How much personal data do you think you're sharing?

Had 2 contributions to my ongoing concern about this. The first was a CBC Radio One interview which discussed the "internet of things" and the second with a computer friend. So, you can have a smart toaster, toilet, fridge, microwave, garage door opener, light switches, door alarms, monitoring cameras self monitoring FitBit or similar gadget, and of course a cellphone which has apps for all of it, and also links to you car, banking, Now most of us don't have all of this stuff, but many have a FitBit, cell phone, car, and apps for banking on the phone.

So here's what the data mining people know about you: how well you sleep, when you're having sex and how long it takes, the layout of all of the rooms in your home that you go into, what food you eat, where you work, your income, the location of your office, how much time you surf the internet or do app related things while there, what stores you go into, in many cases what parts of the store, what you buy and how much everything costed -- you get the picture. -- we're sharing it without actually paying attention. This allows the advert companies to display ads to us, but more than that, to provide information to us at times and places we're receptive and susceptible. Why are we seeing a rise of white and right ring nationalism you ask? Why do we have particular public opinions about health care, education, traffic, world events you ask?

The apocalyptic conspiracy theorists can see that we're marking ourselves and the Beast isn't required. So I'm telling you that I am concerned, but are you? My concern has led me to reject internet connected devices and to use blocking on the cellphone (it blocks 25,000+ data sharings each month, and other things like not using Google for anything whatsoever.
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Comments

  • Gramps49Gramps49 Shipmate
    Too much.

    A story about Alexa, though

    Seems like a preacher in Oklahoma was preaching about the evils of Echo or Google+. He went on to say "I can say Alexa, order me 22 boxes of toilet paper: and it will do it." Turns out someone was listening to the message on a streaming service, and her Alexa was near boy. It heard the call and order the toilet paper. About a week later the person had 22 boxes of toilet paper.

    Our Echo Dot is next to the TV. From time to time I will see it turn on because it thinks it hears it being called. But it has not ordered anything yet.
  • PigwidgeonPigwidgeon Shipmate
    This is why I avoid Facebook (and similar), "smart" phones, "smart" appliances, home "security" systems that are monitored by a phone, FitBits, and any device that eavesdrops on everything I say. There's still plenty that can be found out about me on-line, but I limit it as much as I can.
  • RossweisseRossweisse Shipmate, 8th Day Host
    I would not have an Alexa or other such device in the house. I do use a phone app to turn on my alarm system and several lamps; I'm in a wheelchair now, and that's the best and easiest way for me to do it. I'm not linking anything else, though.
  • ClimacusClimacus Shipmate
    edited April 11
    I am concerned, and cautious.

    The information google collects on me can be a joke (it seems to think I am interested in sports), but in other areas it is frighteningly accurate. I think I'm more concerned about what it gets wrong as I wonder what they are not sharing that is incorrect. Facebook's algorithm, while no doubt sophisticated, does not seem useful to me and I often look up friends directly.

    I am cautious with what I share, or search, and I take steps to examine the privacy settings of whatever I sign up for. That does not stop the collection, but some tools provide a benefit I am happy to have.

    I personally am not interested in smart watches or internet-enabled toasters -- and location tracking is usually disabled on my phone. I know it is not the same as getting rid of the blasted devices, but I do find some aspects of them useful.
  • I've kept a very low profile until recently, when my devotional writing started to gather a lot of attention (and one apparent possible stalker, yikes). My face doesn't show up anywhere, but my home address is on the web, God help me. Some slime of a "reputation site" has put it up as the first result when my name is googled, and you have to pay to get them to take it down. Fuck them.

    Of course, the same site has me pegged as a Tea Party supporter and a Chinese Buddhist--so there's that. :wink:
  • BoogieBoogie Shipmate
    A downside -

    My son has Alexa, she only speaks German, she controls everything. When I’m visiting and he’s not around I can’t even switch the lights on!

