CLOUDTWEAKS CONTRIBUTOR PROGRAM

Join the CloudTweaks thought leadership contributor program which includes a customized profile, branded identity page, newsletter marketing, social amplification and more...

The program is currently available to consultants, influencers or executive level contributors.

datasift

How Much Data Do You Need To Hide?

How Much Data Do You Need To Hide?

If you’ve not got anything to hide, you’ve not got anything to worry about”, or so the old saying goes… But how true is that phrase in the modern age? Do you have anything to hide, no matter how small? Are you happy for ISPs, governments and other organisations to have complete access to everything that you do, watch, and write online? Very few people can honestly say they have nothing to hide – even if you live in a bubble and have no virtual accounts, social media interests or online banking, most people wouldn’t want their browsing history to become common knowledge.

In a week when British Prime Minister David Cameron said that UK intelligence agencies needed more access to communication data such as records of phone calls and online exchanges between individuals, as well as the contents of those communications – claiming it “is compatible with a modern, liberal democracy” – the importance of online privacy is once again on the agenda.

Seeing Isn’t Always Believing

meta-data

Sara Watson, from the Berkman Centre for the Internet and Society, believes that lots of people often believe that they don’t have anything to hide, but that’s primarily because they don’t know exactly what data is being collected about them and how it is being used. Speaking at a recent conference in Malmo, she argued that because the way computers read data isn’t legible for humans, we can’t be truly digitally literate until we can properly see and interpret that data.

There are ways to monitor and hide data, however. Tools such as Google’s Dashboard and Facebook’s targeted ads information are starting to let us understand what our online habits say about us and thus giving us the opportunity to find out why we are targeted with certain kinds of adverts (as well as ways to say when we don’t want to see those particular ads anymore). Another alternative is Acxiom – they aggregate all sorts of data about us from all sorts of sources, thus giving us a degree of insight – but they still don’t shed light on how we are being packaged together with data from other sources and how companies want to use that information.

The MetaData 

A second way we can find out how our data looks is by using browser plugins, and Sara Watson believes these are some of the best tools we have as users. The concept of metadata and what it might say about us is becoming increasingly interesting to a typical internet user, and tools such as the Immersion plugin (developed by MIT last year) can now help us work out what assumptions might be being made about us.

It’s important to remember, however, that these tools are really only just beginning to scratch the surface of personalised data monitoring – eventually we’ll need to develop even more advanced skills of interpretation. There are three steps to achieving this; 1) demand more narratives from the digital platforms we use, 2) engineer more plugins that allow us to interrogate the data more vigorously, and 3) we need to question default settings and the business models that support them – as Watson says, “As individuals we can all become a little more curious”.

What do you think? Are you concerned about privacy? Let us know in the comments below.

By Daniel Price

Daniel Price

Daniel is a Manchester-born UK native who has abandoned cold and wet Northern Europe and currently lives on the Caribbean coast of Mexico. A former Financial Consultant, he now balances his time between writing articles for several industry-leading tech (CloudTweaks.com & MakeUseOf.com), sports, and travel sites and looking after his three dogs.

The Lighter Side Of The Cloud - The Sticky Note
The Lighter Side Of The Cloud - 100 Lines
The Lighter Side Of The Cloud - Delegation
The Lighter Side Of The Cloud - Tough Times
The Lighter Side Of The Cloud - Cloud Storage
5 Simple Tips to Help Avoid Ransomware

5 Simple Tips to Help Avoid Ransomware

5 Tips to Avoid Ransomware Ransomware is a particularly pernicious form of malware: unsatiated by simply using your system as ...
Malware Will Cripple Cloud And IoT Infrastructure If Not Contained

Malware Will Cripple Cloud And IoT Infrastructure If Not Contained

The Malware Cloud Concern This year we’ve had two cyber attacks in which malware was used to cripple government computer ...
Cloud Developers are Using the Programmable Infrastructure to Open a World of Innovation and Business Transformation

Cloud Developers are Using the Programmable Infrastructure to Open a World of Innovation and Business Transformation

In the past few years, we have seen a surge of advancement in cloud development. New platforms, developer tools, and ...
Imminent IoT Eye-Tracking Technologies To Transform The Connected World

Imminent IoT Eye-Tracking Technologies To Transform The Connected World

IoT Eye Tracking Smelling may be the first of the perceptible senses, but the eye is the fastest moving organ ...
Istio 1.0: Making It Easier To Develop and Deploy Microservices

Istio 1.0: Making It Easier To Develop and Deploy Microservices

With the recent availability of Istio 1.0 it is not surprising that it continues to capture much attention from the ...
David

The Coming Era of Simple, Fast, Incredibly Cheap Cloud Storage

Cheap Cloud Storage Is On Its Way Data storage, like other commodities such as bandwidth, electricity, or simple computer power, ...
Cloud’s Mighty Role - Why Custom Development is the Next Big Thing (Again)

Cloud’s Mighty Role – Why Custom Development is the Next Big Thing (Again)

Custom Development is the Next Big Thing Today, software is playing a very important role in performing basic business processes ...
DevOps

DevOps

FIRST THINGS FIRST. WHAT ARE MICROSERVICES? Microservices are an engineering approach and architectural style of computing that is becoming extremely important for organizations wanting to innovate through a stronger engagement with their ecosystem of customers, suppliers and partners. To explain ...
Network Management Software Buyer Guide 2018

Network Management Software Buyer Guide 2018

This concise data-driven report covers the Network Management software landscape, as of August 2018. he 24-page report includes: Market Overview - Top 10 Network Management products in 2018, User reviews and vendor size data, In-depth look at the Top 3 ...
20 Leading Cloud CMS Wordpress Alternatives

20 Leading Cloud CMS WordPress Alternatives

Cloud CMS Wordpress Alternatives Content management systems (CMS) have grown exponentially in recent years. Their number and features have exploded. There are now dozens of cloud CMS Wordpress alternatives for startups and small business. CMS is getting more sophisticated. Website building ...
Cloud And Cybersecurity: 5 Things CISOs Need To Consider

Cloud And Cybersecurity: 5 Things CISOs Need To Consider

The Cloud and Cybersecurity Tomorrow’s digital enterprise is at war today. War not only with external cybersecurity hackers and viruses, but also within the organization itself – a conclusion based on my discussions with information security managers and cloud architects ...
12 WordPress Managed Hosting Services

12 WordPress Managed Hosting Services

WordPress Hosting Services WordPress hosting services has exploded in popularity as a blogging tool and content management system in recent years, and is now used by more than 23.3 percent (2018 Edit: 53%) of the top 10 million websites worldwide. Due ...
Cloud Migration – 10 ‘Do it Right’ Tips

Cloud Migration – 10 ‘Do it Right’ Tips

Cloud Migration Tips Businesses continue to adopt the cloud at break neck speed. Inherent benefits like lower operational costs, no infrastructure overheads, and quick access to better technology make cloud a very attractive proposition for businesses, especially start-ups and SMEs ...