And they’re using a brand new A.I. technique and a whole lot of computing power to do it.
Sourced through Scoop.it from: www.theatlantic.com
Just have a think about what you posted on your Facebook account since you first started. Now think about what you told your Government on your national Census, which is once every few years.
Who did you give more data to? What’s the point of the data? Facebook want to sell it. What does that mean in your country? This is gold for town planners, transport planners and so much more.
If I was to want to open a big plant, I could easily find out where I wold be most likely to find the workers I need, close to the population types I need, close to the markets or transport hubs I want to move them around to. If I wanted to open up a music studio for Christian Death Metal bands, a few dollars on my Facebook account would probably find me the perfect location i the world.
If I wanted to set up a dealership for electric cars, I’d be able to find the cities where people are most likely to buy them, not just because of population density, other transport problems, local cost of living, fuel costs etc, but because people in that area care enough about their environment and there is a high enough density of people buying cars.
When you start talking about the data Facebook have about about their 1.31 Billion active users, this is the biggest database goldmine in history. The question is who will get access to it at what cost.
What information can good data scientists and business analysts glean, when location is brought into the loop, even when individual people’s names are not provided. Pretty much anything you want to know.
What can it be used for? By law abiding citizens looking to build a better world and life for themselves, their friends, family and country, and by benevolent democratic governments, immense good can be achieved. In the hands of dictators, of non-democratic Governments, of criminals, the information could be equally powerful.
Want to shut down communities of people who do not think the way we want them to, find them by investing a few thousand dollars with Facebook. Want to find out which communities have lots of valuable artifacts where a high percentage of people are away overseas on holiday in March. That will be there too. All you will have to do is ask the right questions.
So my question is, given that we have surrendered privacy and most of the people I know, did that because we are law abiding and don’t have anything to hide and we live in a country of freedom of speech and belief. But I don’t remember any governance about what can be done with our data. Who is the guardian and how do we ensure it is only being used for benevolent purposes? Or is it like climate change seems to be heading? Too little too late?