[-empyre-] Search, privacy, data

Lasse Scherffig lscherff at khm.de
Wed Feb 29 02:34:15 EST 2012

Thanks, Tero, for starting this interesting debate. I just want to jump 
in on one point Ana Valdés raised:

Am 27.02.2012 16:42, schrieb Ana Valdés:
> 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.

Quite so. And the recent Wikileaks/Stratfor case has brought to 
attention (once again) that these third parties too can be entities that 
want to enforce control (such as governments or Coca Cola spying on 
critics). But arguably the real profit in selling to third parties is 
made in advertisement (or is this a myth only?). And I really would like 
to know more about that: How is personal data really used for ads, who 
is using it and what are the exact procedures (algorithms and practices) 
turning my Google search queries, the location of my cellphone and my 
twitter feed into "conversion rates" (especially after being fused into 
one relational data set). I somehow cannot imagine this "boring" 
information to be valuable enough to justify a complete makeover of the 
whole idea of privacy. Or: Who is _literally_ buying all the twitter 
babble? And why?


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