[-empyre-] Search, privacy, data

Christina Spiesel christina.spiesel at yale.edu
Tue Feb 28 03:44:41 EST 2012

Hello All:

Here's a recent news story on point: 

Governments are using private entities as workarounds when there are 
legal barriers to information gathering. Be mindful.


On 2/27/2012 10:42 AM, Ana Valdés wrote:
> I think we are going to see more of this model in the future and I 
> don't see real differences between the databases kept by our 
> governments and the databases kept by Google or Facebook.
> The difference is maybe the aim, the goals. The governments collect 
> data about us to control us and our movements, to be able to track us 
> if our dissent becames too dangerous or too subversive.
> But the enterprises and corporations want to make profits selling our 
> data to third part.
> However the real challenge should be to deny all these actors access 
> to our info, but i'ts not possible since we are using creditcards, 
> paying bills digitally and using the banks.
> The Unabomber way of life is not possible anymore :(
> Ana
> On Mon, Feb 27, 2012 at 2:19 PM, Tero Karppi <tjkarp at utu.fi 
> <mailto:tjkarp at utu.fi>> wrote:
>     Hi all,
>     I'll start with a theme that is loosely related to privatization
>     of the web & related platforms.
>     On March 1st, Google will implement its new, unified privacy
>     policy. This policy will affect data Google has collected on you
>     as well as data it collects on you in the future. Until now Google
>     Web History has been isolated from its other services. However
>     with the new privacy policy in action Google will begin to combine
>     information across its products. According to Electronic Frontier
>     Foundation Google search data is particularly sensitive since it
>     can reveal "information about you, including facts about your
>     location, interests, age, sexual orientation, religion, health
>     concerns, and more." Hence they have urged people to remove their
>     Google Search History before the policy takes effect.
>     Google, however, sees the new privacy policy as an improvement of
>     their search; "Our search box now gives you great answers not just
>     from the web, but your personal stuff too. So if I search for
>     restaurants in Munich, I might see Google+ posts or photos that
>     people have shared with me, or that are in my albums." In
>     addition, the search will be able to better predict what you
>     'really' are looking for and target ads more accurately.
>     Now, what interests me here, at a more abstract level, is the
>     change we are witnessing in relation to data mining. Until now,
>     more or less, the data we share in various platforms (browser,
>     search, social media, iOS/Android etc.) has been mined, combined
>     into statistics and potentially sold onwards but we haven't really
>     seen it in action except in some more or less accurately targeted
>     ads. However, now we are witnessing a throwback of our own data;
>     Google begins to make the search more personal, Facebook has the
>     frictionless sharing to name a few examples.
>     What are the implications of this change? Is the 'social' media
>     becoming now more 'individual' and 'personal'? What should we
>     think of these algorithms that predict what we want?
>     References
>     https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2012/02/how-remove-your-google-search-history-googles-new-privacy-policy-takes-effect
>     http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2012/01/updating-our-privacy-policies-and-terms.html
>     Best,
>     Tero
>     --
>     Tero Karppi (MA)
>     Doctoral Student | Media Studies | University of Turku
>     http://www.hum.utu.fi/oppiaineet/mediatutkimus/en/tero_en.html
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