Viewing 40 posts - 1 through 40 (of 120 total)
  • Surveillance Capitalism
  • Premier Icon grum
    Free Member

    Spoilers:

    – There’s a secret microphone in google nest.
    – Google made Pokemon Go with the help of the CIA partly as an experiment in behavioural control and also sell ‘lure modules’ to businesses like rare Pokemon etc to get footfall at their establishments.
    – A pregnant woman’s dad found out they were pregnant before they even knew because he was bombarded with baby related products – an algorithm detected changes in scent levels in her shampoo purchases as olfactory senses become more sensitive during pregnancy
    – FB sell complex data from all pictures posted to facial recognition companies for military/repressive state use in places like eg China where it’s used to oppress Uighur minorities

    I wondered whether some of this was a bit conspiracy theorist, but it seems to check out. Makes me want to go and live in a cave.

    Premier Icon julians
    Full Member

    sounds like conspiracy nonsense to me

    Premier Icon tomhoward
    Full Member

    If that video will make me think, I CBA with it.

    Premier Icon nickc
    Full Member

    Cool* will watch later, thanks.

    I know the name, I’m sure I’ve watched her on a Ted talk? seems like she knows her stuff.

    *Well, not cool, obvs, but you know what I mean

    Premier Icon winston
    Free Member

    What really p***** me off here is that all this amazing maths is used to sell nappies and repress minorities when it could be used to target global poverty, plastic use and climate change. I wouldn’t even care if this nonsense was a by-product of solving the above, a kind of quid pro quo for the cost of developing it but no…its the main event.

    Still humans want shiny things, always have always will.

    Premier Icon zilog6128
    Full Member

    Well, the Pokemon one is real (renting pokemon zones or whatever they’re called to businesses, not the CIA thing 🤣). The others maybe sound far fetched but undoubtedly companies like FB and Google are always working on new ways to leverage the data they collect, that’s how they make money.

    Premier Icon grum
    Free Member

    sounds like conspiracy nonsense to me

    That’s what I thought, but she is a legit academic and most of what she’s saying is provably true from reliable sources. The preview image totally looks like she’s a tinfoil loon, but watch the video and ‘do your own research’, ha! But from legitimate sources.

    not the CIA thing

    The CIA part is true.

    Premier Icon gonefishin
    Free Member

    Pretty sure the pregnancy one is true but here’s the thing you don’t HAVE to share your data you can opt out of it.

    Premier Icon mashr
    Full Member

    – A pregnant woman’s dad found out they were pregnant before they even knew because he was bombarded with baby related products – an algorithm detected changes in scent levels in her shampoo purchases as olfactory senses become more sensitive during pregnancy

    That’s making it sound far more interesting than it actually was- it was also 10 years ago so hardly cutting edge info. Kinda interesting though, and a good wee story:

    https://www.forbes.com/sites/kashmirhill/2012/02/16/how-target-figured-out-a-teen-girl-was-pregnant-before-her-father-did/?sh=588d77d76668

    Premier Icon stevie750
    Full Member

    There was a pub in Dunoon who had ” we have pokemon inside” sign on their door

    Premier Icon grum
    Free Member

    you don’t HAVE to share your data you can opt out of it

    Good luck with that.

    Premier Icon grum
    Free Member

    What really p***** me off here is that all this amazing maths is used to sell nappies and repress minorities when it could be used to target global poverty, plastic use and climate change. I wouldn’t even care if this nonsense was a by-product of solving the above, a kind of quid pro quo for the cost of developing it but no…its the main event.

    This is the part that bothers me also, this tech could be used for amazing things but mostly it’s just going to be used to make money for people like Mark Zuckerberg and make us all broke and unhappy.

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Full Member

    it seems to check out

    Really? You’ve just got someone you’ve not actually heard of giving you their word for YouTube hits? That doesn’t constitute ‘checking out’ really.

    Re secret listening – this has been debunked many times, at least with Alexa. Many security geeks have attached network monitoring to their networks and watched Alexa do nothing at all until the wake word is spoken. It’s not storing it up, because it’s not sending large amounts of audio data; and it’s also not processing it on the device because it doesn’t have the power to do that.

    Premier Icon IHN
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    I remember, when Facebook first became a thing, thinking that it was a brilliant rouse by the CIA, in that they no longer had to spend ages working out who knew who and mapping webs of contacts like you see in the films, they could just create this thing and let everyone do it all for them.

    Premier Icon grum
    Free Member

    @mashr – really you read that article and thought it was nothing concerning?

    “Then we started mixing in all these ads for things we knew pregnant women would never buy, so the baby ads looked random. We’d put an ad for a lawn mower next to diapers. We’d put a coupon for wineglasses next to infant clothes. That way, it looked like all the products were chosen by chance.

    “And we found out that as long as a pregnant woman thinks she hasn’t been spied on, she’ll use the coupons. She just assumes that everyone else on her block got the same mailer for diapers and cribs. As long as we don’t spook her, it works.”