    :lol:
  • FirenzeFirenze Purgatory Host, Host Emeritus
    Clearly it needs to be integrated with Google Translate.
  • Curiosity killedCuriosity killed Shipmate, 8th Day Host
    edited April 11
    Apparently the apps collecting everything they can are the various ad blockers
  • Apparently the apps collecting everything they can are the various ad blockers

    That's not universally true. There is a history of some ad-blockers selling preferential access to certain ad platforms - but that doesn't necessarily mean that they were collecting 'everything they can'. The good ad blockers operate locally to the device/browser anyway.

    There is also a history of platforms that originally started off doing something else which end up in the data collection business (content delivery networks like Cloudflare being the obvious example)

    I think the reality is that short of not using these platforms at all (which really means not using large parts of the web at all) you are going to generate some data exhaust, there are steps that you can take to minimize that - but the reality is that we as a society need to have a debate about how much data we are comfortable with these large platforms holding, and to whom that data ultimately belongs.
  • Curiosity killedCuriosity killed Shipmate, 8th Day Host
    This was an Avira newsletter identifying ad blocking apps as the next big weakness for access into computers as they can collect passwords and a range of other information
  • My husband used to design smart water and electricity meters and now owns a smart pet tech company so is obviously enthusiastic about smart tech but there’s no way he’d have an Alexa in the house.
    I don’t have a mobile but do have a Fitbit - I used to have a Xiaomi version too. So my insomnia is well researched.
  • This was an Avira newsletter identifying ad blocking apps as the next big weakness for access into computers as they can collect passwords and a range of other information

    Sure, as a next big threat, rather than current reality -- though fake ad blockers have been used to steal credentials in the past (as have fake <any other app category).
  • The RogueThe Rogue Shipmate
    When you use a free ad-blocker you will always get your money's worth.

    The thing that concerns me about having data collected about me is when it is used to push me towards information/news/articles/web suggestions that they think I will be interested in. I'm not talking about ads which I ignore (I think) but about opinion pieces that back up what I may believe rather than challenging me. Thus my prejudices and stereo-types are re-enforced. Like many things this can happen without the internet - I may choose to hang out with people who share my views - but with the internet the effect can be far more significant.
  • The Rogue wrote: »
    When you use a free ad-blocker you will always get your money's worth.

    That's a cute statement, but fairly misleading, there are a bunch of 'free' ad-blockers that work as intended by the user - i.e they block ads and don't leak information.
  • Martin54Martin54 Shipmate
    Gramps49 wrote: »
    Too much.

    A story about Alexa, though

    Seems like a preacher in Oklahoma was preaching about the evils of Echo or Google+. He went on to say "I can say Alexa, order me 22 boxes of toilet paper: and it will do it." Turns out someone was listening to the message on a streaming service, and her Alexa was near boy. It heard the call and order the toilet paper. About a week later the person had 22 boxes of toilet paper.

    Our Echo Dot is next to the TV. From time to time I will see it turn on because it thinks it hears it being called. But it has not ordered anything yet.

    Link?
  • mousethiefmousethief Shipmate
    Best one I heard was about a guy who had both a Siri and an Alexa. He programmed the calendar in each to call the other. So he walked in and said,

    Guy: Siri, what are my plans for tomorrow?
    Siri: Tomorrow at eight o'clock you have a meeting with Alexa, what are my plans for tomorrow?
    Alexa: Tomorrow at eight o'clock you have a meeting with Siri, what are my plans for tomorrow?
    Siri: Tomorrow at eight o'clock you have a meeting with Alexa, what are my plans for tomorrow?

    and so on.

    (paraphrased from memory)
  • edited April 12
    The Rogue wrote: »
    When you use a free ad-blocker you will always get your money's worth.

    The thing that concerns me about having data collected about me is when it is used to push me towards information/news/articles/web suggestions that they think I will be interested in. I'm not talking about ads which I ignore (I think) but about opinion pieces that back up what I may believe rather than challenging me. Thus my prejudices and stereo-types are re-enforced. Like many things this can happen without the internet - I may choose to hang out with people who share my views - but with the internet the effect can be far more significant.


    Not necessarily. Blokada for Android, from the F-droid repository. It looks like it's also on the google playstore also*. Free and open source. No tracking.

