Friday, February 01, 2019
Technology and Privacy
Nothing we do online is truly private. I continue to be shocked at the number of people who find this surprising. Platforms like Facebook, and Google, and Yahoo exist, because they use what they know about us, to direct paid advertising at us. It is as simple as that. Everytime I read a news story, a blog post, watch a Youtube video, or visit Facebook, the servers are looking at what I am looking at, and matching that to the billions of marketing options. We use these services for free, and yet the services make billions of dollars.
If you move your text messages to Facebook messenger, isn't it reasonable to expect messenger to scan your text messages for clues to target advertising? When I do a google search, or go online shopping on Amazon, or a travel site, suddenly what I looked for or at, starts to show up as advertising on pages I visit that have advertising. That is how this system works.
I do wish they would get better. For days after I book travel, I get advertising for travel to the place I have booked. Amazon is forever sending me messages on things I have never and never will buy, like womens' shoes. I can't figure out why their servers don't notice that in over a decade of using the site I have never looked for or or bought womens' shoes and not bother sending me notices of special sales.
Every once in a while, I get a text message from my favorite government insider that will simply say, wouldn't it be fun to have lunch on Friday, usual place and time. S/he knows someone is scanning messages in and out of the office.