Signal that you care about your data!

Facebook is denying to provide full copies of your stored personal data. File your complaints with the European Commission and the Irish Authority in Brussels right here!

Moral #4

Our data is a valuable raw material, but we don’t know what’s being done with it.

To us peasants, all the data we produce on our digital devices seems like a useless by-product. But to the King it’s a resource. Often referred to as the oil of the 21st century, our data has become a valuable raw material. Data is processed into information, the foundation for strategic decision making in many fields, from advertising to the pharmaceutical industry. The King needs numbers! He needs statistics, pie charts and graphs. And so his algorithms sort, they extract keywords from our messages and status updates, they categorise, classify and they connect our contacts to create networks and clusters. They analyse likes and loves, sads and angrys, follow our routes, interests, habits. And all this information adds up to create very detailed digital copies of ourselves. Even supposedly anonymous data sets can contain enough information to identify individual persons. We can’t look into the tower, we don’t know what’s being done with our data – so we can’t give our consent. And with every strain of crop we feed the apparatus, we train the King’s algorithms to become more and more autonomous, we support a system that makes us mere objects who can easily be manipulated.

After being processed in the apparatus, our data reaches a state in which it is a very valuable good. Here is where the dragons take over. Algorithms deciding over our futures – influencing votes, manipulating elections. Big Data companies use our data sets for predictive analytics techniques to predict our future behavior. Trying to find out what a person will do next is one thing, but at this very moment, based on the gathered information companies are trying to preempt us and influence our actions.

Learn more!

“What is Big Data?”
Privacy International’s short explanation video on Big Data and its implications for our privacy

“Get Ready for the Next Big Privacy Backlash Against Facebook”
Nitasha Tiku, Wired

“Google, democracy and the truth about internet search”
Carole Cadwalladr, The Guardian

“Facebook Tinkers With Users’ Emotions in News Feed Experiment, Stirring Outcry”
Vindu Goel, The New York Times