Welcome!

Blog Feed Post

The Online Industry And NSA Connection

Big Data

“The fact that private industry now works in tandem with the government to stalk and track us online may deflect but cannot dilute the moral argument. It seems little considerations like the prohibitions against “unreasonable search and seizure” enshrined in our Bill of Rights never made it onto the Behavioral Targeting agenda.

– Jaffer Ali in Chief Marketer, Oct.1, 2009

Before the new buzzwords of Big Data, many critics were railing against Behavioral Targeting (BT for short). Essentially, BT is the same thing as Big Data, and is actually more descriptive of what marketers and the NSA do with all this data. “Targeting” is exactly what both want to do. Big Data is just more innocuous sounding; before Snowden’s revelations, our government was getting away with unlimited probing without our knowledge.

Let’s set aside for the moment the entire question of whether Big Data is worthwhile for marketers. I have argued elsewhere that it is more akin to snake oil than a helpful elixir. Big Data’s efficacy shrinks compared to its immoral essence. The soulless justifications are hollow and come from the massive service providers and media entities that sell the data to not just marketers but…wait for it…the government!

We now witness the likes of Google, Facebook, AT&T, Microsoft, Yahoo, AOL, Amazon and other online data collectors claim “they didn’t know” that the government was tapping into their back doors. Who can believe this?

Google has been in bed with the NSA (and other government agencies) for years. Conspiracy theory?  Before this became public, you had to don the tin foil hat to believe it. Give me a break.

And we all have given our information to these private, corporate behemoths willingly. These entities like the ones mentioned above sell our personal data directly to the US government. When the sales route is not direct, subsidies come in a different form. Amazon’s new web service AWS, secured a $600+ million deal with the CIA even though its bid was significantly lower than IBM’s bid.

The online industry as a whole has lost its way. Its love affair with “efficiency” rarely led to questioning moral foundations. In fact, Big Data media and marketing practitioners have “legitimized” its use and paved the way for government snooping. How could a marketing executive rail against government snooping when they themselves have been doing it?

Online media and marketing companies give full-throated support for the death of privacy. Former Google CEO Eric Schmidt dismissed the importance of privacy back in 2009. I say to him, Bull Schmidt! Do you think Google will protect your privacy? Facebook? Amazon? Of course not.

I have not even mentioned Axciom, Experian and Choicepoint. Their largest customer for data and information is the government. The online media and marketing community have wittingly paved the way for shredding our privacy. Fellow blogger and futurist David Houle offers a bleak POV when he recently said, “This is the world we live in. It is time to accept this reality, happily or not, and move on to how we need to change our morality, ethics and social contracts in such ways that will allow freedom and democracy in a world of no privacy.” [His full post is here.]

In case you might miss what Houle is saying, let’s break it down. Privacy is dead, as a matter of fact. THEREFORE we must change our notions of ethics and morality. We must resist the Eric Schmidts and David Houles of this world who don’t quite understand the difference between what “is” and what “should be.” Morality and ethics lie in what “should be” – something the online industry and government don’t seem to get.

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Shelly Palmer

Shelly Palmer is the host of Fox Television’s "Shelly Palmer Digital Living" television show about living and working in a digital world. He is Fox 5′s (WNYW-TV New York) Tech Expert and the host of United Stations Radio Network’s, MediaBytes, a daily syndicated radio report that features insightful commentary and a unique insiders take on the biggest stories in technology, media, and entertainment.

