When Your Data Is Owned…

magnifying glass

…there is no you anymore

Quick note: There wasn’t a you anyways.

“I hate bugs. I can’t believe they eat them in (insert town/country).” Have you ever had one? No? How the heck did you know you don’t like them? And hey, you might actually hate the taste of cactus worms once you try them. But until you do, quit heeding to the identity formed inside your head. (Unless, of course, you’ve lied to yourself for so long that you’ve come to believe it)

Let’s rephrase our little statement up there: “When your data is owned, you don’t get to choose your you.” Better? Better.

I’m not introducing this as something new. It’s been the case, specifically, in the age of newspaper ads and TV advertisements. Study consumer behaviour, learn what motivates people, sell them an identity. The only difference is that the data was more general. “This is what broke college students with no girlfriends want to see in their ads.” Now the data is more specific. “This is what Greg wants to see in his ads. That fucking loser.”

Those who own the data, own you.

And here’s the interesting part. You not only get to be told “you like teen dramas,” you get to be told, “this is how teenagers are supposed to look like.” Too bad you’re too broke. Doesn’t stop them from targeting those ripped-up jeans ads though. You better cough up those savings Greg.

“It used to be that employers didn’t know what we did after hours. And it used to be that romantic seduction meant strategically revealing — and concealing — parts of who we were. And it used to be that we were parents for some people, and friends for others, and patients for the doctor, and women and men for each other. Not anymore.”

– James Brusseau

It’s not all bad. Who said you’re more capable of making better decisions on your own? You don’t even know if your distaste for bugs is real or not. And in the next 5 years, that device in your hands might know more about you than you do about yourself (it might even know more about you right now.) Who would you trust when it comes to choosing the right career for you? Or the right school? Or the right bank?

No sane person wants their kids to come across old photos of them guzzling down the keg and whatnot. They still will though.

“No sex till marriage,”

“Really mum? I know dad isn’t the only guy you banged,”

“Go to your room!”

Plus, we won’t need governments anymore. Because, if we’re being honest, how would you define freedom? Today, especially.

“Don’t you have hope?” you ask.

For the individual, yes. It’s why this blog exists.

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