"Data is Power" -
Data can be used for good, harnessed for the betterment of society,
but it can also be abused.
Ever wondered why products that you were scrolling thru on your mobile, minutes later it appears as an ad on another social media platform? That’s because most of the big companies have a data file representing you. This determines access, what ads you see and the interest rates. Be mindful – this file is not under your control.
There are 3 things required to tackle in order for the web to fulfil its true potential as a tool that serves all of humanity.
- We’ve lost control of our personal data
- It’s too easy for misinformation to spread on the web
- Political advertising online needs transparency & understanding
- Losing control of our personal data
Cookies are able to not only analyse web traffic, customise banner ads, store items in your shopping cart, but also remember your username and password, and etc. Cookies are not really a threat for viruses or malware. However, this may be one of the reasons you may feel tracking your visits to certain websites or remembering your login information compromise your privacy. In addition, many websites’ current business model provide free content in exchange for personal data. As such, users lose out on the benefits only if we had direct authority over this data and choose when and with whom to share it.
2. Misinformation spread on the web easily
Today, most people search news and information on the web through a couple of social media sites and search engines. No doubt, social media gives us the opportunity to catch news in real time. However, it also makes it incredibly easy for false information to spread. Through the use of data science and armies of bots, those with ill intentions are able to game the system to disseminate misinformation for financial or political gain.
3. Needs for transparency and understanding
There are suggestions that some US and around the world political adverts are being adopted in unethical ways. Such unethical acts include pointing voters to fake news sites or keeping others away from the polls. Campaigns are allowed to say completely different, which may be conflicting things to different groups in targeted advertising. But… is that democratic?
In the end, it all boils down to the values and people. We can shape a future that works for all of us by putting people first and empowering them.