Data appropriation is a form of exploitation because companies use data to create value without providing people with comparable compensation

The data Google gains from me is worth what? $10 a year?

Google is worth what to me? More than $10 a year?

What the fuck are these cunts talking about?

28 thoughts on “Eh? What?”

  1. “When companies do seek consent, it is typically through terms of service agreements – overly long contracts are full of dense legal language that users are expected to “agree” to without understanding. It is a remarkable victory for the data appropriators that acquiescence has become the standard model for obtaining “consent”.”

    Eh..?

  2. So Much For Subtlety

    If you don’t want Google collecting data on you, you can use any number of alternatives such as Duck Duck Go. It works perfectly well and claims to respect your privacy.

    If someone cannot be bothered to spend the effort required to type 12 characters, they are not much bothered by Google collecting their data. Which suggests that $10 is an over-estimate of what our privacy is worth to us.

  3. Google is too darned good/useful for linking Internet usage across different devices. And I can’t really get worked up about what Google knows about me – though it is a bit worrying when your phone tells you it’s time to set off for your weekly shop :). If I’m researching something I don’t want Google to know about, I just use DuckDuckGo (or even Bing).

  4. The irony is there is a little yellow border at the bottom of this article with the Guardian begging you for £49 a year to “support their journalism”.

    I wouldn’t pay 49p.

  5. JuliaM, I was going to quote that bit too. Completely undermines his own argument. And what’s his solution, ban any tech/trade too complex for old schmuck to understand? Wouldn’t leave much for him to pontificate over.

    John Square, I see no Dutch on him.

  6. @NeilsR

    “Jathan Sadowski is a visiting lecturer in ethics of technology at Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands. He is working on a book about the visions and politics of smart cities. He can be found on Twitter @jathansadowski”

    And forgive my grumpiness, I was in Amsterdam yesterday. I did not like it.

  7. John Square – I’m not surprised. It’s always full of tourists and hen/stag parties from Liverpool/Newcastle.

    Utrecht, Delft, Gouda, Leiden, s’Hertogenbosch are much nicer.

  8. Bloke in North Dorset

    “Google is too darned good/useful for linking Internet usage across different devices. And I can’t really get worked up about what Google knows about me – though it is a bit worrying when your phone tells you it’s time to set off for your weekly shop :). If I’m researching something I don’t want Google to know about, I just use DuckDuckGo (or even Bing).”

    Agreed about convenience but Firefox offers that as well. I’ve also started using Vivaldi which is even easier to switch between search engines.

    Better still install Tor, its a bit slower but a level of privacy higher.

  9. “Jathan Sadowski is a visiting lecturer in ethics of technology at Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands.

    Marxist then. Anything mentioning ‘ethics’ these days is far Left.

  10. You’re actually worth significantly more than $10 to Google. It’s probably around $50 per year, although of course some users are worth far more to them than others. Every time you click on an ad-supported link in the search results, you’re making them money. Every time an ad displays on an Android phone, you’re making them money. It’s a tiny amount each time, but it’s a lot of times.

    And Google are probably worth much more to you than $10 a year too. Think of all the Google services which you get for “free” (notwithstanding the fact that you using them makes Google money) – it’s not just search, it’s also the Chrome browser, Maps, Gmail, Android, Play Store where you get all your Android apps, YouTube, Drive, DNS, Translate, and many more besides. If you try to get through even a week dodging all that Google provide in modern society, just getting by can get quite difficult. It’s not that all these things are essential to live – they’ve just become so important in our economy that not using them puts you at a genuine competitive disadvantage, not only in a business sense but also in a human sense. Search is remarkably helpful at helping me find things out in a couple of seconds without having to spend two hours in a library. The Chrome browser helps me bounce around the Internet more efficiently and with less frustration than any other browser I’ve tried. Maps help me avoid roadworks in the morning and stops me being late for work, even reminding me 15 minutes before I have to set off dependent on traffic conditions. Gmail not only allows me to communicate via email with the rest of the world but also reads my email for me and sticks the most important bits on the home screen of my phone. Android is a freebie which allows me to communicate with the rest of the world using phone calls and text messages, but also runs all the apps without which I’d now be lost. Play Store gives me an easy way to extend the functionality of my phone without having to muck about for hours on the Internet trying to find something to do what I want it to. YouTube lets me watch videos of cats knocking glasses off kitchen work surfaces onto the floor and riding around on robotic vacuum cleaners, which is probably the greatest invention of all time, even though they bought it. Drive lets me store my photos so I don’t lose memories when I lose my phone down the toilet. DNS lets me look up Internet addresses without being subject to Government censorship (if I happened to live somewhere dodgy). Translate opens up the rest of the world’s online literature without me having to learn all the other languages or employ someone to translate them for me, even if it’s not perfect. If I were to pay people for all those services to be done for me, I’d probably have a staff of, what, 50,000? I have no idea. But it would cost me much more than $10 and I’m genuinely grateful that I get it for free.

