Stories
Slash Boxes
Comments

SoylentNews is people

posted by martyb on Saturday August 29 2015, @01:49PM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the I-wonder-if-they-track-sales-of-tin-foil? dept.

http://www.cio.com/article/2977027/intel-reveals-big-datas-dirty-little-secret.html

The article is entitled "Intel reveals big data's dirty little secret" but I read it a little bit differently.

From the article: "Companies are spending billions on tools and engineering to analyse big data, though many are hampered by one little problem: they still don't know what to do with all the data they collect."

This means that, of all the egregious breaches of personal privacy that companies regularly perform (the Target-knows-you're-pregnant-when-your-parents-don't story comes to mind), they have still only scratched the surface of making sense of your information, and using it effectively. Which means that, as Big Data gets people who actually know what they're doing, the more frightening the possibilities become, which is probably only a matter of time.

How would you feel about getting a bunch of targeted spam from divorce lawyers because your wife/husband's personal details were in the big Ashley Madison data leak, before you even heard about it? What if you were the guy who got drunk and put a profile up one time after a big fight but never followed up on it? This is why I don't have a Facebook account.


Original Submission

Related Stories

The CPU [Computer Professional Union] 76 comments

Computing is notorious for not having a worthwhile professional association. Some practitioners join the IEEE, the IET or the ACM. However, membership typically costs hundreds of dollars per year and offers little practical help to computer professionals working in small companies. If you're working for government or a large corporation or you're a super programmer in a well funded start-up then you probably have a union or you don't need a union. However, if you're the sole techie in a small business, appreciation for your dedication is just the start. What happens when you're asked to do something unethical or illegal? Where do you turn when a job goes sour? How do you avoid the problem? How can you avoid really toxic employers?

Rather than paying hundreds of dollars per year for talks and conferences, you require local experts who have first-hand experience of local employers and local employment problems. How can this be achieved reliably and cost-effectively? This is where our expertise should shine. Firstly, union entry should be at least as stringent as the conceirge union. Secondly, there should be a web-of-trust within each metropolitan region (and ideally between regions). In the best case, the network distance between all members should be four or less. Thirdly, an obligatory website should incur less hits than SoylentNews and therefore an upper bound for costs can be established for a volunteer effort. Essentially, it should be possible to run a union from donations of US$3000 per year or significantly less. Indeed, the major cost to members would be food and drink expenses when informally meeting other members.

So who wants to join a computer professional union with sensible fees and obligations?


Original Submission

This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.
Display Options Threshold/Breakthrough Mark All as Read Mark All as Unread
The Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not responsible for them in any way.
  • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 29 2015, @02:06PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 29 2015, @02:06PM (#229414)
    • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 29 2015, @03:44PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 29 2015, @03:44PM (#229438)

      You really have to go out of your way not to connect to facebook. The 'wall/post' feature is only a small portion of the advertising engine they have. They have web bugs and scripts everywhere. People put them on their pages to 'connect to my facebook'. But it is really helping them track you even more.

      Big data is kinda of a joke. People collect all this data then have 0 clue what to do with it. I have terabytes of the stuff at work. After 2 years of collecting stuff like this they finally said 'oh we need to do something with it what should we do?' then promptly hired consultants to tell them what to do. Instead of using it to make customers lives better. They use to connect it to advertising. sigh...

      • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Francis on Saturday August 29 2015, @04:04PM

        by Francis (5544) on Saturday August 29 2015, @04:04PM (#229443)

        It's not just that, imagine what would have happened if the Nazis had had access to this amount of data. It's not likely that something of that scale will happen again, but since then there's been Rwanda and Bosnia amongst others. Not to mention the various authoritarian regimes out there right now.

        Even if you don't live in an authoritarian regime, you can still have your life ruined if the information gets released or your information is similar to somebody else. I wonder how many people are being caught up in the AM scandal that weren't actually using the service.

      • (Score: 3, Informative) by Justin Case on Saturday August 29 2015, @05:16PM

        by Justin Case (4239) on Saturday August 29 2015, @05:16PM (#229466) Journal

        > They have web bugs

        RequestPolicy

        > and scripts everywhere.

        NoScript

        On the rare occasions when I'm forced to use a computer/browser without these basic defenses, I am startled by how overflowing with crap and bloat things have become. And yet people tolerate it, apparently! Real life example of the allegorical boiled frog perhaps?

