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Tag: data sharing


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Trading Privacy

// Posted by on 05/30/2015 (11:01 AM)

Everyday we make the choice to trade privacy for convenience; we swipe a finger and pay for a purchase, ask Siri for directions, and allow others to track us. We monitor our driving habits and compare the results with strangers… Read more

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Everyday we make the choice to trade privacy for convenience; we swipe a finger and pay for a purchase, ask Siri for directions, and allow others to track us. We monitor our driving habits and compare the results with strangers for lower insurance rates. The instant gratification, cost savings, and seamless experiences, leave behind a digital trail that reveals a lot about us. Thus, creating a massive public web of data to be extracted. These conveniences create a matrix that can and probably will be used against us; we just don’t know it yet.

It is easy to limit the data and information that we put out there but once that data is forfeited there is no taking it back. Daily American’s trade privacy for functionality and the actual cost of the trade is ambiguous. Right now there is no real impact with the trade, many people are fine with networks using their search habits and other information to tailor ads that are more relevant. This is the now but what about the tomorrow, the actual cost of trading could look very different in the future. I wonder how long will it be before a company thinks up a truly offensive way to use the information and when this happens I wonder if people will still feel that the trade was worth it. My guess is that until then, there will not be a big push for privacy protection. So the responsibility to keep our information private will be our own.

To keep information private while surfing the web many browsers have add-ons that identify the sites that track your activity and then transmit the data to third parties without your knowledge. Here are two that I found that allow you to opt out:

Adblock Plus – Free: blocks tracking, malware domains, banners, popups and video ads even on Facebook and YouTube. https://adblockplus.org/

Ghostery – Free: provides online transparency and control to individuals. https://www.ghostery.com/en/home

Know Privacy is also a great site that shows the current state of web privacy and information sharing. The key findings indicate that people are concerned about the data that is requested, how much data is required for the services that are wanted, and how that data is being used. Here is the link: http://knowprivacy.org/

In the end, knowing the cost of the trade is important and it is essential that people take control over the information they give up and know what information is being surrendered to public and private databases. I don’t necessarily think that privacy is a thing of the past, I just think that it now takes due diligence to maintain it.


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Netflix

// Posted by on 02/03/2013 (6:54 PM)

Netflix shares your movie rental history

‘We all have our cinematic guilty pleasures, right?, take the movie Mean Girls’.  Indeed, I think we do all have our movies that you keep watching even though you know you should not becauseRead more

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Netflix shares your movie rental history

‘We all have our cinematic guilty pleasures, right?, take the movie Mean Girls’.  Indeed, I think we do all have our movies that you keep watching even though you know you should not because the movie is intended to be for young adults, and when you’re 30 it is acceptable to say that you are not a young adult anymore. So, a new law is coming out which makes it easier for Netflix and Hulu to share your viewing history. However, before going into what the implications are from this law, since when are people able to watch movies and series online? 

In 1997, a company named Netflix was founded by Marc Randolph and Reed Hastings. With the help of the internet, they were able to offer a service to rent movies online.  Instead of going to the video stores to rent them, people were able to stay at home and order them from behind their computers.  In 1999 they launched a subscription service which made it possible for people to get unlimited rentals for a monthly price. This became popular and in 2002 the company had 857,000 members.  It was a fast growing business for the company and more people joined, nowadays there are 30 million members globally. 

The last few years however, the company changed their strategy and went from being one of the largest mail-order services to a source of streaming. People are not only able to rent movies, but can also watch their shows online. Reed Hastings made use of the internet in a way that he could get the company spread out globally. It wanted to get its own hard drive so it would download movies, however it would take a long time for one movie to download. When YouTube came up in 2005 and Hastings saw the opportunities of streaming, he decided to develop streaming technology so people could watch the movie online.

Everything that a member watched is registered in the system, so Netflix tries to provide its members with suggestions of what to watch; movies and shows that fit their interests. It collects all your data, what you search, what you rate as good or bad and when you watch it. This is where different opinions come in, because if you watch one movie once because someone suggested it to you, but it is actually not the genre you like, will it provide you with wrong information?  You can rate the movie, so in order to get the right movies people would have to rate everything they watch.

The new law will let Netflix shared your rental history on social media, in that way everyone will know what you watch and how many times. What does it do to CEOs of big companies, or teachers who should be respected at school, if everyone know what they watch all the time? Will that affect their image? I think people should really think about what they watch then, because people will know all the details.

Next to their abilities to share the history, there is also further development towards being the new HBO, with producing their own series. will there be a new way of watching TV?

 


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