Latest Stories
DX World EXPO, LLC, a Lighthouse Point, Florida-based startup trade show producer and the creator of "DXWorldEXPO® - Digital Transformation Conference & Expo" has announced its executive management team. The team is headed by Levent Selamoglu, who has been named CEO. "Now is the time for a truly global DX event, to bring together the leading minds from the technology world in a conversation about Digital Transformation," he said in making the announcement.
"Space Monkey by Vivent Smart Home is a product that is a distributed cloud-based edge storage network. Vivent Smart Home, our parent company, is a smart home provider that places a lot of hard drives across homes in North America," explained JT Olds, Director of Engineering, and Brandon Crowfeather, Product Manager, at Vivint Smart Home, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Conference Guru has been named “Media Sponsor” of the 22nd International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. A valuable conference experience generates new contacts, sales leads, potential strategic partners and potential investors; helps gather competitive intelligence and even provides inspiration for new products and services. Conference Guru works with conference organizers to pass great deals to gre...
DevOps is under attack because developers don’t want to mess with infrastructure. They will happily own their code into production, but want to use platforms instead of raw automation. That’s changing the landscape that we understand as DevOps with both architecture concepts (CloudNative) and process redefinition (SRE). Rob Hirschfeld’s recent work in Kubernetes operations has led to the conclusion that containers and related platforms have changed the way we should be thinking about DevOps and...
The Internet of Things will challenge the status quo of how IT and development organizations operate. Or will it? Certainly the fog layer of IoT requires special insights about data ontology, security and transactional integrity. But the developmental challenges are the same: People, Process and Platform. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Craig Sproule, CEO of Metavine, demonstrated how to move beyond today's coding paradigm and shared the must-have mindsets for removing complexity from the develop...
In his Opening Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, John Considine, General Manager of IBM Cloud Infrastructure, led attendees through the exciting evolution of the cloud. He looked at this major disruption from the perspective of technology, business models, and what this means for enterprises of all sizes. John Considine is General Manager of Cloud Infrastructure Services at IBM. In that role he is responsible for leading IBM’s public cloud infrastructure including strategy, development, and offering m...
The next XaaS is CICDaaS. Why? Because CICD saves developers a huge amount of time. CD is an especially great option for projects that require multiple and frequent contributions to be integrated. But… securing CICD best practices is an emerging, essential, yet little understood practice for DevOps teams and their Cloud Service Providers. The only way to get CICD to work in a highly secure environment takes collaboration, patience and persistence. Building CICD in the cloud requires rigorous ar...
Companies are harnessing data in ways we once associated with science fiction. Analysts have access to a plethora of visualization and reporting tools, but considering the vast amount of data businesses collect and limitations of CPUs, end users are forced to design their structures and systems with limitations. Until now. As the cloud toolkit to analyze data has evolved, GPUs have stepped in to massively parallel SQL, visualization and machine learning.
"Evatronix provides design services to companies that need to integrate the IoT technology in their products but they don't necessarily have the expertise, knowledge and design team to do so," explained Adam Morawiec, VP of Business Development at Evatronix, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
To get the most out of their data, successful companies are not focusing on queries and data lakes, they are actively integrating analytics into their operations with a data-first application development approach. Real-time adjustments to improve revenues, reduce costs, or mitigate risk rely on applications that minimize latency on a variety of data sources. In his session at @BigDataExpo, Jack Norris, Senior Vice President, Data and Applications at MapR Technologies, reviewed best practices to ...
Widespread fragmentation is stalling the growth of the IIoT and making it difficult for partners to work together. The number of software platforms, apps, hardware and connectivity standards is creating paralysis among businesses that are afraid of being locked into a solution. EdgeX Foundry is unifying the community around a common IoT edge framework and an ecosystem of interoperable components.
"ZeroStack is a startup in Silicon Valley. We're solving a very interesting problem around bringing public cloud convenience with private cloud control for enterprises and mid-size companies," explained Kamesh Pemmaraju, VP of Product Management at ZeroStack, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Large industrial manufacturing organizations are adopting the agile principles of cloud software companies. The industrial manufacturing development process has not scaled over time. Now that design CAD teams are geographically distributed, centralizing their work is key. With large multi-gigabyte projects, outdated tools have stifled industrial team agility, time-to-market milestones, and impacted P&L stakeholders.
"Akvelon is a software development company and we also provide consultancy services to folks who are looking to scale or accelerate their engineering roadmaps," explained Jeremiah Mothersell, Marketing Manager at Akvelon, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Enterprises are adopting Kubernetes to accelerate the development and the delivery of cloud-native applications. However, sharing a Kubernetes cluster between members of the same team can be challenging. And, sharing clusters across multiple teams is even harder. Kubernetes offers several constructs to help implement segmentation and isolation. However, these primitives can be complex to understand and apply. As a result, it’s becoming common for enterprises to end up with several clusters. Thi...