The Slow Process of Losing your Privacy
“You can catch wild pigs by finding a suitable place in the woods where wild pigs frequent and placing an adequate amount of corn on the ground. The pigs find it and begin to come everyday to eat the free corn. When they are used to coming every day, you put a fence down one side of the area where they are used to coming. When they get used to the section of fence, they begin to eat the corn again and you put up another side of the fence. They get used to that small change in environment and start to eat again. You continue this process until you have all four sides of the fence up, with a gate in the last side. The pigs, which are used to eating the free corn, start to come through the gate to eat. When you see that they all are peacefully eating the free corn, you slam the gate shut on them and catch the whole herd.
Suddenly the wild pigs have lost their freedom. They run around and around inside the fence, but they are caught. They eventually accept their situation and soon they go back to eating the free corn. They are now owned. They are not free to do what they used to be able to do.”
This is what is happening to our country's politics, social normalities and, most importantly, to our privacy. If you were to go back in time to 1960 when there was no internet, cars were works of art, people were pushing for actual civil rights, etc. and someone offered you a device called a “mobile phone” that would track your location, personal information, contacts, communication, purchases and more, send it to a central server where it was processed to "understand you", very few people would buy it. The closest thing there was to data logging or tracking back then was maybe your landline switchboard operator, assuming your phone company hadn’t transitioned to the automatic ones. So how is it that people are so enriched in this type of data-logging, privacy invading technical lifestyle today?
This is why we need more education in regards to data collection and the motives behind the algorithms. With more relevant information presented to the general population, people would make more informed decisions when deciding how to spend their time on an app, as well as decide which products to support and give money/time too.
The YouTube channel Smarter Every Day has a great video discussing this exact issue. Check it out here!