Online privacy and a new social credit score

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webfork
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Online privacy and a new social credit score

#1 Post by webfork » Sun Aug 23, 2020 5:44 pm

Relevance note: What follows is more broadly a recommendation against web-based tools that are known to sell user data and (hopefully) an argument in favor of many self-contained tools here on the site.

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For a lot of years I was under the impression that selling user data mostly meant selling consumer data like purchases, buying habits, and predictive buying. That actually sounds worthwhile and useful for inventories, research and development, and product development. Needless to say, it doesn't stop there: data collection more often is used to address you specifically, contributing to an individual, unregulated consumer profile not unlike a credit score.

I say unregulated because you can dispute elements of your credit score that are inaccurate but if someone records the wrong information about your online profile, there's no one to reach out to and request corrections.

I long held notions that I could either confuse or pollute my online presence with garbage data that would confuse the system (and I've seen a few efforts over time in this area), but there's nothing to say that it wouldn't sour the whole system and affect my ability to get a loan or find a job.

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More on info removal.

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Re: Online privacy and a new social credit score

#2 Post by Midas » Mon Aug 24, 2020 5:43 am

The extreme case study of big-data's impact on the erosion of individual rights being the 'Social Credit' system already setup across the Pacific (quote is over six months old):
China has announced a plan to implement a national ranking system for its citizens and companies. Currently in pilot mode, the new system will be rolled out in 2020, and go through numerous iterations before becoming official. While the system may be a useful tool for China to manage its growing 1.4 billion population, it has triggered global concerns around the ethics of big data, and whether the system is a breach of fundamental human rights.
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Midas
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Re: Online privacy and a new social credit score

#3 Post by Midas » Mon Apr 19, 2021 9:35 am

Quick note for a read I found interesting along a related line of reasoning, encompassing the taming of our agency as private computer owners:
Back in the late 90s, I worked at a university. I had a 386 on my desk for a workstation -– not a powerful computer even then. But I put the boa webserver on it and could just serve pages on the Internet. I didn’t have to get permission. Didn't have to pay a hosting provider. I could just DO it. And of course that is because the university had no firewall and no NAT. Every PC at the university was a full participant on the Internet as much as the servers at Microsoft or DEC.
I was recently startled at how much excitement there was when Github introduced "dark mode". Yes, Github now offers two colors on its interface. Already back in the 80s and 90s, many DOS programs had more options than that. Git is a decentralized protocol, but Github has managed to make it centralized.

P.S.: Which reminded me of a video of Cory Doctorow I posted here back in 2015 and is now as relevant as ever -- see viewtopic.php?p=74965#p74965...

LizzieSp
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Re: Online privacy and a new social credit score

#4 Post by LizzieSp » Wed Apr 21, 2021 2:28 am

webfork wrote:
Sun Aug 23, 2020 5:44 pm
Relevance note: What follows is more broadly a recommendation against web-based tools that are known to sell user data and (hopefully) an argument in favor of many self-contained tools here on the site.

---

For a lot of years I was under the impression that selling user data mostly meant selling consumer data like purchases, buying habits, and predictive buying. That actually sounds worthwhile and useful for inventories, research and development, and product development. Needless to say, it doesn't stop there: data collection more often is used to address you specifically, contributing to an individual, unregulated consumer profile not unlike a credit score.

I say unregulated because you can dispute elements of your credit score that are inaccurate but if someone records the wrong information about your online profile, there's no one to reach out to and request corrections.

I long held notions that I could either confuse or pollute my online presence with garbage data that would confuse the system (and I've seen a few efforts over time in this area), but there's nothing to say that it wouldn't sour the whole system and affect my ability to get a loan or find a job.

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More on info removal.
I am very concerned about these trends. A few years ago, Google patented a method by which it could identify a user by typing speed. It seems to me that very soon it will be very difficult to keep any information confidential.
And most importantly, we cannot in any way interfere with the processing and use of this information.

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Re: Online privacy and a new social credit score

#5 Post by Midas » Wed Apr 21, 2021 4:44 am

LizzieSp wrote:I am very concerned about these trends.

We should all be, irrespective of political alignment. The total surveillance societies that are coalescing around the planet as we speak are neither benevolent nor amenable to the public good...

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