Who is more real: Me or my digital profile?

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Who is more real: Me or my digital profile?
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Sharing information is less and less our free choice. The society requires high visibility: those, who don't expose themselves become suspicious or excluded. But sharing is just the beginning. The real purpose behind it is profiling. Be that our insurance or health care scheme, unemployment benefit or school curriculum – more and more services depend not so much on who we are in reality, but on the quality of our digital profile. Who designs these algorithms? What business and political stakes are behind? Let's look at some examples...
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a long time in the landmark
thank you very much thank you for being still here even though it's Friday of this intense conference uh indeed at my name is Cat businessmen it's my main affiliation is what you can see here panopticon Foundation the place space and Paul and non governmental organization where we tested different strategies of confronting corbina being limiting surveillance but I wanna talk about our work today you can look it up online if you want I'll actually tell you about 1 story the story about word digital profile how would this can be created even without our awareness and control how this can gain quite a real life to extend it becomes independent from us and maybe sometimes turn against us in the sense that some people will give more credibility to our profile than the true to ourselves so I hope it will be interesting to set
you in the right mood for for this story I decided to bring Michael Douglas anybody has seen the game I expect it's the most popular movie and his crowd but well is the whole picture and still it's supposed to be through the but if you do see it you might discover it's quite a real account of what had is already happening to us in the context of online profiling just the impact on our lives as we experience it is the less spectacular than recall what what he receives the main hero in movie actually uses a lot of money he is forced to move from from 1 of the big questions cities to a shantytown somewhere uh itself uh he's uh in the light danger at all because he starts a game of profiling for the company that is trying to well surprise him and against the most exciting things he might want uh well to have a better life so is a kind of trap in which we may fall and not knowing what exactly the internet has a mistake for us and I will give you some examples maybe you will find the more training than what you I expect looking at your own only profile uh today but even those of you who haven't seen the game uh probably have heard about the Smarty affair so the media internationally discovered that most of their Smarty produces like some some but not only they actually use the cameras built in in the TV sets to observe what we do not
only when we want the TV and not only when it's really necessary for providing as the interactive surveys it was all for to improve the service and learn what the client might want but in fact when people learn that they felt and please awkward I will leave it to your imagination to think what kind of sensitive data could be collected by having that think working uh around the clock and how these data could be used in the market game with some serious consequences for us
so that even if you cannot imagine this consequences and the use of this data I but there is 1 company and that dust
imagine and maybe even has a algorithm to analyze this set of data and that's obviously google that comes forward with this concept of guessing what we
might not yet know about ourselves and predicting our next step even if we don't ask to be honest when I hear things like this quote from Eric Schmidt it almost rings a bell of uh the from people that he is unknown unknowns is that's scary to me but of course Google cells this as a form of not as oppression that as a service as a very
unique very personal uh very comfortable service offered to us be easy people in the online environment who might not have time to think how well and is
this really the case and the in my opinion and I I hope I don't have to convince you thinking actually works for our benefit and if we trust companies with thinking for us and guessing what we might want there's a
what is the most useful option we might end up installation of huge power imbalance I mean you fragment of today and over last 2 days about profiling about data you know all these things on thing to say now is that we think of the next step so about the consequences of a situation in which somebody reading knows better things that we don't know about us and will start using this not exactly to our benefit and that's basically the point I will try to to make but before we go to consequences parts let me start with the 1st
steps so how the profiles are created quite often we hear I do here in
all meetings I go to that it's all fine because we clients and to share only things that we choose to share so in the 1st place we are those who create profits to have full control over this process I'm not convinced really and let me
give you some ideas why am not convinced so just looking at Facebook which is still probably the most dominant social social media uh
space rule if you look back at 2005 how this started the privacy policy was striking different than what we have now and they were promising interesting things were promising that not personal information that we submit to Facebook will be available to any um user of the website who does not belong to to our groups so that some reasonable and maybe better then I would even decide that this is a good way of communicating with the words if I can control my information to that expect but that was a dozen flights in 2007 the already said something important to the editor and less so they made it very clear that the default setting of Facebook will not work to your advantage we actually store the information and list you come and see no so for many users that the imaginable that I go and I go to the settings I change them for probably the majority and Facebook knows that it's not so easy so nobody deals with it then we move to the fact that it's anybody who ever use Facebook knows that it's exposing users to 1st part is all the games all the extra things are actually provided by other companies and this other companies they get all the data that you provide so Faisal became clear about that in 2010 saying well be aware I'm not sure how many people really have red this with understanding and are aware but at least the said it but