    Premier Icon stevie750
    Full Member

    Re secret listening – this has been debunked many times, at least with Alexa. Many security geeks have attached network monitoring to their networks and watched Alexa do nothing at all until the wake word is spoken.

    If it’s not listening how does it know the wake word has been said

    Premier Icon dissonance
    Full Member

    To take your headline items.
    One of the google nest products did have a microphone in it that wasnt on the product listing.
    The Pokemon company did start off at google but got spun off several years earlier. There are some links to In-Q-Tel which is the CIA venture capital fund.
    The pregnant woman example is a well known big data story. Basically dad storms into a store complaining they have been sending his teenage daughter coupons for baby stuff. Few days later he apologises and says he wasnt aware of things which were going on. If someone is consistently shopping at one store then there are apparently give aways in terms of purchases. Nothing only surprising and it is, after all, the entire point behind store cards to be able to gather massive amounts of info and then play connect the dots.
    For Facebook too lazy to check but it wouldnt really surprise me beyond wondering why the Chinese authorities would use them and not their own companies.

    Premier Icon finbar
    Free Member

    – A pregnant woman’s dad found out they were pregnant before they even knew because he was bombarded with baby related products – an algorithm detected changes in scent levels in her shampoo purchases as olfactory senses become more sensitive during pregnancy

    How much shampoo was this woman getting through :-0 ?

    Premier Icon grum
    Free Member

    No molgrips as I’ve already mentioned I’ve read up on it and found legit sources backing up what she says. 🙄

    Premier Icon grum
    Free Member

    .

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Full Member

    Oookay, first sentence of the video – pushing her status on the listener by likening her to previous intellectuals. Second sentence – describing the book (that she’s flogging) as ‘monumental’ thereby inflating its status; then inserting the idea that there is a ‘dubious’ surveillance economy.

    All rhetorical devices to persuade you to believe the same things as the speaker/writer already does, rather than presenting evidence that we can evaluate ourselves. This is a campaign video for someone’s personal cause.

    Our private lives have been monetiesed? Really? Are our choices of shampoo actually private? Not really, because the shopkeeper knows what you bought. The only difference is that in the past, they didn’t care or weren’t able to sell that information. However, arguably, the past was more insidious – I mean if your local shopkeeper saw you buying say, a pregnancy test, that would have started the gossip mill amongst the people who actually knew you. Rather than a corporation anonymously flogging you stuff, you’d be being judged by those around you. So I’m arguing that what some of us think of as ‘private’ never really was.

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Full Member

    If it’s not listening how does it know the wake word has been said

    It stores a couple of seconds of audio and scans it for the wake word you’ve chosen. It can only do very basic recognition of a single word, that’s why you can only choose three pre-programmed words and not any phrase, it’s also why you can’t naturally talk to it or include it in context, and why you can’t ask it about stuff you’ve already said before the wake word.

    Amazon/Google are businesses, very successful, and dominant. They have published terms and conditions that say what they do and how the devices work. They would have to be outright lying about what they did with your data. The risk of lying like this would be absolutely massive – the US govt would destroy them – and they don’t even need to do it. So it would make no sense as a business decision.

    Premier Icon grum
    Free Member

    Re secret listening – this has been debunked many times, at least with Alexa. Many security geeks have attached network monitoring to their networks and watched Alexa do nothing at all until the wake word is spoken. It’s not storing it up, because it’s not sending large amounts of audio data; and it’s also not processing it on the device because it doesn’t have the power to do that.

    These devices apparently ‘accidentally’ record you up to 19 times a day for up to 43 seconds at a time. According to researchers at Northeastern University and Imperial College London “these aren’t just hypothetical concerns from paranoid users”.

    https://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/gadgets-and-tech/news/smart-speaker-recording-alexa-google-home-secret-a9354106.html

    molgrips did you actually watch more than the first 5 seconds of the video before making up your mind? The point is that the level of information available and the tools to analyse it is indescribably more massive than anything we’ve ever had before, and that’s only going to increase.

    You are totally fine with the incredible power and lack of oversight that companies like FB and Google have? Or are you just being contrarian for the sake of it as usual.

    Premier Icon binners
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    Given that 90% of the verbal interactions in our house are me and Mrs Binners shouting “what?” at each other from other rooms, I doubt any device is going to benefit too much from listening to us 😀

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Full Member

    These devices apparently ‘accidentally’ record you up to 19 times a day for up to 43 seconds at a time.

    You can view what they’ve recorded. And it’s pretty obvious when you accidentally set it off, as it starts blathering on about nonsense. So yes, there is a risk that some personal information might be sent to Amazon, but that’s a VERY long way from them having purposefully created the software and infrastructure to parse those accidental recordings sniffing out clues as to what you might want to buy next.