    *Yalp Playstore app from F-droid anonymously downloads google playstore apps. I use nothing google directly and block all their trackers.
  • Simon ToadSimon Toad Shipmate
    I worry when the IT people are worried, and I know of at least one on this thread.

    We need to get consumer law right to prescribe the types of rights we can and can't give away, and to enable people to sue the hell out of companies and people in effective control of companies in this sector.
    ...how well you sleep, when you're having sex and how long it takes, the layout of all of the rooms in your home that you go into...

    Kinky bastards.
  • Simon Toad wrote: »
    I worry when the IT people are worried, and I know of at least one on this thread. <snip>

    Agree. I rely on an (ex) brother-in-law who is still a biggish cheese in IT and I follow his advice.

    So, no internet banking unless you use an Apple; no Siri or Alexa; no "smart" appliances unless they can be operated without connecting them to the web; no "smart" systems that automatically send any data to, for example, power companies, etc.

    His bottom line is: unless you understand exactly what it does, how and why, don't have it or, if you have to own such a device (smart-'phone, for example) then don't connect it up to the computer/tablet you use for everyday things. Password everything, change passwords often (especially home Wifi).

    And if you use a lot of email for work then have a separate email for work and personal.
  • Gramps49Gramps49 Shipmate
    Last night the major news broadcasters were all abuzz about Amazon employees listening in to everything Alexa hears. The funny thing is, I listened to two such broadcasts (CBS and NBC). Every time the commentator said "Alexa" my Echo Dot lit up. Fortunately, they did not order anything from the TV.

    Have you noted that if you Google something like a piece of merchandise, for the next few weeks you will get advertisements for that type of merchandise on any of the websites you visit. Today I was looking at powered lawn sweeps and powered rakes. (I have a bunch of gravel on my front lawn because of all the snow we had this winter.) I just know I will now see those ads for at least the next month.
  • PigwidgeonPigwidgeon Shipmate
    Gramps49 wrote: »
    Have you noted that if you Google something like a piece of merchandise, for the next few weeks you will get advertisements for that type of merchandise on any of the websites you visit.

    When the Catholic-Apostolic Church thread first opened, I clicked on it once -- and then I started seeing adds for it for several days.
  • The5thMaryThe5thMary Shipmate
    I was surprised that retailers are still requiring cashiers to ask patrons for their email addresses. I was at some place recently, can't remember what store it was, and the cashier was quite annoyed when I refused to divulge my email address. She appeared to be in her mid-twenties and bored to death of stubborn, ancient 5thMary. She snapped her bubblegum peevishly as she listened to my adamant refusals. "But, like, my manager says I need to get your email address!" Sorry, young idiot, it's not going to happen. The look she gave me made my hair stand on end. "Like, totally!"
  • [quote="NOprophet_NØprofit

    So here's what the data mining people know about you: how well you sleep, when you're having sex and how long it takes, the layout of all of the rooms in your home that you go into, what food you eat, where you work, your income, the location of your office, how much time you surf the internet or do app related things while there, what stores you go into, in many cases what parts of the store, what you buy and how much everything costed -- you get the picture. -- we're sharing it without actually paying attention.

    Depends. Never, time unlimited. No home. Frozen mission food donated by outside sources and old doughnuts. Varies. Take what jobs I can, often Habitat for humanity. Roughly $20 a week. Varies as well, two offices in mission alone. About 8 hours a day counting sleeping to YouTube or Pandora. Primarily dollar store and circle k. Everywhere. No more than $20 a week unless I bum money.
  • RossweisseRossweisse Shipmate, 8th Day Host
    Gramps49 wrote: »
    ...Have you noted that if you Google something like a piece of merchandise, for the next few weeks you will get advertisements for that type of merchandise on any of the websites you visit. ...
    I don't care to be tracked or bubbled; instead, I use https://duckduckgo.com/https://duckduckgo.com/, which does neither. The (relatively few) ads I use are much less creepy as a result.

    (Giving up on trying to fix the link bug for now...)



  • God advice. Startpage.com is another search engine. They put a barrier between you and the Google. You can also view the websites anonymously from search results.

