more sophisticated public opinion sampling techniques and the increasing use of powerful computers to parse and subdivide the American people according to "psychographic" categories that identify their susceptibility to individually tailored appeals has further magnified the power of propagandistic electronic messaging that has created a harsh new reality for the functioning of our democracy.”

Now, go watch the video from the BBC.

And why does the BBC want you to go to their site? That’s right. Data. Your data. I don’t collect any. But you can bet your bottom dollar that Google -- which hosts this blog for “free” -- does.

Don Brown
January 9, 2011

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