Has our privacy already been “invaded”? Who is the invader?
Who is really spying on me?
The Right to Privacy is considered by some to be as important as the Right to Live. A nine judge bench headed by the Chief Justice of India is contemplating it’s importance – as to whether the Right to Privacy is a fundamental right. In the past, 2 constitution bench of judges have ruled that Right to Privacy is not a fundamental right. Today’s ruling will have a bearing on the larger debate of the Government of India’s push to link Aadhar numbers (numbers assigned to Indians based on their biometric and demographic data) with various services and schemes such a mobile numbers, filing of income tax returns (PAN) etc. But what’s the fuss about?
Big data is now big business. Without getting too technical, it is the process of collecting, storing and analyzing huge amounts of data (related to human behavior, processes, events etc.) to predict certain outcomes. It helps businesses beat competitions, prevent diseases, Governments frame policies and even help predict and identity potential frauds or terrorists. It’s also a brutal invasion of privacy. In the hands of the powerful, it has the potential to be an invaluable tool. But in order for it to do so, the agency needs data in the first place. This data collection can be done probably in 3 ways :
- With your knowledge and consent – You register your personal mobile number and address while applying for a credit card
- With your knowledge but without your consent – You are asked to provide your personal details while applying for a loan. You don’t want to provide them, but have to in order for the process to be completed.
- Without your knowledge and consent – This is a grey area and what is discussed in this blog. It’s a grey area, because the data collectors do intimate you that they are collecting your data, but in a surreptitious/ discreet manner.
|Visualization created by IBM of daily Wikipedia edits . At multipleterabytes in size, the text and images of Wikipedia are an example of big data.Courtesy : Wikipedia/Author:Fernanda B.Viegas
Big data is said to have helped large organizations achieve outstanding results. As per information in the public domain :
- Barack Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign was a success largely on account of Big Data Analysis.
- Big Data analysis also gave the Bhartiya Janata Party an edge in winning the 2014 elections in India.
- The Indian Government is also said to utilize Big Data to understand the electorates’ response to it’s policies and modify them accordingly.
Various sectors worldwide rely on Big Data analysis such as manufacturing, healthcare, education, internet of yhings,technology, banking, real estate, sports, research and media. The point is , your “privacy” (depending on which aspects of your life and interactions you consider private) has apparently already been compromised. Here is a list of your very own personal potential “invaders”:
The Media it appears uses extensive data mining and personalized tracking not just for marketing and distribution but also for creating and shaping content. Since it is commerce driven, it appears to be one of the largest trackers of your personal information. These may include not just your address and email, but also your browsing habits, likes and dislikes as well. Imagine an artificial super intelligence, which is mapping your every move on the internet. What you click on, what time you logon to the internet, which articles you read, which movies you watch, which music you heard, which posts you liked. Your entire behavior is being mapped and then conveyed to strategists who target what kind of products you may buy based on your behavior.
What is interesting is that a lot of such trackers are apparently embedded along with news sites. Yes, the same news media channel which raises privacy concerns for you when the Government wants to link your PAN number with your AADHAR Card Number. So it appears that in all their hypocrisy, they will make you paranoid about letting the Government associate your bio-metric data with your financial details, but are happy to smugly siphon off your personal and most intimate details.
After installing anti tracking extensions and ad blockers on a few web browsers, here are some results : – READ THE REST OF THE BLOG HERE
Also Read : THE MATRIX: SIGNS YOU MAY BE PART OF IT.