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  • Topic: Privacy, Security, Dividends

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    • March 22, 2018 8:40:03 AM PDT
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      Privacy, Security, Dividends

      Facebook is in a tailspin lately due to emerging evidence that Cambridge Analytica improperly harvested private information from the Facebook profiles of more than 50 million users and collated these with [Big Five] personality profiles, voter registration data and more. ( https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/17/us/politics/cambridge-analytica-trump-campaign.html .) This should give all of us some concern about what we share on this and other social networking sites. (Photos as well as names, birth dates, etc. are fully identifying. Screen-scraping is easy. See https://medschool.duke.edu/research/clinical-and-translational-research/duke-office-clinical-research/irb-and-institutional-14 .)

      On the other hand, much of the value of these sites accrues from the size of their user pools, and we often bemoan the lack of interest and/or activity here at projectevolove.

      What's the answer? One that I like (that never seems to have gotten off the ground) is for people to start using Limited Liability Personae. (See https://equalsdrummond.name/2006/09/13/the-limited-liability-persona-llp/ .) Identity brokers could be set up to validate, confirm, store and – only with explicit permission or in cases of emergency – disclose full ID.

      Collated and de-identified data are extraordinarily valuable for health research, marketing research and more. If individuals were given a way to control it, we could “bank” it and license access in a competitive market. That would cover the administrative costs and pay dividends to depositors. And, the more quizzes you answer, the more valuable your data become.

    • March 23, 2018 2:45:18 AM PDT
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      Hmmm, my attitude is, share what you're willing to risk sharing. I don't really see my data as a 'thing of value'. As that would imply attaching value (quantifiable) to my identity. Everytime I share something I always think how do I feel about this thing being used in this way or that way. If I am comfiortable with all the possibilities I share it, if I'm not, I don't. Like I don't mind sharing a photo. People would see what you look like in person anyway. But not everyone that knows me knows my date of birth. So that's not something I would share. I think we have to take a certain amount of risk to get a reward. You can't dip only one foot in a pool and expect to be able to learn to swim. Or wear a body suit and a mask and expect other people to engage with you the way they would if they could see you. That just, defies logic. So if the goal is to engage one has to let some things go, within reason.

    • March 23, 2018 3:05:42 AM PDT
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      I'm not disagreeing with the premise of your post just that thinking in that way defies the very purpose of me being on this site - to connect with people. It's like if you want a job you don't think, ohmygod, how many people are going to see my CV, you just send the CV. Coz the goal is to get the job.

      This post was edited by Cyanara at March 23, 2018 3:40:59 AM PDT
    • March 23, 2018 8:10:41 AM PDT
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      It's not about avoiding risk. Really, it's only about calibrating risk. Third parties have been collating data for decades, and they've (we've) gotten very good at it. If you use the same photo on two unrelated sites, whatever other information you have offered at both sites will be collated. Then, something on each of those sites (e.g., a username) gets collated with yet more "unrelated" stuff. The matching becomes probabilistic, but that doesn't stop anyone, and they've gotten very good at it. The third parties are then hired to evaluate job applications, credit applications, insurance applications and more. (This goes on a lot. It's all mainstream by now. I've got citations, of course, if you are interested.)

      As to the monetary value of your data... People already pay a lot for it. You're just not seeing any of the profits.

      One thing about the Limitied Liability Persona is that you can create many different ones (like usernames,) each one for a specific purpose. The difference is that you own the data and it is being professionally managed by an organization (e.g., "bank") that can be federally regulated.

    • March 23, 2018 1:57:39 PM PDT
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      Yes. I figured that. And wondered why everybody else wasn't as aware and being more careful. Like why do people instal apps that request access to all of their contacts etc without even thinking. You wouldn't even do that with your best friend! If your best friend walked up to you and said, can I have the names and numbers of everyone you know you'd think what, no way!

      What you've described reminds me of what I read they do in Estonia. Unfortunately US (and UK and other) based data giants don't have the scruples of Estonia.

    • March 23, 2018 2:33:02 PM PDT
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      I think I like the idea of a virtual personality, which is essentially what a limited liabIlity persona is (?), for more detached intetactions, or forums where interpersonal connectedness is of little or no importance. Such as on jobsites such as linkedin. I don't see why on a jobsite one needs to have a photo and other personal details such as location and past employers. As you're essentially telling people your life (where you are, who you work(ed) for).


      The onlyyy thing I don't like about a LLP, is the same reason I don't like LLPs (and LLCs, and private/public companies) in real life, the removal of the person or people, from accountability of the actions of 'the company', or in this case 'the persona'. I'm not sure I like that increased level of detachment. I can see it being taken advantage of in other ways. People creating multiple identies, essentially splitting their lives into different 'parts', so you can be one person in one place and another person in another place and no one ever really knows who you are. People would no longer be criminally liable but civilly liable, for behaviour that is essentially criminal. I'm not particularly excited by anything that increases our level of detachment from our actions online, even if it mayyyy lead to a decrease in the risk of our data being mined for specific purposes.

    • March 23, 2018 4:49:07 PM PDT
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      Good thoughts. I think LLPersona can be structured not to protect anyone from criminal prosecution. Law enforcement (with a warrant) generally get to "break the glass" to get access to full ID, Also health care providers, in the event of an emergency.

      My point is that the bad guys have all of our data now. For the same reason as you wouldn't choose to have that first coffee date at your own house, you ought to get to choose the time and place to reveal the details of your life.

      Multiple persona does permit someone to be one person in one place and another person somewhere else. In a legal sense, anyone who sets up a Subchapter S corporation or an LLP is doing that now, as you note. There will always be grifters in this world, but one service that the "bank" might provide would be validation of the limited information that it does reveal (e.g., college degree, no criminal history, etc.) when so instructed.