    I haven't any idea why anyone would use Google's gmail.
  • PigwidgeonPigwidgeon Shipmate
    I haven't any idea why anyone would use Google's gmail.
    I had a gmail account when I was on the Board of an organization, and all of the email addresses for the organization were gmail. I despised it! And when I left the Board, it was almost impossible to remove. It continued to haunt me until I replaced my computer.

    I am amazed that some people have it by choice.

  • balaambalaam Shipmate, 8th Day Host
    Pigwidgeon wrote: »
    I haven't any idea why anyone would use Google's gmail.
    I had a gmail account when I was on the Board of an organization, and all of the email addresses for the organization were gmail. I despised it! And when I left the Board, it was almost impossible to remove. It continued to haunt me until I replaced my computer.

    I am amazed that some people have it by choice.

    I have a gmail account. I use it for all those times I am asked to provide an email account so that it does not clutter up my actual email.
    It gets emptied unread.
  • edited April 13
    Don't understand the non deleting of a gmail account. But I'm using Linux and locked down Android.

    I'm currently using gmx.com for email. You can create up to 10 email accounts and delete them at will. You get to change the company name and country too. I just use the free ones Use them for something, delete, create another. Rinse Repeat. No continuity.
  • PomonaPomona Shipmate
    Well, I keep getting ads for Liberty University so they can't be working that well at collecting data on me.

    The5thMary, please remember that retail workers work horrible hours for very little money, and the cashier was likely on a zero hours contract. Referring to them as a 'young idiot' is unnecessarily rude when they're just doing their (badly-paid, thankless) job. Retail workers get enough crap as it is without people being rude about them online.
  • TwilightTwilight Shipmate
    I was a retail worker for much of my life and I would hate to think people treated me a certain way because my pay was low. If she was snapping her gum and being rude to 5th Mary she was a young idiot. My brother and I were just talking about this today. Neither of us have college degrees, we have similar IQ's, we both started in the work force in the late 1960's. He got in on the ground floor of IBM and I worked in banks. Our last jobs were in 1999. He was making $195 an hour as a VISA systems analyst, and I was making $5 an hour. So be it. We weren't either one ever rude to our customers.
    Gramps49 wrote: »
    Have you noted that if you Google something like a piece of merchandise, for the next few weeks you will get advertisements for that type of merchandise on any of the websites you visit. Today I was looking at powered lawn sweeps and powered rakes. (I have a bunch of gravel on my front lawn because of all the snow we had this winter.) I just know I will now see those ads for at least the next month.

    After my husband has ordered something like valve oil or men's underwear online, I just Google on Diamonds and Emeralds, and my pages are prettily decorated for the next few weeks with no underwear in sight.

    I don't have Alexa, a cellphone, any smart stuff, no Facebook or Instagram, but I do blab all sorts of personal stuff on message boards as we all know.

    Question: Yesterday, I decided to get an avatar picture for my profile and it meant I had to copy from Google Images to my computer document area --something I had never used before -- and then to the ship. Everyone else seems to use that area for personal photos, medical records, music files, etc. When you've linked from the internet site to your PC does it make all that stuff unsafe?

  • Twilight wrote: »
    Question: Yesterday, I decided to get an avatar picture for my profile and it meant I had to copy from Google Images to my computer document area --something I had never used before -- and then to the ship. Everyone else seems to use that area for personal photos, medical records, music files, etc. When you've linked from the internet site to your PC does it make all that stuff unsafe?

    I think you probably want that long thread in Heaven -- but in any case if I understand what you did correctly, then no, all you did was copy a file you found via google images to your local computer and then uploaded it to the ship.
  • Gramps49Gramps49 Shipmate
    Twilight wrote: »
    I was a retail worker for much of my life and I would hate to think people treated me a certain way because my pay was low. If she was snapping her gum and being rude to 5th Mary she was a young idiot. My brother and I were just talking about this today. Neither of us have college degrees, we have similar IQ's, we both started in the work force in the late 1960's. He got in on the ground floor of IBM and I worked in banks. Our last jobs were in 1999. He was making $195 an hour as a VISA systems analyst, and I was making $5 an hour. So be it. We weren't either one ever rude to our customers.
    Gramps49 wrote: »
    Have you noted that if you Google something like a piece of merchandise, for the next few weeks you will get advertisements for that type of merchandise on any of the websites you visit. Today I was looking at powered lawn sweeps and powered rakes. (I have a bunch of gravel on my front lawn because of all the snow we had this winter.) I just know I will now see those ads for at least the next month.

