So Why Only Here?
The Market Ticker - Commentary on The Capital Markets
2017-07-16 07:00 by Karl Denninger
in Technology , 188 references Ignore this thread
So Why Only Here?
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What the hell is this garbage?

Lawmakers in almost two dozen state capitols are considering ways to bolster consumer privacy protections rolled back with Trump’s signature in April. The proposals being debated from New York to California would limit how AT&T Inc., Verizon Communications Inc. and Comcast Corp. use subscribers’ data.

Ok, as far as it goes.

Now why doesn't it apply to companies like Facebook considering they are based in California?

See how simple that was?

As I've pointed out the real problem is out-of-scope data use.  Nobody expects their ISP to track their web surfing and sell it to health insurance companies.  But they might do that.

Ditto on your Facebook views.

Nobody gets all cranked off about advertisers using your preferences to bring you "better ads."

The problem is that "better ads" doesn't mean discriminating for (or against) you in buying health insurance, or rating you when you buy a homeowner's or auto policy, or for that matter screwing you on price based on the fact that you just drove past a WalMart and thus won't duck in and buy whatever it is there instead!

That is where the problem lies.

It's not using collected data for its intended purpose and on the terms you were given and with the choice to not participate.

It's using it for other reasons, including building a detailed dossier on who you are, where you go to church, what your job and income look like, who your friends are, whether you spend an hour a day in a bar and more.  It's the lie that the data collection is not tied to you personally and on an identifiable basis when it very clearly is.  It's the outrageous second-by-second record-keeping that both Android and IOS do with "location" and the sale of that data to anyone who shows up with a wad of money, along with the same collection of said data by mobile phone companies over which you have no control.  In short it's the inability to say no by inherently tying that collection and out-of-scope use to things that have become essential for modern life, such as (for example) Internet access when you have a kid in the house and part of their homework requires access to the Internet, inherent storage and sale of data by cellular and cable providers and more.

Do not be deceived -- these so-called "state actions" are both incomplete and discriminatory.  Proof of this is that California, which is one of the states involved, is not targeting Zucker****er for the very same level of enforcement.

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Whitehat
Posts: 31
Incept: 2017-06-27

New York City
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One could hack the system. When driving to a bar, simply stop in front of the same church every time and turn off the phone. People tend to silence their phones in houses of worship, or at least they should. I am thinking of taping mine to the trunk of my nice neighbor who goes to morning Mass every day. Or, you can loan it to the nice folks going to the Mormon retreat. ok, being cute, but it makes a point. For times when yours is off, you simply have a cheap burner that the main-line forwards to when off. Since you never make calls with the burner, it can't learn you. Turn it on once you are away from the house. It is only for emergencies, if you have such a need. The possibilities are endless. Essentially you can feed the system bad data through all avenues. Get creative. A used Android tablet gives me mapping when I want to take undocumented road trips. I even have a burner Gmail account in it; you have to know what you are doing so that it does not learn your home location.

I have been doing this since the 80's. Every warranty registration gets a much different, hyper positive image. Subscribe or take a sample subscription to something that makes you look good. Check off activities such as gardening, walking. Boost your income. Certain professions such as one of mine are actually viewed negatively due to the average profile; thus I came up with another. Use a VPN subscription for surfing to places where you do not want to be profiled such as health research. You must also have a totally different computer and never cross access. Used computers, even new ones, are cheap, have three with different uses and VPN. Make sure to change the DNS server settings. I am not saying this to do illegal things, though it could work. Use your burner computers to read about your dangerous or "interesting" hobbies and subscribe to related periodicals online using prepaid cards.

This is difficult for many, but consider not using your health insurance, especially if you have a chronic disease. Work with your doctor to use a false name for tests. Too much to go into here and there are economic considerations, but this is potentially a massive source.

Lie on questionnaires casually. Don't lie on big fraud type stuff, simply accidentally check that you have a master's degree, oops.

I have it from good sources that eating out could be a negative profile. Great, turn the phone off before you get there and pay cash. Bicycling is also an issue according to the same source.

The system forgets a lot of stuff after seven years, so start now even if you seem to be making a hard turn. Consider it being born again.

Before I get the whole inconvenience thing of turning off the ****ing phone, remember when we enjoyed socializing without the annoyance? A double benefit. Want to take a picture, learn how to disable GPS and go in airplane mode, before you get to your location. Or you could carry a small digital camera. Thin, light are dirt-cheap used on eBay, once $500 now $25.

Use your credit cards to only buy healthy normal groceries and usual sundries.

The system is being used against us and locking us into this model. Work it to your advantage.

Well I have to go now. On my way to the Catholic Worker where we feed the homeless. Actually, i turn off the phone while walking past on my way to something interesting, well between me and the gods. Did volunteer there for many years. No matter how bad you ever have it, serving others reminds you to be thankful.