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 29 2015, @06:42PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 29 2015, @06:42PM (#229507)

          Most people are technically clueless. Unless capabilities like NoScript and RequestPolicy are inherit in all browsers, people do not even know they have options to block a lot of the crap, along with having a more secure browsing experience.

          The industry relies on the ignorance of the masses, and the technically savvy are too much in the minority to make any difference in how sites operate.

          For those that do not use something like RequestPolicy, I encourage you to try it out just to see how f'ed up things are. It is not unusual for it to to block several different trackers on a single page.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 29 2015, @07:25PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 29 2015, @07:25PM (#229519)

          > They have web bugs

          RequestPolicy

          > and scripts everywhere.

          NoScript

          Imagine if we all had to be mechanics in order to drive our cars safely.

          And yet people tolerate it, apparently! Real life example of the allegorical boiled frog perhaps?

          They tolerate it because the immediate value they receive is perceived to be significantly greater than the price they are paying. That is human nature, we significantly discount future costs, especially costs that we don't have clear visualization of.

          • (Score: 1) by dingus on Saturday August 29 2015, @09:14PM

            by dingus (5224) on Saturday August 29 2015, @09:14PM (#229560)

            >imagine if we all had to be mechanics in order to drive our cars safely

            it was kinda like that until the late 50s.

          • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Anal Pumpernickel on Sunday August 30 2015, @02:26AM

            by Anal Pumpernickel (776) on Sunday August 30 2015, @02:26AM (#229662)

            Imagine if we all had to be mechanics in order to drive our cars safely.

            Installing and using such add-ons doesn't take much knowledge.

            Imagine if people didn't even have to have the slightest bit of knowledge about driving a car before they started driving a car on the same roads everyone else uses, with no supervision.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 29 2015, @05:22PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 29 2015, @05:22PM (#229471)

      This is why I don't have any friends who use Facebook.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 29 2015, @05:49PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 29 2015, @05:49PM (#229485)

        >This is why I don't have any friends

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 29 2015, @08:20PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 29 2015, @08:20PM (#229540)

        Plenty of good friends, but none that use fb. There are probably some friends of friends (or kids of friends), but that's another "degree of separation" and not worth following, imo. Just googled "facebook my name" and found a handful of namesakes (relatively uncommon name) and no pics or entries pointing to me. So it is possible to avoid fb.

        • (Score: 3, Informative) by Anal Pumpernickel on Sunday August 30 2015, @02:42AM

          by Anal Pumpernickel (776) on Sunday August 30 2015, @02:42AM (#229668)

          Just googled "facebook my name"

          Instead of using Facebook, you use something created by another company known for its egregious violations of your privacy. I would suggest not using any of them.

    • (Score: 2) by el_oscuro on Sunday August 30 2015, @01:14AM

      by el_oscuro (1711) on Sunday August 30 2015, @01:14AM (#229642)

      That is why you need to add facebook to your host [winbeginner.com] file.

      --
      SoylentNews is Bacon! [nueskes.com]
  • (Score: 2) by hemocyanin on Saturday August 29 2015, @03:30PM

    by hemocyanin (186) on Saturday August 29 2015, @03:30PM (#229435) Journal

    What if you were the guy who got drunk and put a profile up one time after a big fight but never followed up on it?

    What's this story? I never heard of it.

    • (Score: 2) by Gaaark on Saturday August 29 2015, @03:44PM

      by Gaaark (41) Subscriber Badge on Saturday August 29 2015, @03:44PM (#229439) Journal

      etherscythe was drunk when he posted this... other than that, i have no idea either, lol.

      --
      --- Please remind me if I haven't been civil to you: I'm channeling MDC. ---Gaaark 2.0 ---
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 29 2015, @05:14PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 29 2015, @05:14PM (#229464)

      I hate when that happens to me.

    • (Score: 2) by etherscythe on Saturday August 29 2015, @10:00PM

      by etherscythe (937) on Saturday August 29 2015, @10:00PM (#229577) Journal

      I tried to give two hypothetical examples of people who might have been affected by the Ashley Madison breach who would not be the most expected victims of the fallout, i.e. they are not the greasy scumbags you expect the site to be full of. It was thought experiment proposal, you might say.