    After my husband has ordered something like valve oil or men's underwear online, I just Google on Diamonds and Emeralds, and my pages are prettily decorated for the next few weeks with no underwear in sight.

    I don't have Alexa, a cellphone, any smart stuff, no Facebook or Instagram, but I do blab all sorts of personal stuff on message boards as we all know.

    Question: Yesterday, I decided to get an avatar picture for my profile and it meant I had to copy from Google Images to my computer document area --something I had never used before -- and then to the ship. Everyone else seems to use that area for personal photos, medical records, music files, etc. When you've linked from the internet site to your PC does it make all that stuff unsafe?

    I use a picture of my grandfather when he was a young man. Seems like I just had to paste it to ShipofFools after that.
  • MMMMMM Shipmate
    Tangent: Twilight, is that the picture, or very like the picture, you had years ago on The Old Ship?

    MMM
  • Golden KeyGolden Key Shipmate
    A couple of resources:

    --Electronic Frontier Foundation.
    EFF is one of the best resources: tips, articles, free software tools, news, activism.

    --Privacy Rights Clearinghouse
    Learning section, news, policy work.

    --American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) Privacy and Technology
    Information, activism.
  • TwilightTwilight Shipmate
    MMM wrote: »
    Tangent: Twilight, is that the picture, or very like the picture, you had years ago on The Old Ship?

    MMM
    Good memory, MMM! I couldn't find the exact one, but it is still a Chinese Crested dog. They remind me of myself somehow, particularly the long scraggly hair.

  • ClimacusClimacus Shipmate
    I liked this NYT article's mention of "obscurity", concluding with:
    But in our status-obsessed culture, it can be hard to appreciate that the opposite of obscurity isn’t fame, but chillingly oppressive fear.
  • edited April 17
    So stop using Google for web searches already!

    With your phone, turn off location when you don't need it. If you're going from home to store, work, restaurant and know the way, turn off the location, and turn off data use. Also turn off wifi. The phone will notify google etc when you restart data which wifi networks your phone noticed. Don't take your phone with you everywhere, and don't check it every 10, 5, 2, 1 minutes.

    Don't use a phone for banking, no apps, no webpage banking. Don't use it for paying either. Don't link your phone to your car, and for God's safety's sake it is not okay to take phone calls while driving even if you're on hands free. It's all unsafe.

    With your web browser, go into the settings and set it to at least delete the cookies everytime you close the browser. It means you will log in everytime you come to the Ship and other sites, but you can also have it save form data so your username and password will appear in the login spaces.

    And don't take your phone with you into your bedroom, into the bathroom, at table. Just put it down and leave it there.

    Give false info when asked for your birthday, address, email and anything else from retailers. "no I don't want an emailed receipt". Or use "disposable email addresses" (search for that) or get an account at gmx.com or similar to invent addresses you delete at will.

    Just sayin'
  • ClimacusClimacus Shipmate
    So stop using Google for web searches already!
    I have a lot of respect for you and your views, but I am going to disagree with you (and others who have posted on this) here. Please come back at me. I'm happy to change my ways.

    I'm not sure I know everything Google is doing with my searches, but I have a reasonable idea. If I am content with that, in exchange for a rather good search algorithm (though DuckDuckGo is rather good also), is that fine? Or do you see me (I will take no offence) as a quite stupid individual who is freely giving away information when he doesn't have to? And may be compromising his privacy beyond what is acceptable, even if I am prepared to do so?