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There are two ways to be rich: One is by acquiring much, and the other is by desiring little.
Bagbalm
Posts: 5253
Incept: 2009-03-19

Just North of Detroit
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I have a Novella story line I have not published yet in which teenagers trade phones and send them back and forth along unlikely routes and such to confound the future surveillance state. Including such things as putting a minor's phone outside the hotel room or home of politicians and school administrators overnight.
They will all give their phones to one designated phone carrier while they go off elsewhere to party. They also take pix of people and make masks on 3D machines to wear for the cameras everywhere. I should do something with DNA too. There are just so many possible hacks to imagine.
Whitehat
Posts: 31
Incept: 2017-06-27

New York City
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having a former client that owns a data aggregating and marketing firm confirms a lot of how bad things can get for people. pre smart phone it was a little easier to stay under the radar or control your narrative. essentially people have been lojacked. the various apps allow even greater granular control than when it was just cellular and text messaging. you can be in the smart phone environment, but should not install apps for the hell of it. you should never have Facebook on your phone. additionally i block a lot of things like Facebook at the script level when browsing and never maintain an active login in this and other crap. our security clients are always advised to simply take their name on Facebook, set the account to private and have nothing to do with it. Perhaps they use it and twitter for business on a dedicated system. try telling this to a millennial. i never have and never will post to Facebook or twitter personally.

here is a serious one. since everyone is lojacked and using their personal phones for business, there is an avenue for a competitor to use data aggregation to track competitors employees and executives in near real time and learn their overall habits. this would open up the can regarding private business dealings, customer locations, supplier locations, remote office locations, location of secure facilities, compromising information, you name it. Personal safety can also be compromised and outright threats as well as extortion are on the menu. we only hear about how some stupid pop celebrity left her bluetooth open and her whole address book was stolen. my wealthy clients of course use the internet, however their cellular phones are always owned under an entity and they seldom take or make a call in open view. none use anything other than an owned personal computer for internet use and messaging or a secure blackberry device when they need field access. smart executives concerned about security seldom carry phones, pay for a lot of things cash or funds transfer including regular purchases and are very aware not to bring phones certain places. they have emergency use phones for obvious reasons.

i did my last secure location contract before the mass acceptance of the modern smartphone. any time some former client or contact asks me about security for their company I ask if they are committed to allowing only company issued, properly secured phones to only be used and forbid personal devices with regular auditing. most do not want the hassle and take their chances.

it is very worthwhile to spend a little time doing a search of the data aggregators who are willing to show you what they know about you. if you are really interested an investigator can take it to the next level. with just a few unique pieces of data about you, almost anything is discover-able.

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There are two ways to be rich: One is by acquiring much, and the other is by desiring little.
Supertruckertom
Posts: 1295
Incept: 2010-11-07

USA
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Another reason I am holding o to my Z-10 as long as possible.
Verizon still tracks me and my browsing though.
Often it gets my last known location off by a couple of States in search results.

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Preparing to go Hunting.
Nonsensical
Posts: 20
Incept: 2017-06-16

La Verne, CA
Online
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I'm not even sure what legitimate service these tech companies even offer in exchange for this information they retrieve. Google offers what? Search. Google wasn't the first search engine. The previous search engines did ultimately just become portals for advertisers or tried to wall you off into their sphere of control, but the reason they did that is because th early programmers in search were hesitant about privacy and copy right laws. Page and Brin simply didn't care, and for this they're considered geniuses.

Same thing with Zuckerberg, who I might add early on employed Sean Parker who unabashedly never saw a copyright he didn't like to violate.

These people literally have the attitude that it's not about who'll let them, but who'll stop them.

Much of the problems that the US faces could actually be resolved soundly by two states that have the power to literally force the rest of the country to follow: California and New York. Both of these states wield immense power, and for all of their do-good blathering by their politicians they not only don't do anything, they even condone it and create safe havens for these people. Whether it's corruption in the banks, wall Street, wage and environmental arbitrage, tech companies, privacy, etc. If both of these states said enough, it'd be a formidable power. I don't know about NY, but I know California, don't put too much hope in our politicians.
Vernonb
Posts: 1817
Incept: 2009-06-03

East of Sheol
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Whitehat said:
Quote:
One could hack the system. When driving to a bar, simply stop in front of the same church every time and turn off the phone. People tend to silence their phones in houses of worship, or at least they should. I am thinking of taping mine to the trunk of my nice neighbor who goes to morning Mass every day. Or, you can loan it to the nice folks going to the Mormon retreat. ok, being cute, but it makes a point.

smiley
Hmmm. I see nothing but a business opportunity here to feed bad/subversive data to the system. We'll send out our operatives with mobile devices containing your information to types of locations you designate. We'll also create for you a customized online presence.