now that the current policy have a look at the title it's no longer primacy
police Facebook sort of came clean about privacy not being the buzz words is data policy anything sharing policy so what they say here is that even if you don't choose the other companies are providers will act to share things for you we will show them within the Facebook family of companies not disclosing too many details about who is in the family but will also use all the information that we have about you to show their and ads and it's very difficult to
stop the process so this year it became really clear that we are the product here and we either accept it or we well after so many years I acknowledge it must be difficultly for people who build the profiles professional personal in that space if you have to this
something that Facebook or the real name policy would they try to execute quite efficiently so they're forcing people to reveal their real identities and what you know obviously everybody here knows that it's not just the collected within the website right the data collected on every website when you see Facebook battle Facebook like Facebook a whatever plugin and that's a huge majority of websites Even think it is like a teams million uh by now and then you can imagine that the wealth of data collected without a control and shared beyond your choices is actually quite uh quite scary it gets even more difficult for me when
I I realize that they're all this great ups and really useful services like khanacademy which I respect for many reasons that start cooperating with services like facebook they also do is because in India business model it makes sense it makes sense to know slightly more about clients it makes sense to offer to teachers or students uh stuff which is profit on the basis of of social media profiles so it is difficult to blame them but again by doing so they are forcing us as users of this up to become more open or more and more vulnerable to to places like Facebook and
then comes goal will be to provide different services including educational applications probably most of you I know not in school any longer going down maybe job but you will discover if you start researching that that many teachers Goal for collapse why did do so again it's useful it really works is for free coming out of charge from the teacher's perspective uh longer than this is that it sells data that many teachers don't really realize this this is the this backlash so we end up having having whole communities sold to to Google and it's uh and his business so business model the a have
moving back to us and our experience day-to-day experience of course you know that the loyalty cards exist I don't expect many of you is using them but if you think of the majority of the world that kind of thing can be very practical because food is becoming very expensive and even eat that's not a major problem in Belene or other major cities it is a growing problem globally so people have strong incentives to get into this kind of relationship with uh with the grocery providers so to say because it's a basic need they have to they have to satisfy for them for that for their families and that would allow the car to come very interesting information at on the base of the theme of this of this information as discourse shows the company that has a loyalty quot can obviously have impact on the behavior of the customer so it's not only knowing it's being able to act upon that knowledge that the 2nd quot
shows how variable this information is from the perspective of the providers these both this course come from the from the gardener from from a UK-based chains like Tesco but is basically the same factors everywhere you go no so what they do they not only in Tennessee in in in in incentive claims by saying it will be cheaper they actually target people who are more wealthy as well by saying we will offer you healthy options will offer a few options that are in line with your lifestyle or your your your your consumer our tagged with that of consumption and by doing so they actually increase the potential base of people who will go in the none of the quot uh think the and then if you think of that type of services I already mentioned that ideally food is pretty essential but many people believe that banking or
insurance is even more essential would have been taught in the society we live in that without financial services we are in trouble we have to take loss we have to buy things we have to get front because we live in a risky environment and that all feed into what is my main point here that our choice to share data it's less and less of a choice really is more and more so for the oppression uh or
extortion of information based on a positive incentive in the 1st place so this is the perfect example of the positive incentive it's real real if insurance company that wants to know slightly more about their clients and the 0 series discount on the insurance premium only if the client provides health related data it only takes 1 little 20 uh fitness
rocker nothing really if somebody doesn't have that thinking that I hope we all have here at the actually might be seduced into into this deal the
well look at that least I don't know how many of you can immediately read what is this if if you can maybe you raise your hand to let me know how quick your understanding is for me it was obviously so at 1st I so that's the list of 11 simple steps you can take to increase your chances of getting a credit or alone and it might be confusing right it says uh get a credit card that and under your parts uh become authorized users who share my data but will mix it up so probably create different profiles pay you'll be your bills on time but don't pay them uh but the them twice a month so of getting complicated and you
might think it's it's ridiculous is just advice from uh from from Forbes so you might not really see this as trustworthy but that already shows so the way of thinking which will become more and more prevalent I'm afraid where the extortion of positive information or not even positive but information we share and we
