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Zero




Just finished reading the book 'Zero' by Marc Elsberg.
Scary because the future it shows is almost there: we give away for free our personal data and privacy and attention spans to data kraken like Facebook and Google who gain an unbelievable amout of power to manipulate us for their ultimate goal: to maximize their profit.

One nice example mentioned in the book: the GPS navigation which ensures you drive by a gas station sponsoring this service instead of taking the real optimized route in terms of miles to drive.

Also mentioned in the epilogue of the book is an experiment Facebook has conducted in the past to alter the emotional state of its users.

In the book a fictitious social media site called FreeMee collects a massive amount of data from its users from smartphones, smart watches and glasses. Thus they know almost everything about a person including their health and what the person currently is doing. Through apps designed to optimize the life of people ( like improving health, finding a job ... ) they also know what people will do - or in other ways are able to really control people. This works because they came up with a ranking system ranking all their users which is the diabolical means to motivate people to contribute their data, to e.g. wear a smart watch or post videos from their glasses to improve ranking. Gamification of life, so to speak, as their way to ensure people join their 'game'.



5 blog comments below

Sounds like a very interesting read. A book to add to my list.
standready on Mon Jun 19, 2017 4:11 pm
You're right Amagard. Feels as though that future is already there - in the UK there seems to be TV cameras on every corner. People are beginning to get a persecution complex. Not to mention all of the medical information that is held in shared databases. Most Government agencies can view one's travel as well with being able to check into passports.
deanhills on Mon Jun 19, 2017 7:42 pm
Just have been reading here ( in German ) and here that data of 200 million US voters suddenly became available online for download ( 1.1 Terabyte ). Scary. Your data is not safe anywhere.
amagard on Tue Jun 20, 2017 8:55 am
There are alternative services that ask for less information, but there is a price to be paid in convenience for not having the "all knowing" ones always available to give you advice. You can leave your gps off except when needed, use duckduckgo search, etc.

Linkedin is the closest to social media you should get if you value privacy, and they are questionable.

You can avoid the obvious messaging apps, but the cost is finding and convincing your friends to use one of the newer less common ones. Some of the newer ones are noticeably less intrusive, but trying to guess which ones will stay that way could be difficult.
SonLight on Wed Jun 21, 2017 8:45 am
A very interesting vision, I will read it when I have time
restonpiston on Sat Jun 24, 2017 4:03 pm



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