Of course it could also be used in reverse. Have someone you don't like and feed the necessary data and we can make this person into the scoundrel of your choosing. smiley

The possibilities are endless. The sad fact is that most of this information already exists online to tag people in this manner.

In the end it makes these information resell services totally worthless if this is done often enough. Nothing like a little subversive digital espionage against people that can't mind their own business.

Thanks for the idea .... smiley

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"Mass intelligence does not mean intelligent masses."
Gameover
Posts: 1
Incept: 2010-05-23

Twin Cities
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It goes beyond Facebook likes or data sharing of searches though. Personal anecdotal story hear but worth sharing I think...

While my wife was in the hospital, recovering from a significant procedure and accompanying complications, we were having a somewhat sleep deprived, pain medication influenced(on her part) conversation that took a turn to the absurd. I made a comment jokingly saying, "who knows, maybe I'll get a reverse vasectomy for fun!" This was said in jest between my wife and I, no one else was in the room. This was SAID to eachother, not put in an e-mail or commented on Facebook. It was merely SAID OUT LOUD in the "privacy" of her single bed hospital room.

Later that night, while browsing Facebook, her featured add said, "Click here for quotes on reverse vasectomies."

WTF?

Had the topic not been so obscure, we never would have noticed or would have chalked it up to coincidence.

I've refused to knowingly participate in the "always on" microphone idea, denying entry to my home of any of the Google/Amazon voice activated devices but apparently, the switch was not turned off on my wife's phone and Lord only knows how long it has been listening to us and sharing data with Facebook and who knows who else.

Why this sort of "automatic opt-in" is allowed is infuriating. Shame on me for not looking more closely at her settings or reading the fine print but in my opinion, this should be something they have to ASK permission to collect, not put the burden on us to OPT-OUT.

Just my two cents...


Tickerguy
Posts: 149191
Incept: 2007-06-26
A True American Patriot!
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Quote:
It goes beyond Facebook likes or data sharing of searches though. Personal anecdotal story hear but worth sharing I think...

Exactly.

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Winding it down.
Chaparral
Posts: 278
Incept: 2007-09-11

Los Angeles
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We have a similar story here: heading out to dinner with some in-laws and the wife wants a watch to match her outfit. I offer her a bvlgari diagono and just tell her "here, try this bvlgari. It's a smaller diameter that'll wear better on you". She now gets daily popups on her farcebook for bvlgari products. Her phone was just laying on the dresser unused at the time.
Tickerguy
Posts: 149191
Incept: 2007-06-26
A True American Patriot!
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There are so many examples of this that in fact it is VERY un-funny.

How many articles do I have to write on this subject before people wake the **** up?

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Winding it down.
Ckaminski
Posts: 4105
Incept: 2011-04-08

Mass-Hole!
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You know, I was just thinking that in the Star Trek utopia of ST:TNG or ST:DS9 everyone has these tracking devices such that Friend Computer knows where you are at all times.

I don't recall a single episode in either series where they tackled the issues of stalking if XYZ can call up the position of anyone from Friend Computer at any time...
Nonsensical
Posts: 20
Incept: 2017-06-16

La Verne, CA
Online
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Netflix has already installed a face recognition program into their app so it knows if you're watching or not, and when it doesn't the app will pause. I'm sure every app out there is trying to extract as much as it can, and why not, the guys who have been doing took and now command a massive market share and nothing happened to them.

Well, as they say, if you're not paying for something, you're not the customer, you're the product.

Maybe I've become too pessimistic, but I'm not even sure the majority of people care. All the polls and research shows that privacy is a major issue for most people because early investors in Google and FB were worried when Google and FB ignored those analytics an went ahead violating privacy claiming it didn't matter anymore. Now, they were proven wrong and there was backlash but the public backlash was always in terms of some moaning and groaning. These companies conceded, or gave the appearances of conceding (like adding a delete button to Gmail, which doesn't matter because Google just saves it themselves).

I find it crazy that parents would allow their children to spend all day on social media when all the research is showing excessive amounts of time spent on social media reinforces anti social behavior.

I have a friend who is a scout for the New England Patriots. One of the requirements that the Coach Bellicheck insists on is that a player must have been one of the team captains in either high school or college. They believe good leadership skills also makes you likely to be a good follower of a game plan. However, it's becoming increasingly harder to find guys with developed social skills to function in a team environment. Especially at the QB position.

The thing with social media, the data collection, the copyright violations, the promotion of anti social behavior, and on and on, the whole thing is perverse. The only viable solution is ultimately parents take a stand and take their kids off of it.

