Johnny Ryan's presentation to the CEO's of Europe's large broadcasters, on the legal risk inherent in their current websites' use of adtech, and how they can join together to use the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) to grow their businesses, is worthy of a wide audience.
The operation of the hidden personal data processing adtech architecture behind most websites is unlawful. Even though it was largely conceived and deployed surreptitiously, I only hope that history will judge it nothing short of astonishing that we, the general public, technologists, commerce, industry and governments enabled it; and even now continue to do so.
In this regard I also highly recommend Cracked Labs' report on corporate surveillance.
"In recent years, a wide range of companies has started to monitor, track and follow people in virtually every aspect of their lives. The behaviors, movements, social relationships, interests, weaknesses and most private moments of billions are now constantly recorded, evaluated and analyzed in real-time. The exploitation of personal information has become a multi-billion industry. Yet only the tip of the iceberg of today’s pervasive digital tracking is visible; much of it occurs in the background and remains opaque to most of us.
This report by Cracked Labs examines the actual practices and inner workings of this personal data industry. Based on years of research and a previous 2016 report, the investigation shines light on the hidden data flows between companies. It maps the structure and scope of today’s digital tracking and profiling ecosystems and explores relevant technologies, platforms and devices, as well as key recent developments. While the full report is available as PDF download, this web publication presents a ten part overview.
ContentsNetworks of Control by Wolfi Christl and Sarah Spiekermann, a report on corporate surveillance, digital tracking, big data & privacy. Wolfie Christl is the co-founder of Cracked Labs. Sarah Spiekermann chairs the Institute for Management Information Systems at the Vienna University of Economics and Business.
"The collection, analysis and utilization of digital information based on our clicks, swipes, likes, purchases, movements, behaviors and interests have become part of everyday life. While individuals become increasingly transparent, companies take control of the recorded data in a non-transparent and unregulated way.
In their report, Wolfie Christl and Sarah Spiekermann explain how a vast number of companies have started to engage in constant surveillance of the population. Without peoples’ knowledge a network of global players is constantly tracking, profiling, categorizing, rating and affecting the lives of billions – across platforms, devices and life contexts. While special interest groups have been aware of the corporate use of personal data for a while now, the full degree and scale of personal data collection, use and – in particular – abuse has not been scrutinized closely enough. This gap is closed with this book entitled “Networks of Control – A Report on Corporate Surveillance, Digital Tracking, Big Data & Privacy”.
Based on detailed examples “Networks of Control” answers the following questions:
- Who are the players in today’s personal data business? How do online platforms, tech companies and data brokers really collect, share and make use of personal information?
- Which data is recorded by smartphones, fitness trackers, e-readers, smart TVs, connected thermostats and cars? Will the Internet of Things lead to ubiquitous surveillance?
- What can be inferred from our purchases, calls, messages, website visits, web searches and likes?
- How is Big Data analytics already used in fields such as marketing, retail, insurance, finance, healthcare and work to treat us differently?
Their investigation not only exposes the full degree and scale of today’s personal data business, but also shows how algorithmic decisions on people lead to discrimination, exclusion and other social implications. Followed by an ethical reflection on personal data markets the authors present a selection of recommended actions."
- What are the societal and ethical implications of these practices? And how can we move forward?