    • March 24, 2018 4:33:28 PM PDT
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      I agree. You should get to choose.

      You know partly why I'm not too worked up about this? It's because, it feels like old news. I mean we all saw this coming, fidn't we?

      I find it somewhat, frustrating, sometimes that things that are so obvious, and should be acted on at a much earlier stage only become news long after the damage. Like it's too late, the horses have left the building. What did we THINK was going to happen? I wish people had more foresight.

      A friend of mine once told me, I think it was around the time where there a few scandals about politicians in the UK, that she had received a dick pic from someone and she thought it was private because it was sent to her email and she didn't see what the problem. And I said noooo, nothing you send online is private. Nothing. And we have to accept that. It is the price we pay for being online. You can't have it all. You can't expect to be able to exchange messages in real time with someone you can't see can't hear in another continent and still expect the same level of privacy and control as if you were sitting in front of them having an in person conversation you can't have it both ways. We've all forgottem what it was like before the internet having private conversations. Do we want to go back, to phone calls and letters? We couldn't if we wanted to. There's always a price to be paid for a convenience we can't control everything while at the same time having increased convenience. The next thing will be, I imagine, something around the data connected to online banking or how we're all walking around with cards that now allow us to pay for stuff just by swiping them on a reader. What's to stop someone from just developing a reader and going around and taking money from people's cards. It's go-ing to happen. Just like facebook data being used to manipulate our choices was always going to happen, and everyone acts so shocked and offended. What did you THINK was going to happen?

      I just find it so tiring.

      I'm with you though. You should get to choose who comes into your 'home' and when. I'm not so bothered about how the how much, as I'm more bothered about the privacy of my data, than the value of my data, but I get that too.

    • March 24, 2018 5:00:32 PM PDT
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      Privacy, Security, Dividends

      There are quite a few errors in that because I wrote it on my phone and I can't be bothered to edit.

    • March 24, 2018 6:10:53 PM PDT
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      Privacy, Security, Dividends

      ATM skimmers are now widespread. (See https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ll4f0Wim4pM .) As with electronic dating, there are strategies that reduce your risk (never to zero) without having to entirely give up the convenience of your ATM card. Same with your phone and, increasingly, with your car. (See https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/cars/2013/03/24/car-spying-edr-data-privacy/1991751/ .) We can't protect ourselves from every bad actor, but we can empower regulators. We can't avoid all of our own regretable choices, but we can avail ourselves of information services that help us make better choices. And, of course, there are behaviors that we can learn (e.g., don't click on unfamiliar links.) Most people, though, are oblivious to risk. They are dismissive of risk because they believe the alternative is paranoia. Calibrating one's own tolerance for risk is something that should be taught in grade school. Almost no one knows how to do this. (See https://www.sciencenews.org/blog/context/doctors-flunk-quiz-screening-test-math .) It affects health choices, financial choices and much more. It is an alternative to living in ignorance or living in fear.

      This post was edited by Soloread at March 24, 2018 6:33:35 PM PDT
    • March 25, 2018 3:12:11 AM PDT
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      Privacy, Security, Dividends

      Absolutely.

      I have to admit I am one of those that would live partly in ignorance as I find paranoia and fear so debilitating.

      I have a serious problem with Linkedin for example (which is why I used it, as an example). I don't see why we have to use it as a means to network, and why you're considered almost incompetent, at least within my field, if you don't have a linkedin profile. It's rubbish.
      But as with most things like this the longer you refuse to join the more you seem like the 'odd one out', and unless you're independently wealthy or an artist eventually you have to join the crew.

      But I hate it.


      I found myself swearing through that whole article 'screening-test-math'. One swear word in particular. It ends in ckkkkk.

      I'm not a fan of basing decisions on screening tests, due to the inherent risk, especially with things like screening for birth defects in unborn children, but when you throw the Math into it, as they've done in that article, it blows the whole thing to pieces.

      So if a test for a birth defect (this has nothing to do with the OP but it's the first thing that came to mind when I read 'screening') is 95% accurate, and there's a 20% chance of the birth defect occurring in the unborn child being tested, the probability of the child identified as having the birth defect, actually having the birth defect, is 82%, which is wayyy less than the 95% accuracy figure.

      So that means there's an almost 20% chance that a perfectly healthy child (assuming absence of the tested birth defect = perfectly healthy) could be recommended for abortion on the basis of the screening test.

      This post was edited by Cyanara at March 25, 2018 3:16:32 AM PDT
    • March 25, 2018 10:14:41 PM PDT
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      Your math is accurate, though I don't know of any birth defect with 20% prevalence. Birth defects affect 3% of all babies born in the US, accounting for 20% of infant deaths. (See https://www.marchofdimes.org/materials/global-report-on-birth-defects-the-hidden-toll-of-dying-and-disabled-children-appendix-b.pdf . Were you thinking of some other subpopulation?) In any case, at 3% prevalence, the positive predictive value of a screen with 95% sensitivity and 95% specificity is actually worse than in your example. I know of no such screen, however.

      Left out of the Science News article was the notion of the odds ratio. Though the odds of illegal drug use based on a positive test result are 19:19, the odds of illegal drug use based on a negative test result are 1:361, so a positive test makes the odds of illegal drug use 361 times higher than a negative result. A positive result strongly indicates the need for further testing.

      In a way, it's like the difference between absolute risk and relative risk. You might be interested in http://www.thennt.com/thennt-explained/ .

    • March 26, 2018 5:58:28 AM PDT
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      You made my point. The example of 20% was to point out that even if it were that likely, the screening would be that much off.

      Screening of unborn children for possible birth defects is regularly done in Denmark. I can't find the specific article now. I read it a long time ago (and I don't collate).

      This post was edited by Cyanara at March 26, 2018 6:05:38 AM PDT

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