The Facebook Bookface

So many questions were asked of MZ at the congressional hearing. So many comments/reviews and analysis…. It may be out there, I didn’t see the primary issues addressed, even indirectly.

Prior to those, I haven’t personally seen any the “way we do business here in the beltway” issues brought forward. I’m guessing these are being discussed elsewhere and don’t need any elaboration here (e.g., the obvious and blatant attempts to set up sectarian lines in order to force FB – MZ’s money train – to be more “involved” with creation of legislation and…).

Most curious, is that we have heard/saw little to nothing about PROFILING. This is curious in that we see so much press about the evil implicit in the use of profiling to police and to enforce laws, but that profiling is an imperceptible point on the Richter Scale as compared to the sophisticated psychological, sociological, and every-other-logical personal profile for every internet user that “AI” will enable in the not too distant future. We are already seeming elementary capabilities that if known and understood by the public, would make it clear that we are not far off from a time when we can be individually and collectively groomed not just for an election, but to any purpose. And we think child pornography is bad….

In a related note, there is an underlying presumption in the conversation that it is evil for someone to unethically acquire the data and do something nefarious with it (at least if it is the other guy doing so: okay for Obama; okay for the US doing it to Russia; not okay for Russia to do it to the US; not okay for Trump to benefit). A more fundamental question is, should FB, Google, Adobe, Amazon, eBay, China, Homeland Security or anyone else have that capability? Related questions: if FB deletes the original data per the request of a participant, does that delete all derivative data that establishes a persistent, personal profile? After all, it isn’t the original data that is monetized, it is the profile. If not, then all of this is a grand slight-of-hand and the audience has been greatly deceived.

Perhaps the biggest issue is the one that has almost entirely entrenched itself into the internet experience and expectation. Where are the voices clamoring for attention, demanding that the entire financial underpinning of the internet – which is at the foundation of the issue – is inherently to blame? Do people understand, really understand, what currency they are using to pay for all those “free” internet services? Do they have any idea where this must lead given that the companies providing those services have a fiduciary responsibility to their owners to mine, extract, refine, and manufacture ever more sophisticated products? “The dread pirate Roberts is here for your soul.”  (see: Princess Bride clip)

Free internet? Yeah. Right.


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