CONTROLLING LIFE AT HOME

“We speak of ‘software eating the world,”the internet of Things,’ and massify ‘data’ by declaring it ‘Big’. But these concepts remain for the most part abstract. It’s hard for many of us to grasp the impact of digital technology on the ‘real world’ of things like rocks, homes, cars, and trees. We lack a metaphor that hits home.” – John Battelle 

The internet is a vast empty void of space filled with numerals, codes and data. The very idea of technology and digital media remains a complex system to many. From the week 2 readings; ‘Six pillars: Futures thinking for transforming’ (Inayatullah 2008, p.5). The concept of a ‘Disowned Future’ seems to be an accurate prediction on the complications of today’s society. In the article, Homer (Greek writer) states: “Our excellence is our fatal flaw”. This is indeed true. We tend to excel at a rapid rate, mainly because to keep up with the economy and the ever so fast innovations of technology. We tend to overlook the situation and focus on strategic plans/ theoretics and this is our ultimate downfall. An example to illustrate this idea is from a newspaper article that i’ve come across. Imagine the things we make, design and engineer. The beautiful things we craft and shape to enhance our daily lives, backfire on us.

——>>  Online article from SMH   <<———

Link to online article SMH

Devin Nunes, Chairman of the US House Intelligence Committee. Photo: Pat Scala

Two words. ‘Internet’ and ‘Data’. The greatest inventions of human technology. The article “Australian phones, emails ‘open to hacking’ from The Sydney Morning Herald exploits the use and abuse of technologies on society. The internet could be a scary place, especially leaving a ‘digital footprint’ and having no idea what it does or what it could potentially do.

Congressman Devin Nunes, (Head of the US House Intelligence Committee) warns Australians that mobile phones etc are ‘vulnerable to being hacked’. Phone calls, emails, webcams could be tapped or listened to. This form of cyber attack is solely conducted for economic espionage, giving hackers the ability to access data of social security numbers, family details, passwords, personal histories and even finger prints. This brings up the question – ‘Are we safe?’ How can we protect our own data and personal identity from the world wide digital sphere? “Our excellence is our fatal flaw”.

(17:49 Tedx on Pablos Holman – Top hacker of the world!. Interesting video showing how simple coding and data could invade your privacy through technology/ media. MUST WATCH!. It is worth the 18 minutes of your life.)

Rita Raley from the reading ‘Dataveillance & Countervailance’ and (prof) Michael Fraser from the audio ‘Future Tense: ‘Social Media, Data & Property Rights explain possibilities and ideas on how to combat data theft and infringement. As we all know, our online activities are constantly being monitored and tracked. There are pros and cons towards this collective data. Raley suggests two methods:

Process 1 – ‘Cleansing’

  • The constant habitual practice of cleansing data, deleting flash cookies, ‘LSO’s’ (local shared objects – which are tracking devices within flash players that overrides the user’s security preferences without their consent), cache, search histories etc.

Process 2 -‘Protective Identity’

  • Browsing the web ‘anonymously’ through plugins and extensions as well as search engines that doesn’t store IP addresses (this is important as there are many dodgy sites that contain malware and trojans.
  • Providing false personal identification such as email addresses, names, photos etc to maintain control over your own data. Reason being – even actions such as deleting cookies, search histories etc. It still can be re-traced and restored as what Raley calls ‘zombie cookies’ and this data serves as a misuse for online behavioural advertising.

Michael Fraser also suggested ideas to counteract data theft and infringement. He proposed two concepts: 1) Control and 2) Charge Free. In order to protect our own personal integrity and intellectual property, we must control how our data is being used and collated. For instance, major corporations harvest and collect information from our resources and all the benefits/ profits go towards their own company which leads to the second concept – Charging a fee. As the rightful owner of the property, we would like to take part in the marketing scheme. (multi corporations make $10bill+ per annum).

Humans create machines and machines allow us to optimise the most of our daily lives. The internet in respects to ‘Data’ is the most powerful tool that technology could offer. It is up to social media and how we homo-sapiens interact with the digital sphere, which will shine upon a utopic or dystopic future.

Reference:

  1. Inayatullah, S., 2008. Six pillars: futures thinking for transforming. Foresight, 10 (1), 4-21.
  2. ‘Social media, data and property rights’
  3. http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/futuretense/ social-media-data-and-property-rights/5312518
  4. Raley, Rita. 2013, ‘Dataveillance and countervailance,’ in Gitelman, L. (ed) “Raw data” is an oxymoron, Cambridge, MA: Cambridge University Press, pp. 131-9.

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