      --
      "Fake News: anything reported outside of my own personally chosen echo chamber"
  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 29 2015, @03:58PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 29 2015, @03:58PM (#229440)

    The next day I kept seeing targeted ads for diarrhea, colonoscopy, weight loss, and gastrointestinal injury attorneys.

  • (Score: 1) by isj on Saturday August 29 2015, @04:03PM

    by isj (5249) on Saturday August 29 2015, @04:03PM (#229442) Homepage

    "What if you were the guy who got drunk and put a profile up one time after a big fight but never followed up on it? This is why I don't have a Facebook account."

    I have never seen such pictures so I guess that I'm more selective with whom I connect to on social media.

    • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 29 2015, @05:22PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 29 2015, @05:22PM (#229472)

      Good for you.

      Now consider what happens when your neighbor's Amazon Echo hears that big fight, and recognizes that it came from your house and logs that data? Will you be so smug?

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 29 2015, @06:19PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 29 2015, @06:19PM (#229500)

        Amazon Echo does that?

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 29 2015, @07:20PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 29 2015, @07:20PM (#229517)

          > Amazon Echo does that?

          All audio detected by Amazon Echo is sent to Amazon's servers for processing (just like xbox one, siri, cortana, etc), none of the voice recognition is done locally. It would be naive to think that Amazon (or any of the others) aren't picking through that data stream for anything they can possibly find. Maybe not today because it's 1st gen tech and they haven't put it all together yet, but we all know that when it comes to automated analysis the corporate mindset is so preoccupied with whether or not they can do it that they never stop to consider if they should do it.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 01 2015, @12:36AM

            by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 01 2015, @12:36AM (#230551)

            So, yeah, just like I thought.

            No.

      • (Score: 1) by isj on Sunday August 30 2015, @03:37PM

        by isj (5249) on Sunday August 30 2015, @03:37PM (#229861) Homepage

        Yes, I will still be smug when the neighbour and/or Amazon get convicted for illegal recording.
        Where I live it is illegal to record conversations from non-public places where you are not a participant. Can get you up to 6 months jail.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 31 2015, @12:31AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 31 2015, @12:31AM (#229996)

          > Where I live it is illegal to record conversations from non-public places where you are not a participant.

          Bullshit. Seriously, you are fucking delusional.
          There is absolutely no law where you live that says you can't record any sounds that enter your own home.

          Go ahead, prove me wrong. You can't because all you have is the smugness of ignorance.

          • (Score: 1) by isj on Monday August 31 2015, @07:25AM

            by isj (5249) on Monday August 31 2015, @07:25AM (#230058) Homepage

            >
            > There is absolutely no law where you live that says you can't record any sounds that enter your own home.

            Straffeloven §263 styk 3

            >
            > Go ahead, prove me wrong. You can't because all you have is the smugness of ignorance.

            I think we know who the ignorant is. Or perhaps you are just a contrarian or a troll?

  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by looorg on Saturday August 29 2015, @04:22PM

    by looorg (578) on Saturday August 29 2015, @04:22PM (#229447)

    "Companies are spending billions on tools and engineering to analyse big data, though many are hampered by one little problem: they still don't know what to do with all the data they collect"

    What they don't know is that most of the data they keep gathering and storing is worthless junk, either they don't know or they know but they keep hoping for things to turn around. But no matter how hard they polish that giant data turd it's still going to be a turd. It's just not going to become golden just cause they find the right algorithm. There is no data-science-alchemy, not that it stops people from selling that -- the sales rep from IBM and others won't tell you that you have a data turd cause they want to keep selling your magic solutions. I have seen it in academic data, decades worth of data turned digital. I have seen it in private companies data. They gather so much data and most of it is just crap. They are holding onto it cause they one day believe that it will turn to data-gold. It's not, or I'll be utterly surprised if it did. But as long as data storage is cheap they'll keep doing it.

    It's what the people that thought me refer to as a SISU (it looses a bit in translation but basically it means 'shit in, shit out') problem; bad data won't become good data just cause you massage it. It might look golden but it's still shit.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 29 2015, @05:10PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 29 2015, @05:10PM (#229463)

      I was going to post something similar to this but I see you beat me to it. I would add that this is a form of hoarding, much like dysfunctional people hoard. It does no good and causes companies to lose money by spending all their money on the hardware/software/people/electricity needed to keep these systems running.