even try to guess the tactics in which we should be sharing becomes a market down the why because we feel that we are competing for for goods that are more and more expensive or less and less available like like financial services the well if you think ones that further you will soon realize that whatever is the profile created about you within a certain context that profile may well traveled much further and again I refer to date the only research I could find it's the US Federal Trade Commission but I'm quite
sure the same result we will see in Europe regardless of our high data protection standards the studied uh 18 of mobile health apps and they found that 12 out of those of course is sharing your profile the very sensitive stuff that you revealed by your sleeping but other running but there's or whatever calories you burn with 76 frat parties they don't specify who is it's but I can well think that there might be interested in this in this bubble or potential and years or somebody like
that uh and the interesting bit is what what what is said by by by joint creates uh from from uh from the FTC that it's going to be harder and harder even for the regulator to differentiate what is have what is not help because things that used to be neutral like my walking pace or something might become easily held data and analyzing in in in in in connection with other data provide may become very very sensitive and the same goes for for educational others that I mentioned before Google has been found and
even even even world-leading lose settled does the practice to goal for and lasted for sending student data to to advertisers but this constant Google is basically everybody in the business of educational apps who things of that 2nd step to whom I can sell the profile white ones created because it's so attractive
why well we can see so my point is that this profile detaches from us and gains something I call the line
real life to the extent that it becomes independent from whole you Riyadh and smiles and can become a very uh 0 well reliable or or or um more credible to to others to extend its more reliable than our own opinions or or
declarations I will start with an easy case study from Madrid that you might know already because it's it's not a new thing the more than a year ago Madrid introducing new payment system for for for parking where clearly punish car owners who chose cheaper requires at least as the assumption that the are cheaper but they pollute more so if you have a car that pollutes more it's cheaper for you you will pay more for patterns slot well my 1st impression was that those far but that
I fought well cars of the person actually did used clear I make decision maybe it's not a lot of radius but that logic applied by city of Madrid is applied increasingly by many public service providers by many governors across across the globe and not always the correlation between the source of the problem so the pollution and that solution like that of the characteristic of the polluting thing in this case the car is so clear right so we come to the problem of localization where you can clearly say that certain characteristic increases certain problem a risk of a problem we should be parties are should be just um and accordingly and you might find very warning that some bureaucrats like this 1 Michael flowers the former Chief
Analytics Officer for of CT at the don't see problem with lack of causation right the problem want to self and they want to sell it to the public by showing we do something and by by by basing a public policy on correlation between certain characteristic and the problem they actually go quite small figure of explain all this complex social issues they say we have high uh a high risk of crime
and we have new cameras there might be no correlation but we want to show that we do something and that that attitude at for
me is is is quite scary and if we move from things like parking the things mn
far more important for people like social benefits it gets even more scary I don't think you would guess what that map shows so I would tell you does the map of poland it's actually and the results of the survey that we did it panopticon Foundation at the survey was about unemployed people who buy the Polish states get go get categorized into 3 categories based on their profiles the some digital profile the provided they create on the basis of active interview with the unemployed but as a result you end
up in 1 of the 3 categories the 1st is the best because it shows that you have high risk of being re-employed and does that will help you the 2nd is problematic because the state has to invest a lot according to its own uh opinion of course it might not European and all that so it's decreases your chances of being re-employed deferred is the ridiculous 1 it basically says that you're so hopeless that city that that the state will not even try to help you and it will move into the social benefits uh walk where you just where you just get some sort of benefit but that's it and if you look at the map you will see that the places which are with the high rate the higher rate means the hiring rate of the 1st that so that people who were marginalized and deemed and not employable these are the regions in my country that are the poorest them more did that the most economically disadvantaged so you can clearly see that the state policies actually reinforcing the pattern and is not helping where the hell is really needed and that's all based on on profiling and not on and not on the real assessment of distillation you might think OK I'm not employed
I don't Poland and lucky but well you might be employed that you might want to change your employment 1 day and you might want to be on the market then you have to think how your potential new employer will judge you hold there will be judging your your prof again goes without saying that Facebook became a major source of information for potential and for years and it's we have a lot of data like even this piece of research showing how big percentage of of of of employees already seek uh data on facebook but of course is the facebook facebook is just the tip of the iceberg here we have a number of applications I could go on for all 4 to me is just showing you different applications that check your background take your profile and help in the recruitment process there quite a lot of that but the interesting part again is that we start
