We’re watching you! Smartphones and bicycle sharing reveal your location all the time, while shopping cart lists reveal your shopping preferences and even your health.
The Arms Race Around Big Data
Robert Glenn is a high-profile person who likes to show off. He showed on social networks how he drove a Chevrolet across Nevada, scuba diving with rays, flying a helicopter over the top of a mountain, and working in a gorgeous office in Krakow … At this moment in Hawaii, the 32-year-old young man has just finished taking a selfie in front of a palm tree wearing a vest and a shell necklace, and is thinking smugly about how he can let others know at a glance that he is a billionaire with a fortune of 179 million dollars. This sounds crazy, but Glen is intoxicated with it. He is like a cowboy who discovered gold in the wild west and can finally go to the salon to brag to his friends.
In today’s era, what can really be called gold is big data. Who has mastered the data of what people eat, what they read, what they buy and where they go can sum up the rules, make predictions and make money from them. “You mean Mr. Mayer who lives in the market street? The one with two children? He likes to drink a glass of Bordeaux wine every autumn. ” Without saying a word, Mr. Mayer has received a wine advertisement on his smartphone, and everything fits perfectly. Robert Glenn realized very early that he could get rich through accurate advertising on the Internet. His first pot of money was earned by becoming an online seller of a vacuum cleaner brand, the so-called “member.” Such members are usually firmer, more cunning and more ruthless than others, because only when they sell things can they get the corresponding commission from the manufacturers. When the products sold are Viagra or weight-loss drugs, they will get more commissions. Since these members have to pay their own advertising fees, they need to know clearly which talents are more worthy of advertising. In this case, nothing can help them more than Facebook. “On Facebook, any information is valuable.” The preface of the professional marketing manual reads as follows. Facebook has no qualms about digging up money from the huge data of 2 billion users, which is a win-win situation for the company and its members. Whoever has big data can make money.
As Federal Attorney General, Katrina Barli has been committed to protecting the personal information security of citizens. Soon, she may continue to push forward this cause in Brussels as a member of the EU parliament.
Other industries have also been inspired by this, brewing new business opportunities. “How much do I know about customers” became the key word. For example, BMW’s personalized data service platform promises to provide tailor-made services to customers. Customers can find their own car maintenance records, insurance claims and other information on this platform. Volkswagen has also launched a user “data lab” with similar functions. The bank is the institution that knows the customer’s privacy best. “With only one transfer account, we can judge the entire life of a customer.” Deutsche Bank CEO Christian Sach said excitedly, “We can see what customers buy, rent and subscribe from the account transaction records. These are all very valuable information. How many people will envy us in the era of big data. ” Today, even politicians must rely on big data to achieve political success. Britain’s Brexit supporters, Donald Trump of the United States and Emanuel Macron of France are all masters at using big data, mobilizing voters more specifically according to the analysis results of big data. In a word, whoever wins the data wins the world.
Big data is not only the driving force of the new economic order, but also the “common currency” of the new world order. A major scandal broke out in edward snowden involving US intelligence agencies, revealing to the world how the CIA obtained a large amount of foreign intelligence data. The Chinese government hopes to connect all citizens’ information and data by 2020 and is currently trying to establish a personal credit scoring system (editor’s note: original). However, retail giants like Alibaba have been collecting customer information extensively and have no worries about protecting customers’ privacy. U.S. economist Shoshana Zubov called the current era the era of “regulatory capitalism.” According to this definition, China is in a very advantageous position in the new era. Some even refer to China as “Saudi Arabia in the digital age”, meaning that China has “data” which is an infinitely renewable resource. Of course, other countries are jealous of this. Around the competition for data and power, a silent “arms race” has broken out worldwide. Many people regard Facebook as a superpower in the digital age.
In Europe, a “class struggle” broke out between users and data miners. Some people like Robert Glenn who make money by mining user data have become rich. Some people, such as Facebook boss mark zuckerberg, have even become very rich. In sharp contrast to them, users who provide data are empty-handed. Therefore, these users not only propose to protect privacy, but also request to participate in the distribution of benefits to a certain extent. This is an epic struggle, because in the digital age, only those who keep their own data can have real freedom.
| Facebook’s “Custom Audience” Service |
In this struggle, Katarina Nokun has been defending her rights. She is a former leader of the German Pirate Party and is now a political activist and writer. Katarina has been paying close attention to the traces of data usage left by her unconscious, that is, the so-called “data shadow”: the credit card of Adka Supermarket, Amazon’s online shopping account, or information left by organizing a parade, etc. Although tracking these data is a tedious task, the harvest is great. During the follow-up process, she found that the government and enterprises had kept her personal information many times. For example, Amazon kept her shopping records every time. There are some situations that she can expect and others that surprise her. For example, every time she logs into the public archives of the Federal Police and inquires about the category of “digital crimes”, she can see some personal information that should not be disclosed. “The biggest danger is that,” Nokun said, “if someone combines all these isolated data, they can get a complete information that can be easily used.”
Data Hungry By 2025, the sum of all human information will reach 163 ZB-a number to be followed by 21 zeros! At present, although people are keen to develop artificial intelligence, the premise is that people should continuously provide data for autonomous learning computers. Without the “nourishment” supply of data, artificial intelligence algorithms would become useless.