Many people fondly remember the sitcom Seinfeld as being a really funny and entertaining show. Co creator, Larry David, didn't think the show would work. First he didn't think the networks would pick it up. Of course they did. But he also thought people won't like it, they'll find the character morally repugnant because they're all narcissistic sociopaths, and turn away. After a couple of tough years, Seinfeld became a massive success. Only few remember Seinfeld as a fairly disturbing sitcom. Those people that remember Seinfeld as that really funny show, those are the parents today.

And as I said in another post, David Foster Wallace had called the 1990s the me-culture decade. That was the decade where today's parents of teenagers really cemented their ideas.

It's really hard to have a lot of faith in parents today when all the warnings 20 to 30 years prior weren't heeded, even when on prime time.

Guess when the Wall came down we never stopped partying.
Ckaminski
Posts: 4105
Incept: 2011-04-08

Mass-Hole!
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> David Foster Wallace had called the 1990s the me-culture decade.

What is old is new again. I think Mr. Wallace has ruby-colored glasses...
Nonsensical
Posts: 20
Incept: 2017-06-16

La Verne, CA
Online
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Mr. Wallace at this point in time doesn't have any glasses on as he died in 2008. He made that comment in the later part of the 1990s when examining the teenagers and college students of the early 90s. Now there's always a continuity in history, and separating eras by decades is a bit arbitrary, but amongst some of the more literary focused writers they saw something developing in the gen X generation that seemed to be an extreme leap from the previous generation.

These kids were going to do whatever they wanted to do as the power of computers and the anonymity of the budding Internet seemed to embolden more brazen acts, and also this was the first generation to be heavily influenced by video game playing. Not that it made kids more violent, that was only some liberal biased against guns, no, these writers thought it was creating antisocial behavior as an individual became more recessive and insular. When these means are available this makes the philosophy of individualism extremely dangerous, because in the past, the philosophy of individulaism was always balanced out by the reality of having to interact with others. But this process of interaction has been severely reduced.

So what arose out of the college scenes with the Gen X crowd was a very aggressive I can do whatever I want to, and this then really took expression in Silicon Valley and the tech industry.

Basically the warning was: kill this monster in the crib. But that went unheeded.

Then by the late 90s, the music industry took the first major hit with music pirating, and with this effect that the ones running the sites, and the ones downloading the music did not only not see anything wrong with this, but they felt entitled to do it. So much so that the backlash against the band Metallica when they went after Napster was not only bizarre but disturbing. But still, nothing was heeded.

In the late 90s, there were plenty of warnings about amazon becoming a monopoly or monospony.

Then in the early 2000s, the Center for Digital Democracy was founded in order to try to prevent the Internet from becoming dominated by monopolies. That received little to no attention.

Even in 2004, a short clip called Googlzon was made warning that the Internet was becoming monopolized and that inevitably we could be facing a super giant in a Google Amazon merger. That obviously didn't take effect, bu the warning was that the venture capitalist in silicon Valley were looking for monopolistic practices and they were funding a generation who had no qualm doing what they wanted.

There's always a generation gap of some sorts, but the one that's been forming is much wider than any I previously know of. In 2010, when the battle at NBC was going on over Jay Leno coming back to the tonight show and NBC ousting O'Brien, the demographics that sided with O'Brien were from 18-35 age group. The reaction from this group was aggressive, with article headlines like "what's with Jay, why can't the babyboomers just get out of the way," and other such headlines. The baby boomers at that point were onl in their 50s. I don't know of another time when another generation has been so aggressively active ousting another generation that was still within an active age group like the Gen X has been with the baby boomers.

In any case, what we're seeing now developed in the 90s for the most part. The time to handcuff these developments was about 15 years ago. To try that now, they're too entrenched. This is why they create network effects, because network effects are self reinforcing (see Peter Thiel's book, it's done intentionally by tech comoanies. His start up PayPal was an initial failure until he hooked it up to eBay and created a network effect).

So yes, perhaps someone like Mr. Wallace had his "ruby-colored glasses on", but I suspect that the time has long past when these companies can be handcuffed smoothly and without creating massive dislocation. It's that dislocation I'm skeptical the majority of people will have the fortitude to face, or I haven't seen any indication of it.

There were plenty of warning in the 90s and early 2000s, but we didn't heed it, instead we cheered on the developments, and now we may be faced with the only prospect being to throw our bodies on the gears of the machine.

Burya_rubenstein
Posts: 1244
Incept: 2007-08-08

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I was under the impression that the Internet, being a communications medium, was something that kids could tease each other, call each other names, etc. over; but in order to actually *do* any real harm they still have to physically GO to each other - or at least get within physical line of sight.

And that, if anything, is harder than it used to be.
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