Digital self defense: Is privacy tech killing AI?

Digital self defense

These are some of the tools of digital self defense (AKA Surveillance Self Defense) and their use means privacy may be gaming AI algorithms by skewing the Big Data inputs.

We’re more than the sum of our zeroes and ones….

The profiles aren’t always accurate and targeting decisions can be outright offensive: bail bond ads targeting users with African-American sounding names. Big brands like Pepsi promoted on Nazi websites. One social media user who’d been relentlessly targeted with adoption ads after her stillbirth made a public plea to tech giants to fix their algorithms: “If you’re smart enough to realise that I’m pregnant, that I’ve given birth, then surely you’re smart enough to realise that my baby died, and can advertise to me accordingly, or maybe, just maybe, not at all.”

And they’re going on the offence

Blackbelts like Pernille Tranberg of Data Ethics are helping consumers and companies find win-win alternatives to corporate surveillance. She’s teaching young cybernauts the basics so they can avoid a Truman Show future — a kind of digital self defense teacher. Consumers can repatriate their data with tools like Yo-Da, Digi.Me and TapMyData, and transact on their own terms at a fair market value with tools like Advantagious.

Companies that wage war on their consumers will eventually lose.

Adversarial? Yes. But it doesn’t have to be. Instead of disabling ad blockers or duping users into consent with deceptive interfaces and dark patterns, advertisers could try respecting people’s choices. Collaborate rather than compete. Get to know your customers. Make it human. Otherwise you’re fighting a losing battle.

Is privacy killing AI?

No, but Adtech will if we’re not careful.

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