    I also just wanted to add to The Rogue's comment on possibly living in a bubble due to the news served up. I do read news through aggregators, but I also ensure I go direct to the website of various new agencies -- just to check I'm not missing anything.
  • No you're not stupid. I'm rather paranoid. It comes from being a refugee's kid, who's father told stories of the people next door arrested and disappeared. I know where my fears come from and how they're translated into this modern age. Sorry if I'm a little intense about it all. :disappointed:
  • Gramps49Gramps49 Shipmate
    This morning I had someone copy and paste several posts from my facebook page to another facebook page without my permission--some of it quite sensitive and immaterial to the other page. I immediately contacted the administer of the other page to protest the betrayal. I then changed my settings on facebook to only friends can see my material. Before it had been a Public page. No more
  • ClimacusClimacus Shipmate
    No you're not stupid. I'm rather paranoid. It comes from being a refugee's kid, who's father told stories of the people next door arrested and disappeared. I know where my fears come from and how they're translated into this modern age. Sorry if I'm a little intense about it all. :disappointed:

    No...no need to apologise at all. I am sorry if I came across harsh...I was just curious what lay behind the statement that, to me, was rather intense -- and what I, in my ignorance, may be missing. I am sorry for what has occurred in the past with your family and people disappearing -- I cannot even begin to imagine what impact that may have. And sorry for bringing up such memories...it was not my intent and I did not know.
  • ClimacusClimacus Shipmate
    edited April 18
    Gramps49 wrote: »
    This morning I had someone copy and paste several posts from my facebook page to another facebook page without my permission--some of it quite sensitive and immaterial to the other page. I immediately contacted the administer of the other page to protest the betrayal. I then changed my settings on facebook to only friends can see my material. Before it had been a Public page. No more

    Oh my. Sorry you went through that.

    Before I moved, friends asked me to join Facebook to keep in touch. I spent the better part of an afternoon googling* how to keep my information secure. I am not lauding that over you...just pointing out the default settings are quite concerning in my view (that's probably obvious to all, but I had avoided Facebook until then). And unless I had prior suspicions about Mr Zuckerberg, I could've just signed up as-is.

    * sorry for my choice of spying search engine 😉
  • RossweisseRossweisse Shipmate, 8th Day Host
    Gramps49 wrote: »
    ...Before it had been a Public page. No more
    Change the settings for your friends, too, so that only you can see them. There's less incentive for hackers to go after you that way.

  • Gramps49Gramps49 Shipmate
    Rossweisse wrote: »
    Gramps49 wrote: »
    ...Before it had been a Public page. No more
    Change the settings for your friends, too, so that only you can see them. There's less incentive for hackers to go after you that way.

    Which I did.
  • Whenever I get asked for my postcode in a shop I give London SW1A 2AA; if asked for a house number give the answer "10". Be prepared for looks of shock, because it is Downing Street.

    Other useful post codes in the UK:

    Buckingham Palace SW1A 1AA
    Wormwood Scrubs Prison W12 0AE
    Parkhurst Prison PO30 5RS
    Information Commissioner SK9 5AF

    Otherwise to the enquiry Are you on our mailing list ? I usually answer No and the same if asked if I'd like to be added to it.
  • CathscatsCathscats Shipmate
    I always sympathise with the assistant because he/she has been told to ask for this information, but then I say that I don't have to give it. No one has cancelled the sale yet.
  • ClimacusClimacus Shipmate
    edited April 19
    Indeed. You can often see the pain on their face as they ask...

    I popped into a franchise of hairdressers in Australia to be asked for my mobile...so they could remind me it may be time for my next appointment, apparently. As if me noticing my hair was getting a bit long was beyond my abilities.

    I did think of transposing digits, as I am not one to make a fuss, but then I thought some other poor bastard was likely to get spammed. I declined.
  • PigwidgeonPigwidgeon Shipmate
    Climacus wrote: »
    I did think of transposing digits, as I am not one to make a fuss, but then I thought some other poor bastard was likely to get spammed. I declined.

    You could give them the number of a machine-answered phone, such as Dial-a-Prayer or the Time-and-Temperature number. Or perhaps a "help" line for some company that spends an hour or so playing bad music and telling you how important your call is.
    :wink:
  • SusanDorisSusanDoris Shipmate
    I have a slightly different take on this, since I do not ever see ads on the computer screen and Synthetic Dave never seems to land on them, because I don't hear them either. I'm afraid any company trying to attract my attention with ads is wasting their money.
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