“Facebook and Data Mining: Is Anything Private?”

(Mike Matchett, Datamation, 13 February 2019)

"“Facebook's reach and potential misuse of personal data is now creating a real threat to our fundamental ideas of individual freedom and liberty”."

FB is enabling the subversion of our highly personal social networks for profit and undue political influence. Tracks where we are and what transactions we conduct. After gathering all this free personal data, they sell it. FB posted continued growth and profit numbers for last year. Over two billion people use their online services every day. Web giants accumulate all our personal data points over time. The more data there is in one place, more value for data mining. Over time it becomes Big Data. Using data integration, as end-users we'll never be aware. Identifiable data collection is understood by users. Apps are really harvesting detailed notes that track us individually. A cautionary tale: A) The Chinese government can aggregate and mine phone and app online activity, recorded personal interactions and all financial transactions. B) In China, every individual will be monitored at a micro-level. The machine is learning: 1) Data Mining it is about training recognition algorithms; 2) ML algorithms can be taught prejudices and learn bad behaviors; 3) ML is forming the basis of much of today’s drive towards process automation. Intelligent machine-based automation, powered by Deep Learning (DL) and AI will replace many of the jobs of many low-skilled people. Fundamental trust issues: A) FB is a for-profit company, not a trusted confidante or even a neutral platform. B) Not everything we do needs to be exposed and handed outright to commercial entities. C) Passive data sharing is a deliberate trust decision.

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