At work, we've been doing a little internal test of how accurate our geo-fencing (localization) was at predicting where we lived and worked- after about 3 days of data, it was darn near perfect. This isn't an amazing technical feat by any stretch, but being able to accurately identify location is important to our product. Theoretically, we should all be excited by the fact that the test worked so well, but you could see the uneasiness on people's faces. It felt weird to have an app that we never actively engaged with telling us (accurately) about our habits, even when that's what we had set it up to do.
I share this little anecdote to about the tension between technology and privacy to introduce a more open, hopefully less divisive thread.
How much (and what) are you willing to share with a company in the name of improving your experience with a product? What kind of service or functionality is "worth it" to you to share your information (in other words, what does it have to do for you?)? What are the dealbreakers? What, if any, future technologies do you imagine that make you welcome our big data overlords?
For the sake of discussion, let's assume that a product/company has a) good security, b) does not intend to sell your information, and c) is collecting only data that is relevant to the experience.
WITH your a, b, & c, I'm pretty comfortable sharing quite a a bit of information, short of what would be needed to apply for credit or a job. If my location makes the product do something better, then sure, it can have my location. It can have my birthday if in some way I want to use an application that would have some beneficial use for my birthday.
Most ways in which this would bother me only apply if I'm getting up to no good, which I'm generally not doing lately. However, I'm *not* making the "you must be up to no good or else you'd have nothing to hide" argument, I'm just mentioning how I feel about it.
A couple of (relatively big) caveats that I have:
1) The companies have to tell me what they are collecting and what they are doing with the information (in general terms).
a) Violating this stated policy must be considered a serious crime - same with not taking reasonable and prudent steps to prevent violations.
2) The government doesn't get to use the data to prosecute me without getting a warrant or having probably cause that is specific to me.
Posts: 6847 | Registered: Mar 2003
| IP: Logged |
Good security on a box does not make the content secure. Intentions can change. Relevant to their experience may be repurposed. To me it depends a lot on what they want the data for. If for internal research then ideally data would be stored in two “packets”. Packet A: name and data used to identify a customer Packet B: information and data about that customer with no identifying data You would not be permitted to link the two packets and updating of a profile would not be possible / permissible. This would be used for a one shot survey and or some demographic studies.
Targeted advertising I find annoying. Then again I dislike it when someone at a retail outfit offers to help me find anything as soon as I start walking around. If I need help finding something I will ask for help. Any time someone tries to anticipate my shopping desire or “assist me” they are more likely to lose a sale than make one. Because of this I don’t think it’s really fair to lash out at technology serving the same purpose as employees do as common practice.
I will say that I only enable the GPS on my smart phone as needed and do not allow any applications free range of my device / info on it.
Posts: 4308 | Registered: Apr 2007
| IP: Logged |
I guess my grandmother was right; bar-coding WAS the devil's work. I always thought that a “Big Brother” society in America would be impossible to create, but I'm beginning to think that now it's inevitable. The integration of video surveillance with police and security cameras, along with the advent of the roaming UAVs, as well as the unbelievable satellite capabilities to track things on the ground, combined with telecommunications tracking capabilities have made it difficult, if not impossible for normal people to live their lives without some form of unwanted digital intrusion. They’ll soon have Google glasses filming everything without people’s knowledge and combined with facial recognition programs, will be able to identify anyone on any video anywhere in any civilized High tech country in the world.
I’ve gotten to the point that I refuse to co-operate with any company to help them provide any product improvement. I deleted my face-book page and no longer provide any personal data on web-sites and am extremely careful of online purchases and probably will discontinue them soon.. I see the infringement on our personal liberties, the corporate and government data mining and the viralization of everyone’s personal lives as a direct threat to my personal privacy. I would NEVER believe that any corporation has good enough security or the supposed intent not to abuse any data gathered on me.
Some point in the future, I’ll probably change my name and move out of the United States for good, as I see no hope for our country right now going down this path. I probably feel this way because I’m old enough to know what complete anonymity used to be like and was once a network engineer that dabbled in hacking in the good old days before it was illegal, so I get the idea behind being connected and integrated with the net, but I don’t want to be held hostage by my data!
Isn’t it rather easy when applying GPS data to a phone or IP address info to a wired net connection to determine location? If you’re speaking about some product app on a phone or laptop using some kind of advertising queries to pinpoint the location and tracking an individual’s personal habits without using IP info, then I would be very impressed. Color me scared-as-heck-yellow about this whole subject and the SKY is falling fer sure!
Posts: 367 | Registered: Jan 2013
| IP: Logged |
quote:Isn’t it rather easy when applying GPS data to a phone or IP address info to a wired net connection to determine location?
From the description, it sounds more like they're using the location data the phone already provides about places visited and/or checked into to figure out where someone lives and hangs out regularly.
Posts: 22935 | Registered: Nov 2000
| IP: Logged |
quote: From the description, it sounds more like they're using the location data the phone already provides about places visited and/or checked into to figure out where someone lives and hangs out regularly.
Yes, closer to this, minus the check-ins. It would be passively collected. The idea would be to form some sense of when a user is and isn't likely to want to get notifications and information from us.
DW- I totally hear you- I hate targeted ads and pushy salespeople. I also hate liking things on facebook and retweeting things on twitter. It's awkward to be faced with designing things you would definitely not use, but know for a fact from your research that your users will.
Posts: 1742 | Registered: Oct 2003
| IP: Logged |
I'm uncomfortable with giving location data to anything, but I'll do it for a maps program if it's on an as-used basis instead of a continuous basis (and I guess 911 can have the location of my cellphone as well, for lifesaving purposes and all ). I guess it has something to do with what TomDavidson said, about us not having private lives any longer. I like having a private life, and so I do what I can to maintain that.
This is a big deal because of the reasonable expectation of privacy test for applying the 4th amendment protections. As I recall, it's already come up a time or two.
Posts: 872 | Registered: May 2005
| IP: Logged |
quote:Originally posted by simplybiological: For the sake of discussion, let's assume that a product/company has a) good security, b) does not intend to sell your information, and c) is collecting only data that is relevant to the experience.
A lot would depend on the transparency of the company. How could we know they'd follow through on their promises for c?
I think your assumptions may be impossible. They may not intend to sell it but if the company gets bought out or changes business models. Hackers are good, they'll get it if they want it. there's always good old warrantless wiretaps (approved by US courts) that invalidate such assumptions.
How much am I willing to share? None. However, to operate in a modern world we don't really get to opt out without some serious repercussions to everyday work and life. So opting out is only a solution for the Ted Kazinsky types.
TomDavidson is correct in that privacy is dead but it goes further than that. What you're doing now and who you're doing it with is not the only compromised privacy. With cheap storage, we're well on the way to tracking you (within a meter) for most of your life - past, present, future. Within a decade or so, every picture of you from a security camera, dash camera, ATM, etc will be stored for only a few million a year (I can't recall where I read the article on this one).
quote:Originally posted by noel c.: - "You got a solid market out there of the willfully ignorant and/or the less jaded and non-paranoid."...
It is a paradox that individuals accustomed to thinking in primarily private contexts fall prey to the most vulnerably public chroniclizations of their lives in such detail.
The web succeeds spectacularly in simulating intimacy.
Check out he book "Alone Together" by Sherry Turkle. Great stuff around this very thing.
Posts: 2234 | Registered: May 2012
| IP: Logged |