Imagine you rent an apartment somewhere in the town and from day one you move in your new apartment everything you do is carefully monitored through hidden cameras, microphones and sensors and stored on the internet. All your activity is monitored – when you leave your apartment, when, what and how often you eat, when you go to the toilet, when you have gests and which guests, who you sleep with, if you pick your nose and much more!
Would you mind that the landlord does this to you? Most probably you will not like it nor accept it if you are like most people. So, the question is why do you not mind when your activity is monitored on the social media? Or maybe you did not know that everything you do on the current social media platforms, and for that matter Google, is carefully monitored?
Your personal data is sold!
All the personal data the tech giants monitor about you is meticulously collected and stored and then sold to data brokers. Actually, it is no secret that your personal data is bought and sold by hundreds of data broker companies. As a fact there are more than 100 of these data broker companies in US alone. What very few people know is which companies they are, and what exactly they do.
I am told that the resent Vermont law require companies that buy and sell third-party personal data to register with the Secretary of State. But this law, does not require data brokers to disclose whose personal data they store in their databases, what data they collect, or who buys them. Nor does it require brokers to give consumers access to their own data or opt out of data collection. If you do want to keep your data away from these companies, you will have to contact them directly one by one through the opt-out systems they provide, if they have any, an almost impossible act.
The political establishment allow it!
But this is of cause all wrong and should not be allowed – I think most people can agree on that. So why is it not stopped? The real problem is not these companies doing what they do, though you could accuse them of low moral standards, but some would say that business is business. No, the real problem is that political establishment allow it! But why? They would never allow these things offline in our everyday lived life, at least not in countries with democracy. But there seem to be a deafness or lack of interest among politicians when it comes to what is going on in cyberspace. This leaves these kinds of companies with lots of space to do as they please because there is a huge amount of money to earn on your personal data and no one is doing much about it.
If you want to know more about the issues that are at stake here, you should watch the new Netflix documentary “The Social Dilemma” – it is a good movie, and for some even an eye opener.
Gaming with your psychology
Now, just to make things even worse – we now have AI Algorithms on top of the huge amount of rapidly increasing and aggregated personal data. Right now, it is the wild west where the big tech giants can play around with your personal data and use your psychology against you – exclusively for their own benefit. And they do! Why should they not? I mean, no one is stopping them.
Artificial Intelligence or AI Algorithms used the right way, that is, for the good, is no doubt a gift to humanity – but put into the wrong hands they are poison and a huge threat to democracy and our mental health.
Algorithms should and must be supervised by the authorities to check if they are used against us – just like you must present your financial accounts for audit. There is simply too much money at stake here – weak souls will try to gain on it even if it hurts people. This is already going on. In the wrong hands these algorithms are gaming with our minds to exploit our psychology against us – tricking our mind and use our weak spots. Take for example a ludoman. Through machine learning the AI algorithm will be increasingly better to trick this person into even more gaming. And if you feel lonely and isolated this can be exploited to keep you on the platform to be able to show you more ads and thereby generate more revenue. It is all happening right now!
Never have we seen young generations feeling lonelier and more isolated. Why? Because these IA algorithms are gaming with their minds to keep them on their platform as much as possible. Some call it the Attention Economy, every second of users’ attention is valuable. It all about keeping you on platform to dispose you for more ads – mostly irrelevant and annoying ads. Not for your own benefit, no, for these platforms you are the product. That is, it is your personal data that makes it possible to trick you into doing things that does not do any good to you. Who cares?