    • (Score: 2) by Justin Case on Saturday August 29 2015, @05:26PM

      by Justin Case (4239) on Saturday August 29 2015, @05:26PM (#229475) Journal

      > most of the data they keep gathering and storing is worthless junk... the sales rep from IBM and others won't tell you that you have a data turd cause they want to keep selling your magic solutions.

      In my experience the biggest suckers for sales weasels are other sales weasels. By lying with every breath for years, their brains have rotted to the point where they no longer grasp the concept "truth". Therefore they are defenseless when someone says "buy my crap, it will help you sell your crap."

      > SISU 'shit in, shit out'

      Where I live it's GIGO: garbage in garbage out. Same idea. Anyway, you have a moral obligation to stuff the Big Data Hoarders full of as much garbage -- or shit -- as you can. And I hope they find it quite tasty, yes indeed!

    • (Score: 1) by dingus on Saturday August 29 2015, @09:19PM

      by dingus (5224) on Saturday August 29 2015, @09:19PM (#229563)

      This is true in some sense, but obviously the researchers at the NSA believe it's possible to turn it into a golden turd, so I'm inclined to follow their lead. Some of the top mathematicians and computer scientists in the world work there.

      Of course, I could be wrong and they could be running their collection operations due to political reasons. In which case I guess the top mathematicians and computer scientists at the NSA are pretty pissed.

      • (Score: 1) by termigator on Saturday August 29 2015, @10:26PM

        by termigator (4271) on Saturday August 29 2015, @10:26PM (#229590)

        The data can be beneficial if you have specific queries in mind. I.e. You already have specific targets in mind and need to gather more information about those targets. Of course, for organizations like the NSA, such data gathering is unconstitutional, but it seems like the checks-and-balances of the U.S. govt has failed in this regard.

        • (Score: 2) by Justin Case on Sunday August 30 2015, @02:54AM

          by Justin Case (4239) on Sunday August 30 2015, @02:54AM (#229673) Journal

          > The data can be beneficial if you have specific queries in mind. I.e. You already have specific targets^Wpresidential candidates in mind and need to gather more information about those targets^Wpresidential candidates.

          FTFY

    • (Score: 2) by etherscythe on Sunday August 30 2015, @01:12PM

      by etherscythe (937) on Sunday August 30 2015, @01:12PM (#229816) Journal

      This may be true in some cases, but the Target story really brought home to me that as data collection techniques and partnerships improve, the risks are definitely real. In case you're not familiar with that story, I strongly recommend following up on it.

      --
      "Fake News: anything reported outside of my own personally chosen echo chamber"
      • (Score: 2) by looorg on Sunday August 30 2015, @02:40PM

        by looorg (578) on Sunday August 30 2015, @02:40PM (#229842)

        I'm not saying there are not uses for big data, there are. But just as with any data collection you have to do a lot of work to make sure you are actually gathering needed data that you can somehow use for something interesting. A lot of these big data projects seem to start in the wrong end of things. Normally one would start with the idea or the question and then gather data, they start with gathering (or a giant pile of previously collected data) and then they wonder if they can do something interesting with what they got. Sometime they can, no doubt about that - but they also will end with a lot of shit data that is just wasting space.

        I'm not overly familiar with the Target case but I a quick scan seems to indicate that it's millions of records of sales, CC numbers and personal information from the customers etc. No doubt interesting things could be done with that. You can always find interesting cases, I was making more of a general statement.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 29 2015, @04:30PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 29 2015, @04:30PM (#229448)

    seems that if you want to travel to america and you need a special document (visa?) that immigration will also check your facebook (history) before you can spend your hard earned monies in the american (las vegas) economy : P

  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by naubol on Saturday August 29 2015, @04:32PM

    by naubol (1918) on Saturday August 29 2015, @04:32PM (#229449)

    Every time these stories come out, we get scenarios designed to appeal to our passions and our prejudices that are cynical in nature. Not only that, but they're unimaginative, because it could be so much worse than that. Yet, this information could bring about a future with new levels of personal empowerment, higher quality of life, new levels of comfort and individuality,...

