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We should all worry about company control of data




The Information Age has brought us countless wonders and brings forth amazing innovations every day. The only reason today's society has such impressive technology and progress is that we can gain so much insight from our data, especially when we combine different data sets and comb through them with analysis technology. Increasingly, we are seeing companies exploiting this process and gaining as much control over the data of everyday people as possible.

We should seriously worry about the control of data by companies, especially when we are concerned about our individual privacy and human rights. Therefore, you should consider once again whether you have Apple Microsoft and other technical scourges about your personal information.

Companies Are Spying Us Already

The predominant reason why we should be worried about business data control is that we already have undeniable evidence that today's leading technology giants are spying on everything. An investigation by the Associated Press revealed that Google is constantly tracking your movements, including and in particular after you specifically request them. I've seen a lot of insidious corporate behavior in my time, but wantonly tracking down users who believe that tracking services have been disabled is one of the most exciting and dangerous trends I've ever seen.

Even if companies do not explicitly exploit our data or track every single action, they still treat our personal information intrusively. For example, Facebook has proven time and again that it is utterly incapable of preventing catastrophic data breaches. Other social media platforms have also suffered data breaches, but Facebook is in league of its own and is flooded with constant scandals over the inability to ensure your personal information does not fall into the wrong hands.

Nowadays I'm worried that consumers are becoming more and more complacent with the data-ambiguity trend, entrusting their information to dodgy companies that do not have their best interests. Concerned citizens need to ensure that their daily shopping habits do not contribute to a culture of data inertia by giving businesses access to all the information they need to gain premature or cheap access to their services.

Data only becomes more important

The most important aspect of this debate is the fact that over time data will only become more important for everyday life. New technological developments that drive the IT boom will bring sensor technologies and monitoring capabilities that enable businesses and governments to invest massive amounts of resources in the population. If we do not take data seriously soon, we may use an irreversible trend of malicious data misuse.

Consumers should begin to boycott goods and services that do not allow them to disable location tracking services companies to adopt cultures of transparency. Similarly, regulators and government officials must take more seriously the threat companies pose to everyday privacy and human rights. The world's largest tech companies have little incentive to take care of you, and vice versa any motivation in the world to exploit your data as much as possible.

There is no reversal of the IT boom, as the Pandora's box can not be closed as soon as the lid is open. If we want to survive as free persons in the digital age, today we must work for privacy. The control of data by companies is good for anyone and will continue to be exploited by nefarious business partners, who generate the profit of your personal data.

This post is part of our contributor series. The views expressed are those of the author and not necessarily shared by TNW.

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