Home EuropeEurope II 2015 Privacy – Why Web 2.0 will never breach the privacy or security of Brain 1.0.

Privacy – Why Web 2.0 will never breach the privacy or security of Brain 1.0.

by Administrator
Peter ClaytonIssue:Europe II 2015
Article no.:4
Topic:Privacy – Why Web 2.0 will never breach
the privacy or security of Brain 1.0.
Author:Peter Clayton
PDF size:189KB

About author

Peter Clayton is the CEO of Pencourage.

Peter has built several advertising, marketing and digital businesses. Outside of this, he has run or held stakes in a variety of companies ranging from agriculture, through golf and all the way to casino operations and digital gaming. He now consults with companies that are looking to grow fast and has attracted VC backing for companies that he either owns or holds a stake in.

Article abstract

Be aware of what you display. Any criminal element picks a target on what they know or can piece together. Again, we all know this. Look at what you put on the Internet and see what kind of profile you can build about yourself from the information you have volunteered. You’ll be surprised.

Full Article

The modern world is obsessed with privacy, to the point that it’s become a default rallying cry against the ‘evil’ companies that own social networks. The cry is often heard without a rationale behind it, or a clear breach of privacy that has occurred to support that view. ‘We have to have privacy, it is our right!’ say we, as we spew out a stream of consciousness on the Internet for our own advantage. Often, that right of privacy is what we assume it to be, not what we agree it to be. Most arguments about privacy happen too late. You can’t retrospectively fit terms. Let’s go back a little, because the Internet user is certainly not shy of coming forward with ‘content.’

Content isn’t king, it has predominantly become devalued as editorial barriers have become non-existent, I would argue that the majority of content now has no value at all. LinkedIn, ‘6 ways to be a high flyer’ type articles written by a low level manager who clearly hasn’t followed their own advice, campaigns to gather Facebook ‘likes’ against cancer, which I’m sure surgeons are still ceaselessly working on to see how they can be incorporated into surgery to remove tumours, and mummy blogs, that are written as if that person was the first on the planet to give birth and reveal the world exclusive that parenting can be ‘hard.’ You don’t say?

And don’t be lured by the free access that is the lap dance of social media. If anything is free, then YOU are the product. Understand this, you should, you already know this prior to signing up, so don’t selectively ignore this knowledge in a rush to be part of the sharing crowd. Global networks and infrastructure are not built for your personal benefit; you will pay for them, one way or another. How you pay is spelled out very clearly in their terms and conditions.

Nowadays, it is our assumed ‘right’ to get published. You’re wrong. The editorial process for publishing has changed to the polar opposite of what it once was, and it worked very well before people power nuked it. Will you be paid for your thought leadership piece? Does your personal blog attract high quality advertisers because of the quality and originality of your content? Is what you have to say being fought over by publications in a bidding war? No? Then you’re pretty good to go and publish it on the Internet. Approved!

The robust editorial process that gave content its value has been destroyed, and with it, a world has been created where we are actually attempting to prove the theory that given enough time, 1,000 monkeys locked in a room typing could actually write a Shakespeare play.

This is about psychology, not technology. The human brain will always be superior to the digital equivalent. It consists of roughly 86 billion neurons, each neuron capable of making around 1,000 connections, representing around 1,000 potential synapsis, which largely do the work of data storage.

Multiply each of these 86 billion neurons by the potential synapsis and you get around 86 trillion data points, or around 86 terabytes of information. This information is gathered through intelligent senses, of which the eyes alone are the equivalent of a 256 million pixel camera. There is nothing in the world of technology that comes close to the sophistication of Brain version 1.0 and the decisions it is capable of making. So we’re over equipped to make our own decisions with regards to privacy – before we sign up.

There is only one way, and there will only ever be one way, to guarantee absolute privacy on the Internet. Don’t take part. Irrespective of how important the Internet has become, you do not need to share personal information. I know of very few billionaires that are concerned with their own Internet profile, created through information they’ve placed about themselves. You can make it in life without posing centrefold across the Internet.