    We cannot see all the possible sociopolitical futures this technology enables. Our lack of vision necessarily inhibits our ability to respond, so assuming the worst is a recipe for closing off possibility. I'm not advocating not being skeptical, instead I'm suggesting that skepticism unleavened by creative optimism weighs heavy on the stomach.

    Let's have some freakin vision.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 29 2015, @05:19PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 29 2015, @05:19PM (#229467)

      > Let's have some freakin vision.

      The people who are selling it to the general public are doing a bang-up job with the vision. That's really the problem here, the way this stuff is presented its all upside no downside.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 29 2015, @05:20PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 29 2015, @05:20PM (#229468)

      i see your "vision"and raise you a "surveylion-ision" : ]

    • (Score: 2) by Gravis on Saturday August 29 2015, @06:16PM

      by Gravis (4596) on Saturday August 29 2015, @06:16PM (#229498)

      Every time these stories come out, we get scenarios designed to appeal to our passions and our prejudices that are cynical in nature. Not only that, but they're unimaginative, because it could be so much worse than that.

      it's seems to me that appeals to realism rather than your personal fantasy of helpful companies.

      We cannot see all the possible sociopolitical futures this technology enables. Our lack of vision necessarily inhibits our ability to respond, so assuming the worst is a recipe for closing off possibility.

      accurate predictions of the future are based on the past behavior and responses.

      I'm not advocating not being skeptical, instead I'm suggesting that skepticism unleavened by creative optimism weighs heavy on the stomach.

      this is know as the optimism bias [wikipedia.org] which is a waste of time.

      Let's have some freakin vision.

      here's some freakin vision: the future will be full of people like the present and the bad people will leverage technology is bad way just like the are doing now and have done in the past.

      grow up.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 29 2015, @07:13PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 29 2015, @07:13PM (#229515)

      A young german boy had a vision once. I guess all his detractors just were not optimistic enough to see the future of personal empowerment, higher quality of life, and new levels of comfort that would have been possible if they just stayed out of his way.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 29 2015, @08:00PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 29 2015, @08:00PM (#229527)

        ITYM Austrian.

    • (Score: 2) by Hyperturtle on Saturday August 29 2015, @09:12PM

      by Hyperturtle (2824) on Saturday August 29 2015, @09:12PM (#229559)

      I imagine a future where what you said was possible -- without the future we live in today.

      I did not ever think that the CPU horsepower that fits in the palm of our hands -- or cloistered in server rooms or encased in a mainframe -- would require so much sacrifice. We give up so much to get what, webmail in return? To make it so we don't have to memorize a route? To be reminded when a friend's birthday is? To be recommended similar network cables to what I already purchased? How did we live before this time? Where are the miracles that were supposed to happen in exchange for my data? Why is my data being sold to people I actually decided that I did not want to do business with? How do I get my data out of your system prior to its transfer to your new owner that I do not want to do business with and made a point to using a competitor instead?

      When I started exercising after seeing pictures of healthy looking people who were not me (it was in a magazine, I am sure), I bought a small spiral bound steno pad -- it was smaller than that. I wrote out the weights and the reps and the sets. I did not need to attach to the internet. I was able to see the weight loss and the muscle gain without having to sign a waiver indicating that my data will be shared with valued partners.

      When one place I worked announced that our insurance would go up $150 each unless everyone wore a fitbit, so the goal was to get everyone to wear one and then demonize the holdouts... well. our insurance went up $150. (and it wasn't just me--about half of the company refused--no arguments designed to appeal to our passion and predjudices could encourage us to submit to such tracking. The fact that many of us travelled and we'd be visible on a map was not helpful to get us to save money--privacy has a price, and $150 seemed reasonable to pay).

      As far as individuality, this all sounds like a character building experience, and I think I am quite the character as it is. I don't need to give away my most mundane and boring of secrets to help insure my individuality.

      I think the argument you should be having is not with us, the consumer, but with those pushing this stuff on us. We have seen how badly abused things can be for a profit, and would like our personal details kept out of it.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 30 2015, @12:07AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 30 2015, @12:07AM (#229621)

        > When one place I worked announced that our insurance would go up $150 each unless everyone wore a fitbit,

        You need to name that place. You can't just put that out there and not hold them up for public accountability.

