Thursday, July 24, 2014

The Rise of Data and the Death of Personal Freedom

Recently I read this article titled "The rise of data and the death of politics". However when I read it I felt it would have been better titled "The rise of data and the death of personal freedom."

If everything in the future will be tracked by data and if everything is subjected to feedback such as you see today on or Yelp - ratings for passengers, drivers, hosts, guests, students, teachers, patients, caregivers, customers, servers, etc., etc., - what will be the future ramifications of bad reviews? With bad reviews having the potential to actually wreak havoc with people's reputations and business livelihoods - is it far fetched to foresee anti-troll legislation being passed to punish gratuitous Internet troll behavior? Would it be equally far fetched to think such legislation being stretched by restaurants to silence bad reviews? By students to punish teachers who don't treat that student like the special little snowflake they think they are? In such a future what would be the incentive of giving feedback or reviews at all?

What about involuntary data feedback? Your car GPS alerts the police about a potential DUI if you've parked at a bar for too long. The biometric app in your smart phone alerts your insurance carrier if you don't exercise enough during the week. Your web searches are included in job interview background checks.

In Eastern European Communists countries people were conditioned from birth to keep their heads down and not make waves. How much different would it be in the new data feedback controlled state where Cyberdyne is watching your every move? It scares me. I'm already starting to keep my head down.

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