    They can have whatever data they want as long as I can carry on not having to pay for all that stuff.

  11. I use Google Maps every day to plan my journey to my next remote site. When I used to deal with licensing and planning applications I used Google StreetView to “walk” up and down the streets to get the layout of the area. Without Google Maps I would have had to find some other way of doing this, undoubtable by opaying for it – wither in my time or in a physical product. Before StreetView it meant physically getting to the location and physically walking around, without access to aerial views, etc.

    How much would this costs me if Google didn’t provide it on absolutely every single internet-connected device in the universe in return for my search history? I have no idea. I think autoroute used to cost 50 quid, and that didn’t give street views.

  12. Rob.

    Quite.

    Consider ‘Maps’ alone. Think how integrated that is into the modern world. The functionality (for free) that is embedded into whatever business or private individual wants to use it.

    How much is that worth globally per year to the users?

    Imagine removing it tomorrow and asking global government to establish an organisation to provide a replacement (for free). It would take five years before they even had a working group set up.

  13. Bloke in North Dorset

    “Search is remarkably helpful at helping me find things out in a couple of seconds without having to spend two hours in a library.”

    Tim reported research that was done to put a value on those searches Vs going to the library. IIRC they used students to answer a number of questions and timed them. It came out at something like $50 per question.

  14. They can have whatever data they want as long as I can carry on not having to pay for all that stuff

    I find myself taking the opposite position, that I would be quite happy to pay them for stuff as long as I could guarantee that they weren’t storing any data relating to my use of the paid services.

    My main concern about those data is that I have no idea what will happen to them. They could, in theory, last forever, and although I might not live more than a few decades more I have no idea what the situation might be in ten years or so. Those data could be used for anything, and I don’t like the thought of that at all.

    Unfortunately for me, Google makes very good products so it’s difficult to avoid using at least some of them, though I have at least turned off all account activity settings and stopped using Google Search.

  15. @knirirr

    I can certainly imagine data archaeologists excavating the back-ups, trying to establish how people lived back in the time of the first recognisable yet unimaginably primitive technology. Bet there’s be bonus points for finding the data trails of those who went on to be significant historical figures, especially “before they were famous”.

    I can imagine even fragmentary and supposedly “anonymised” data being interesting, cf AOL’s misjudged release of search data to researchers (who found they could identify names and addresses in supposedly anonymous data then link them to searches for illegal material).

  16. “Android is a freebie ”
    Sorry, but this I can’t agree with.
    Android’s the O/S comes installed on most smartfones. It’s part & parcel of the phone when you buy it. Same way as there’s been an O/S installed in every mobile phone since we’ve had mobile phones. Without the O/S, any phone’s a lump of electronic junk. If the smartphone manufacturer gets to install Android free or cheaply because of some sort of deal with Google, that’s between the manufacturer & Google.
    However, Android comes packed with Googlejunk that’s integrated with the O/S in such a way as it’s impossible or next to impossible to remove. For those not interested in Playstore, G-mail or any of the other garbage, constantly being harassed by them is a real cost in personal time & energy

  17. I use a lot of Google stuff, and find it very useful, and wouldn’t be without it. But the data… If Google have got it you have to assume that every Government Agency in the Western World has it too, particularly American Government Agencies with three letter acronyms.

    At least if you’re aware of it you can avoid using Google if you feel you have something to hide. Of course what you have to hide is a movable feast, and the Feds could easily come back for you later, for something you didn’t think you needed to hide at the time. But it’s a risk I’m willing to take.

  18. @BiND
    Agreed about convenience but Firefox offers that as well. I’ve also started using Vivaldi which is even easier to switch between search engines.

    But they can only do that by ‘snooping’ on your browsing rather as Google does. You pays your money … (or, rather, you don’t)

  19. @John Square, fair enough. A’dam is definitely a bit odd, especially the touristy bits, unsurprisingly.

    Twitter has him as an American, but whatever.

  20. bloke in spain,

    “However, Android comes packed with Googlejunk that’s integrated with the O/S in such a way as it’s impossible or next to impossible to remove.”

    No. You can download Android, build it and run it on anything you like, with none of that stuff. The Amazon Kindle Fire is Android, but has no Google stuff.

    In fact, the only way to get things like the Gmail app or Google’s calendar app is by jumping through Google’s certification programme for your device.

  21. Tim what happened between this and the previous post? In the last one you asterisked out the F word, but in this one you went straight in at full C??

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