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Full Member

    Re accidentally activating a listening device – I’m thinking of making a dance track that simply contains the lyric ‘Alexa, louder!’ repeated over and over.

    Premier Icon binners
    Full Member

    We had to move our Alexa during United games when Alexis Sanchez played for us

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Full Member

    molgrips did you actually watch more than the first 5 seconds of the video before making up your mind?

    This is not a new topic, and it’s not the first I’ve heard of it either.

    You are totally fine with the incredible power and lack of oversight that companies like FB and Google have?

    Where’d you get that idea from? I’m simply adding context, which is that people have always been interested in what you get up to and this isn’t some dystopian horror show. Privacy in terms of how you interact with companies (i.e. shop) has always been an illusion.

    Premier Icon binners
    Full Member

    A supermarket loyalty card will tell Tesco or Morrisons a damn site more about your shopping habits than any internet surveillance or listening devices, but nobodies bothered about them

    Premier Icon grum
    Free Member

    Whataboutery binners

    This is a campaign video for someone’s personal cause.

    She has an angle obviously. But the video comes from a Dutch public service broadcaster, she is a Harvard academic dealing with social psychology in the Harvard School of Business. My initial prejudiced reaction was why is YouTube showing me this conspiracy BS after I watched a video by Prof John Ashworth about Coronavirus, but then I actually watched it and looked into it. And I have actual research and critical thinking skills that I studied at university, not that I’m claiming that’s infallible but I’m not just accepting naturalearthnews as a source.

    Premier Icon dissonance
    Full Member

    but nobodies bothered about them

    Well aside from it being one of the examples given in the first post.

    Premier Icon jimdubleyou
    Full Member

    Without watching the video, I suspect the TLDR/W is just “if you’re not paying for the service, you are the product”

    Premier Icon Sandwich
    Full Member

    but nobodies bothered about them

    Some of us are and don’t use them.

    you don’t HAVE to share your data you can opt out of it.

    Not on google you can’t, nor Facebook. Hence I use Brave and get it to clear cookies at each close. What I do is my business alone, you want to know pay me for my data!

    Premier Icon grum
    Free Member

    I don’t use supermarket loyalty cards either due to privacy concerns.

    BTW another aspect to Brexit is that we are no longer covered by EU privacy laws, woo!

    Also, some of the info used by people like eg Cambridge Analytica was taken illegitimately in contravention of what people had agreed to.

    The data was collected through an app called thisisyourdigitallife, built by academic Aleksandr Kogan, separately from his work at Cambridge University. Through his company Global Science Research (GSR), in collaboration with Cambridge Analytica, hundreds of thousands of users were paid to take a personality test and agreed to have their data collected for academic use.

    However, the app also collected the information of the test-takers’ Facebook friends, leading to the accumulation of a data pool tens of millions-strong. Facebook’s “platform policy” allowed only collection of friends’ data to improve user experience in the app and barred it being sold on or used for advertising.

    Premier Icon nickc
    Full Member

    Whataboutery binners

    Not every single comparative argument should be dismissed as inconvenient what-aboutry. the comparison to store cards collecting data about you and Alexa listening to you…to collect data about you is a valid point.

    Premier Icon thepurist
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    the part that bothers me also, this tech could be used for amazing things

    Perhaps it is, but the perpetually offended can’t easily get upset by stuff like Google search data being able to identify potential disease outbreaks a week or more before they start to show up in medical data.

    https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-020-61686-9

    Premier Icon grum
    Free Member

    Well I’m not convinced any of you have actually watched the video, but as I already said lots of people are bothered about supermarket loyalty cards and don’t use them due to privacy concerns – but this stuff is taking that concept to new completely unprecedented and fairly extreme levels, and it has profound implications for democracy in a way that store loyalty cards never did. They could be seen as a precursor, but other than that I don’t really see the relevance. It’s like saying nuclear weapons are fine because no-one cares that much about kid’s catapults.

    Perhaps it is, but the perpetually offended can’t easily get upset by stuff like Google search data being able to identify potential disease outbreaks a week or more before they start to show up in medical data.

    I’m aware of that, thanks, but it doesn’t alter the fact that the main motive for the development of this technology is profit for unaccountable billionaires. Is it worth it to get the good stuff? Maybe, but I don’t recall that ever being discussed/voted on etc

    Premier Icon thepurist
    Full Member

    BTW another aspect to Brexit is that we are no longer covered by EU privacy laws, woo!

    Except we are because the data protection act was amended to include gdpr and the ico have confirmed this will continue to apply.

    Premier Icon grum
    Free Member

    OK @thepurist I wasn’t aware of that, ta

    Premier Icon zilog6128
    Full Member

    Not every single comparative argument should be dismissed as inconvenient what-aboutry. the comparison to store cards collecting data about you and Alexa listening to you…to collect data about you is a valid point.

    that’s not what the whattaboutary was about

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