Work Harder To Protect Your Personal Digital Data
Our data is the most valuable asset we have after our health, yet everyday millions of us enter information into social media platforms and search engines that will be recorded and could potentially re-used to influence our buying decisions or even worse, our personal political and social decisions.
This is not a “project fear” statement, as these platforms admit this personal data is recorded and stored and it is fair to say, the primary function is to maximise profits, by showing the adverts we are more likely to respond to.
This is a campaign to protect your personal digital data, through legalisation and public awareness.
Political Data Mining, Social Media Search Engines
However in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica Ltd case, where it was alleged that data was mined from Facebook to influence political decisions including Brexit and the USA Elections. A search on the premises of Cambridge Analytica found the personal data of up to 87 million Facebook users.
Cambridge Analytica Ltd closed down the operation after the allegations and Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook, committed to not allowing third party companies have access to personal data.
However, the fact that this information is recorded in the first place and stored means it is open for abuse and that is risk for every internet user around the world, especially our children.
This generation have been introduced to the internet much early than older generations, so more data has been collected. It is estimated that 10, 000s pieces of data will be collected from our children through social media and search engines, by the time they become an adult.
The Social Dilemma In Front Of Us
The documentary “The Social Dilemma” hears stories from senior ex-employees of the biggest social networks, that show how valuable your personal data is, and how they use it.
“If you are not buying a product, then you are the product”
Social media and search were all created for good reasons, but now we are at a crossroads where we need to protect our data assets and put laws in place that prevent the data being stored in the first place, should we as users choose against it. It has to be our choice, not the platforms.
A solution is to introduce, paid social media, so advertising is not required to pay for the service.
Your Mobile Phone Transmitting Data
Your phone is also a useful resource to supply data to platforms like Google. One of favourite examples is the guy who put 99 android phones into a trolley and walked down a street with them. Googles traffic information then showed red, that this street was now a traffic jam and bury. This is an example how your android phone is constantly transmitting data to its platform. This cases shows, that Google knows where you are at any time.
There needs to be legalisation in place to control the data, platforms take from us. One example, could be that you have to opt in to give Google data, rather than opt out.
We can’t stop all data collection as it is needed to run the platforms, Goole for example needs to know what is “trending” to show useful and relevant results. But there is no need for that data to included, personal data.
A website owner, needs to know how many visitors it has and what pages are visited to help with a SEO strategy, but it the owner does not need to know the actual people how visited, their political or sexual preferences.
Data yes, personal data no, or at the very least have an opt in option for those who are comfortable for their data assets to be used and shared.