cooperating so more and more people find it necessity or a rational choice to actually shared his data themselves so this is the same mechanism as with their banking insurance on loyalty cards I find that incentive positive enough to stop playing the game and I don't exactly know what will be the result for me because I don't understand the algorithm and the logic behind it yeah the you may think OK
Bad for the object skills aside O. H. maybe the place of origin may be language skills what about the soft skills that that emotional intelligence my my way of dealing with problems they start finding solutions even for
those that's a very interesting example from the garden study where they analyze the voices male and female which sounds more reliable or attractive when it says to me if I a new constant great me as if I'm a new customer well never mind what it said but of course is about customer service end for me . discovery was kind of
frightening OK so the serious consequences of this game that we
enter voluntarily or under pressure or we enter unconsciously because somebody shares information for us there this soon consequence of reduction to profiles can be at the very very far reaching at that
think is the easy start so is the errors the fact that the system is not perfectly reliable and you will know that he's in
treaties and it's also basis use research that we have many problems with statistics correlations and profiling and the most rare is the characteristic that somebody looking for be that employ year or be that a police officer the higher is the risk of errors but I took here bad only something
quite quite straightforward credit scoring credit-scoring being the system that at is everybody encounters once or twice in life that we don't think it's
easy to get it right not really if you look at the study again by to give to see uh 20 cent of traditional credit reports have errors and 5 per cent of grade reports contain errors that could result in a lower credit score so if the system cannot really handle something that straightforward as well that I can pay back my all on the basis of my salaries it can get much more complicated when we think of security environment where police she's trying to profit loss on the basis of such ridiculous things like our p in our p lobbying passenger name records UML profile uh in UK 72 47 times and innocent people were properly on the basis of the flying partners and the information they provide when be boarded flights for security purposes don't ask me what was right out of this information out but something not very useful but the fact is that by 10 by flying the plane on a certain line we get exposed to providing so be it would become
suspects if you happen to be a in New York uh and you belong to mustn't common community did you well that's a very famous study done by New York police you will find yourself being subject to very specific research when they look at your patterns of consumption that look at uh and then that of Islamic institutions hoping they will read something interesting just analyze that the of information so that's I would say clear outright discrimination that is increasing with the
profiling as a new logic for for providing all not providing certain services or for being a suspect's on not being assessment of police an activity and it's not just New York of course we have the interesting reports that I recommend to everybody by always says uh a study of stop and search practices in Paris you can easily guess who was the most affected community don't ask you why because there is no clear reason and again we're back to the market where we all belong to we have heard about
discriminatory practices of of increasing the prices for certain products we spoke many times about flights it's problematic many studies didn't come from the flights get more expensive according to your devices but there are studies confirming and other products that more expensive according to the device you use and it certainly does the beginning of experiments that we will see with this end to the beginning of more and more serious
experiments again the FTC has a has audited um the banking banking sector and it clearly says there is evidence that location of you is being used as a proxy for for your ability to repay a debt that really sounds like redlining something
that was very popular in the US in the sixties and seventies where many services would not be offered to of people living in certain districts because these histories were associated with poverty and and basically black people living there that was the case we thought of it so far behind us we will never come back to this thinking here we go on location again it becomes a proxy for for important things like your credit worthiness finally the example maybe the most
reaching 1 but I want to show you where we
can end up uh it's a study of 1 of the really a study that Facebook site America Votes 2012 I guess you you know what it is right there was a famous case of Facebook being used in
order to increase at the number of people who show up for voting in US how it was done Facebook had a campaign internal complaining targeting people on the basis of the profiles in order to encourage them to vote it was done because somebody for that these young people are more likely to vote for Obama then the other 1 and it's not true but we don't know what will be the result of that vote if it for that company but clearly that's the 1st known and whether such example of the use of digital profiles in order to influence political campaign so the question I would need you wave phase basically do we really want
allegories to decide for us long remembering it's not just about our individual choices it's also coming back to the frame of this year's Republic of finding Europe is it it's all a discussion about what kind of reader regulation we expect from Europe what's private companies that do these things and also what kind of values or goals will set for our governments for agencies that provide unemployment benefits and things like that uh what the what we expect from them do we really expected profit and efficiency would be the values or do we want to come back to the Flickr freedom because if we want that's not really the way we should be going forward thank you so much
thank so instead of 15 minute break in this image you have any questions that take a couple of most of the revenue for conversation here later on 1 hand it may be