I rarely do this but I want to recommend an extremely worthwhile article in The Guardian by James Ball. It is called: Me and my data: how much do the internet giants really know?
At the end of this fascinating and appalling canter through one man’s examination of his life history online, we learn that despite the vast mountains of personal history he has easily – almost effortlessly – unearthed on facebook and Google, all this data is estimated to represent only 29% of the information these information giants actually possess about him.
As Ball says: “Among the huge tranche of information available to Google and Facebook alone is virtually everyone I know, a huge amount of what I’ve said to (and about) them, and a vast amount of data on where I’ve been. Such detailed tracking would have been an impossibility even 10 years ago, and we’re largely clueless as to its effects.”
Complaints about privacy’s decline are fairly commonly heard, but this is not a complaint, just a description of what exists, and a giant question mark about what the heck it means.
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