The most important safe guard against a breach of privacy is the decision you make to actually take part, and the level of detail you willingly agree to disclose. After this, it’s weak. You’re a responsible adult, your objectionable voice has no right to be heard if you do not read the terms and conditions. Did you show them to a lawyer? Do you think the social media company wrote them without lawyers? You are entering a legally binding agreement without legal representation, who is at fault here? The argument ends there, no court in the world would support you on a defence of ‘I didn’t read the legal agreement and chose to take no advice.’ Make no mistake, these are your choices and you chose to do nothing. That’s irresponsible.

The fact that no one reads terms and conditions is not an excuse, that’s a promotion of ignorance and mob rule. ‘No one does’ is the popular defence for the usually uninjured. This could very well be true, but it does not absolve you if you later discover something you agreed to, legally, that you later find out you don’t ‘like.’ If you make a deal with what many consider the devil, be prepared to honour your side, or at least dance with it.

So Brain version 1.0 has processed all of the above and a breach of privacy occurs? Did you expect a security system that could never be breached, with the technology available to us? A flawless system run by people who never make a mistake? Why would you assume this? It makes no rational sense based on any historical evidence of any industry.

What I am NOT saying is that there is ever a rationale to be trolled, stalked, bullied or have personal information stolen. No one deserves that, but there are ways to help avoid it. Your LinkedIn profile, Facebook social events and Twitter tone clearly display your assumed net worth, place of work, your friends, the social locations you visit, your preferences and also what your personality is. How do you think criminals pick targets? These seemingly unrelated snippets are all highly related. They build a very detailed picture, if it is your specific objective to do so. If you’re chosen, you’re chosen because you’ve painted a target on yourself.

Be aware of what you display. Any criminal element picks a target on what they know or can piece together. Again, we all know this. Look at what you put on the Internet and see what kind of profile you can build about yourself from the information you have volunteered. You’ll be surprised.

You know the Internet is available in prisons, right? And have you ever made a snap judgement about someone, based on barely any information, who stood too close to you at an ATM? The Internet has no psychological filters for profiling; anyone can read your content. Print out everything you have displayed on the Internet and put it in a tidy file, then go visit a prison and hand it over to one of the inmates. No? What’s the difference in their access to that data? None.

What Internet companies do with your information, however, is their responsibility, and they should stay within the confines of the law. This is both noble and unrealistic. It suggests the Internet is immune to hackers or unscrupulous people. No industry is. Again, we know this BEFORE we take part. It’s not right, but it is true, at least allow for this. Or at least don’t be surprised or too indignant when the system breaks down, as it always will.

Cars and houses will get broken into, but you try to minimise the opportunity, it’s all you can do. It’s why you don’t leave valuables on display, shred bank statements, put keys in drawers, fit alarms and smoke detectors. You are aware of the dangers, yet you don’t blame the house builder if a theft occurs. This knowledge was slowly taught, witnessed, adopted and applied from an early age.

The Internet is only young, we have no past generations to teach us through actions we can observe and we’re only now reaching the realisation that we do need to fit alarms and be more careful in what we display. It’s not the alarm that’s important, it’s the realisation and understanding that you may need to get one as a preventative measure. I think that’s reasonable, and applies very, very basic common sense.

This is not a defence of social networks or a suggestion that they can play Wild West with your details. It’s simply saying use the knowledge you already have stored in Brain 1.0 prior to joining any website, placing any content on the Internet or revealing personal details.

Remember, you always have 100% control over your personal information at all times, because no one is forcing you to put it on the Internet. Weigh up the risks yourself, don’t blame technology, decide what you want to reveal, understand the terms and have an appreciation that your data has a worth and it will be used as a currency to pay for what you freely enjoy.

Understand that you do not know anyone behind the website, you have no idea where they are based, or often, what continent they are on. You assume their security is both rigorous and honest; that they are scrupulous and that any details they are publishing are real and verified. Know that you will not check any of these details at all, let alone thoroughly.

If you don’t use Brain 1.0 to understand this, don’t open the stable door and then try to get on a high horse after it’s bolted. Technology hasn’t become aware yet, but you already are.

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