Why You Should Care About Privacy | #socialmedia

It’s significant. But what I think a lot of folks reading the headlines perhaps don’t understand is that what this App Tracking Transparency notification does on your iPhone is it limits applications from tracking us across to other applications and across devices.

What this does not do is prevent these very same applications, including Facebook, which is the big whale in this discussion, from collecting data within their own application. This is a massive surveillance empire worth hundreds and hundreds of billions of dollars. But we call it an app.

And App Tracking Transparency has no bearing on Facebook’s, or any other application’s, ability to continue tracking you, collecting every aspect of your behavior, your activities, your thoughts and feelings.

So, yes, it does take a big bite out of some of the things that they currently do, especially as they reach for this rich diversity of data, which is so important to them. But does it limit their ability to illegitimately convert our lives into data, which they then declare as their private property? No.

Why does it matter that these big tech companies can mine personal data for profit?

As we allow these companies to amass this huge scale of human-generated data, we’re changing the nature of our society.

Because, first of all, we’re allowing them to create these huge asymmetries of knowledge about people. Instead of this being a golden age of the democratization of knowledge, it’s turned into something very different from what any of us expected. The last 20 years have seen, especially the last decade, the wholesale destruction of privacy.

And operationally, what happens is they get to a point where they know so much about us that they can fashion targeting mechanisms. We’re not just talking about targeted ads. We’re talking about subliminal cues, psychological microtargeting, real-time rewards and punishments, algorithmic recommendation tools and engineered social comparison dynamics.

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