        • (Score: 2) by Hyperturtle on Sunday August 30 2015, @06:02PM

          by Hyperturtle (2824) on Sunday August 30 2015, @06:02PM (#229915)

          oh... their word of mouth marketing has lost them numerous customers. I expect it will not be long the before need to plug their holes prior to their inevitable sink to the bottom. It will only be then that their management will get out of the boat they rock daily--but it'd only be to command the others to dig through the rock at the bottom while they all drown. Lack of work/lack of oxygen. Same thing.

          They are having issues, and while I would not mind to see their demise, I wouldn't get satisfaction from it -- they have customers that will suffer with them as they sink. I don't expect them to actually get any better (small company, owner dictates what happens, no discussion, any critique is treated as a personal attack).

          The owner and his VPs (37% of the company are "senior executive leadership team" members; there are no other executives nor even managers of which to be senior over) all value the advice in the book called The Secret. I think Trump or Oprah suggested it. That's how they find new customers, by willing the universe to them. They were quite surprised that the fitbit thing didn't quite work out... maybe they didn't wish it hard enough. They said they even had a meeting about it, and were surprised people would resist it. When asked why our opinions about such things were not solicited, we were suggested to start our own business if we want to provide advice on how to run one.

          Considering the lack of there being much chance for true change from above, I can only hope they lose enough customers due to customers choosing to cease doing business or opting to not renew service contracts, rather than due to the company's questionable business practices and other behaviors.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 31 2015, @07:06AM

            by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 31 2015, @07:06AM (#230056)

            Whatevers dude. Nobody gives a fuck about your stories if they can't be connected to a real company. As far as every one else reading your post is concerned it is all a made up story. Instead of writing all that you could have spent the same time masturbating, felt better and not wasted anyone's time.

    • (Score: 2) by Anal Pumpernickel on Sunday August 30 2015, @02:40AM

      by Anal Pumpernickel (776) on Sunday August 30 2015, @02:40AM (#229667)

      Your "vision" contradicts history. Power corrupts, and all this data will be used against us. To say otherwise is to ignore history, which is foolish.

      Furthermore, any future where my privacy is constantly violated to supposedly give me a "higher quality of life" isn't a future worth living in. We should all fight against that possibility; have some principles.

      I'm not advocating not being skeptical, instead I'm suggesting that skepticism unleavened by creative optimism weighs heavy on the stomach.

      I have a better plan: Use your brain. Read up on history and all the abuses that corporations and governments committed, and then come back and tell me that this "vision" of yours is even remotely probable.

      Let's have some freakin vision.

      I'd rather not be a propaganda-spreading tool for giant corporations.

    • (Score: 2) by etherscythe on Sunday August 30 2015, @01:02PM

      by etherscythe (937) on Sunday August 30 2015, @01:02PM (#229811) Journal

      I'd like to believe we will someday get to what you are describing. My negative tone is based on my observation that we are on the wrong path for that, specifically, the wrong people are collecting this information right now. We need services and organizations tailored to the needs of the individuals, not the needs of big business. Until that occurs, the problem is only going to get worse.

      --
      "Fake News: anything reported outside of my own personally chosen echo chamber"
    • (Score: 2) by urza9814 on Monday August 31 2015, @01:24PM

      by urza9814 (3954) on Monday August 31 2015, @01:24PM (#230136) Journal

      Personally, I've got some grand visions of the future modern and coming technologies could permit.

      Unfortunately, more and more I'm finding the future I envision is one I'm gonna have to build for myself. We've got some great stuff in this open source freedom bubble, and if you just string it together you can build some truly amazing technology. But none of it ever seems to go mainstream. Instead we get these crippled, massively monetized corporate garbage heaps.

      The future I want to see isn't one based on Facebook, Google, and Microsoft; it's based on Diaspora*, YaCy, and Linux. But people would rather sell their soul to Satan than learn the difference between The Internet and Internet Explorer...

  • (Score: 3, Touché) by ledow on Saturday August 29 2015, @06:00PM

    by ledow (5567) on Saturday August 29 2015, @06:00PM (#229492) Homepage

    "How would you feel about getting a bunch of targeted spam from divorce lawyers because your wife/husband's personal details were in the big Ashley Madison data leak, before you even heard about it?"

    1) Spam is illegal in my country.
    2) Spam from a lawyer would be clamped down upon so heavily they'd never lawyer again.
    3) Not only is spam illegal, using personal details that you've obtained illegally is also illegal. Any lawyer that touched them would be struck off in seconds.

