Search This Blog

And you thought your data is yours !!!

It was on the front page of The Hindu on 04.04.2018:

The story began by the tweet of Elliot Alderson about having UIDAI Helpline Number 1800-300-1947 in the contact list and he questioned about privacy. Well UIDAI later denied about its involvement and said that its an obsolete helpline number. The controversy ended with Google's remark when it said that they put a code in their Android System and that's why it was saved in people's mobile automatically. 

Now the real question is whether your data is yours. The simplest and heartbreaking answer is a big NO. 


Because it never has been so. Your data is not your private property but of the company's who holds your data or with whom your data is shared with. What did you think you switch off your GPS Location access and it really happened. No. It simply mean that the external Apps can't access your GPS data meanwhile, however our Friend Google is continuously keeping a watch on our data by its most famous operating system Android. These are the operating systems that can be remotely manipulated by the parent company (in this case Google). 

Why companies want our data?

"If you are getting something for free, you are the product"

Companies collect your data such as your location history, your shopping preferences, your call logs, how much time you spent on which website, your search pattern etc etc etc. Your data when clubbed together with other people's data and ran on special programs which use a combination of Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence, they can produce mind blowing applications such as:

Live Traffic Notification: How Google Maps knows where there is a traffic congestion in real time - Yes your GPS data. By analyzing data of a particular area, they can detect a mass level variation in speeds and thus informing you about the traffic conditions.

Shopping Predictions: Have you ever wondered, last day you Googled about best smartphone and from last week you are getting mobile phone's ad in the side bars of websites. Well your search behavior and shopping patterns are the Gold mines for data analysis companies as they can sell the information about you as to what you want on a particular day at a particular time. Moreover the Target company's program detected pregnancy in a teenage girl even before  she herself or her parents knew about it by just analyzing her shopping patterns. Read it later as a reference .

Marketing: In United States once a data analysis company helped an entrepreneur to establish his wine shop at the best place and on the best timings where the probability of getting potential customers was very high and it indeed helped it in terms of revenue by generating 3 times money compare to its competitors. Be it, or any other .com, they collects your data, analyze it and sell the obtained information or even your complete data to others just for marketing purposes. Next time don't even think that you will abstain yourself from Facebook, Gmail and people won't know your phone number ;)

The above are just the atom of the tip of ice. The practical applications of your data is very high. The industry of Machine Learning is built upon your data, be it auto detection of your face and tag suggestions by the facebook in the pictures uploaded by some one else or identification and arrests of multiple Criminals on roads in China using mass surveillance. And how can you forget about Cambridge Analytica which used the facebook data of people and even affected the election results of United States and India. 

So are they reading /watching my Chat / Video Call with my Girlfriend / Boyfriend 

Well ofcourse they can do so but its not very much revenue generating for them, so don't worry. But yes your privacy is someone else public property. 

Enjoy and abuse me in comments if you didn't like my article but you can't throw rotten tomatoes on me. 

Original Article by #SarkaariAdmi
Next Post »