Do not track assignment

Do not track is a website which I find is quite innovative and original in a way. When I opened the website I felt the same vibe as Netflix. This is in itself very captivating for several reasons.

First of all, institutions have always been talking to us about online privacy but it is indispensable to say that these lessons have always been very boring. We all know how to adjust privacy on facebook, how to recognize a spam, etc..

The second thing is that people tend to neglect or procrastinate their studies to surf on Netflix which, -as i said- is quite similar to the do not track website on which there are also easily accessible episodes of a series. Hence I find this website very attractive and will happily watch a couple of episodes to complete this assignment.

The first video I watched is called the spy in my pocket. I know we shouldn’t read a book from its cover page but the title of it really attracted me as I am convinced it is absolutely no coincidence that after looking for a plane ticket for example, you get travel adds on facebook. How does this work ? I don’t know.. Is there someone sitting on the other side of the world to make sure I get these adds? maybe.. I will watch the video, hoping it may clarify some information to me.

Despite the fact that this video is quite short, it provided me with several information I had absolutely no idea about. We tend to think that we may be tracked only when using internet. This turned out to be a bluff. Apparently, when we’re simply using the flashlight of our phones, it activates your devices UD ID (Unique Device ID) which is unique all around the world. This UD ID is then sent to advertisers which use it to know where you’re at when it comes to using and buying products. A simple flash light can make them think of what’s on your mind! Once they have your UD ID, they will know which cafes , places, restaurants you go to which would help the internet send you adds and suggestions that you could relate to. I also got to know that there are certain apps that show who is using your information without your knowledge. I find it unfortunate that the video did not give us the name of the application though.. Did you know that the way your information is collected differs from wether you’re using IOS, Windows or android? I didn’t either! To track devices, Google said they used IP addresses, GPS location and so forth (wife access points etc…)

Unlike on Netflix, I won’t be watching the episodes in order because there are different topics that specifically interest me and I would like to know more about. Hence I chose a topic that I think is becoming more and more important in our daily lives even concerning our jobs. ‘Like mining‘ is the third episode of this season on internet tracking of ‘Do not track’ .

This episode is about how we don’t think twice before liking a post , a picture or even an article . However, this simple like does a lot. It is way more than simply showing that you like something or that you can relate to it..  A bit into this video, something surprised me. This is all about privacy, about protecting your information. Yet, they ask you to sign in with your facebook account to continue so you could get to analyze your likes. Isn’t that what other platforms do to collect your information? giving you a reason to put your username and password so they can later on use your information for other things? Despite this, I still decided to sign  in. It said it was analyzing my information which made me a bit skeptical especially that it did not work and redirected me to the video.

Interesting fact given in the video : scholars from Cambridge University state that our likes on Facebook can be used to define your character, political position, sexual orientation and even your IQ. All of this through your likes? How? This question spontaneously came up to me after hearing this. Like can go all the way to giving facebook information about psychological disorders which is -I would say-  scary to a certain extent.

How scary is it to get a statement such as : “Using the personality analysis created from your Facebook data and scientific research from a study published in the Journal of Risk Research our advanced algorithm has determined that you may be a mediocre candidate for a loan” . I find it extremely shocking and even disturbing that Facebook likes and shares have gained importance to the extent that wether getting a loan request accepted or not may depend on it. It is indispensable to say that this is said my Iluminus which itself is created by ” Do Not Track” but there are in fact true websites such as a banking platform called Lenddo which asks you to sign in with facebook and then automatically give you a rating that fluctuates between 0 and 1’000. This, I think is atrocious.  Yet, it clearly backs up the fact that likes are a major way of spying on people’s lives and even rating them. These likes are used in more fields than we  -or at least I- thought before doing this activity and watching these videos. It is incredible that that likes and friends of friends could lead the internet to know the propensity of you smoking.

I think it is very interesting to get a sentence such as : “Your high scores in Extraversion (0.975) and Neuroticism (0.855) indicate extreme potential for risk-taking behavior in your health decisions” just from signing in to facebook.

These two episodes are very interesting and I would advise you to watch them!

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