    Come live in a world with sensible laws that take account of these things rather than making up hypothetical scenarios that are just plain stupid.

    P.S. Read up on the Data Protection Act and various EU counterparts while you are there.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 29 2015, @07:15PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 29 2015, @07:15PM (#229516)

      Spam is the least of the concerns. It was just used as a visceral example that everyone is familiar with. Abuses (or intended uses depending on your POV) will be far more subtle. And none of the source data will be illegally collected, one way or another you will waive the collection.

      I'm all for the european style approach like data self-determination [dataprotection.eu] - but power always subverts, without 'eternal vigilance' you will lose control of those protections.

    • (Score: 1) by dingus on Saturday August 29 2015, @09:23PM

      by dingus (5224) on Saturday August 29 2015, @09:23PM (#229565)

      You EU folks have it so much better than us in so many ways. It's like your government(s) actually cares about its people. I'm jealous.

    • (Score: 2) by etherscythe on Saturday August 29 2015, @10:09PM

      by etherscythe (937) on Saturday August 29 2015, @10:09PM (#229581) Journal

      Good to hear a positive note on this. Are you in the Netherlands per chance? Those of us seriously considering emigration will thank you for valuable information like that to guide the selection of their destination. Cheers!

      --
      "Fake News: anything reported outside of my own personally chosen echo chamber"
    • (Score: 2) by hash14 on Sunday August 30 2015, @02:14AM

      by hash14 (1102) on Sunday August 30 2015, @02:14AM (#229657)

      Your points (2) and (3) are valid, but I think it's silly to argue (1). It doesn't really matter if it's illegal in your country. The law doesn't do a damn thing to stop a crimes, especially when it comes to Things Lawyers Would Prefer You Not Do With Your Computer. Example: the DMCA hasn't done a damn thing to stop people from sharing media over the internet. The notion that it will is hopelessly naive, and not solely for the reasons that (1) any country's laws don't apply universally (well, unless that country is the USA), (2) such laws are very difficult to enforce anyway in an age of VPNs, Tor, crytocurrency, etc. and (3) stupid people will do stupid things anyways, and other stupid people will reward them for it - the incentive and beneficial outcome can't be eliminated, so it will continue to occur.

      In short, there's no such thing as a legal solution to a technical problem. There are legal disincentives, but while the violations are so simple to commit and difficult to enforce, they really are a silly response to these kinds of problems.

      And for the record, extortionist tactics are already happening to users of Ashely Madison: http://arstechnica.com/security/2015/08/exposed-ashley-madison-members-targeted-by-scammers-and-extortionists/ [arstechnica.com] tl;dr version: extortionists threaten email users and threaten them to pay up, otherwise they will tell friends and relatives (curated from social media) that they had an account on the site. Obviously it's illegal, but that's not stopping anyone.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 29 2015, @09:24PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 29 2015, @09:24PM (#229566)

    Just saw this apropos story [propublica.org] of someone looking to do something a lot more insidious than spam - the public outing of women who have had abortions.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 29 2015, @09:35PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 29 2015, @09:35PM (#229569)

    In the 1930s, census-takers wanted to identify people by their ethnicity, to guide the implementation of government programmes. Punched cards and electromechanical card-sorting machines enabled the census office to accomplish its task quickly and efficiently.

    https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1326362.The_Nazi_census_ [goodreads.com]
    http://www.amazon.de/Erfassung-Volksz%C3%A4hlen-Identifizieren-Aussondern-Nationalsoziaismus/dp/3596147670 [amazon.de]

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 29 2015, @11:23PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 29 2015, @11:23PM (#229612)

      > In the 1930s, census-takers wanted to identify people by their ethnicity,

      Of course, back then, we had a completely different concept of race. When some people that we call white today didn't qualify as white.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 30 2015, @11:38AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 30 2015, @11:38AM (#229789)

    I wonder if anyone that works in big data fears big data? Or if these fears are strictly for the ignorant - the kind of people that use their real name on the internet then blame 'big data' for their lost privacy, or the kind of people that vote to have the government reveal everyone's tax returns (as in Norway) but then vote to have the government protect them from 'big data' by mandating cookie consent notices (but only for domestic web sites).