Personal · Technology

End of the week.

Last day of work for the week tomorrow (Sunday) so I’m looking forward to getting it out of the way – I’m going to chill out and relax over the next couple of days and enjoy not having to worry work.

The Pixel 4 XL is still on its way so hopefully it’ll be at its destination by Monday or Tuesday next week at which point I’ll combine all three packages together as a single package to New Zealand. With YouShop they collect GST so it should mean that once sent from the United States it will go through customs pretty quickly. I think in future when I buy stuff from overseas I’ll wait till black friday, order a whole heap of stuff and then get it delivered to New Zealand.

Something I have been wanting to write about for a while and that is replying to the accusation which some people have made in the technology media that Google ‘sells’ your personal information. Now, I am no habit of defending multi-billion dollar companies but that being said I do get frustrated when people make disingenuous claims for the sake of getting those all important clicks and views.

Google doesn’t sell your personal information to third parties, what happens is this: for example, a company comes to Google and says, “I am selling widgets, I want to target women over the age of 30 who are married and have an income over $100,000” then Google say, “sure, we can do that, and here is the cost $x”. No information ever changes hands other than the ad buyer wanting target ads towards a certain demographic and Google is the mediator between the ad buyer and the person(s) seeing the ad.

Facebook on the other hand was a different situation – third parties they were able to pull down information from those who directly opted in for an application but also all those who are friends and friends of friends who hadn’t opted into sharing anything . which is why the likes of Cambridge Analytica (along with many other organisations) were able to harvest so much personal information from so few users who had opted into using their application or online service (which linked back to their Facebook profile).

The problem with spreading false information is that it doesn’t help the consumer in the end which result in many just throw their hands up believing that ‘they’re all the same’ thus giving up on the idea on security and privacy. A parallel to that would be the way in which the media portray every politician the same (example in the US where they never mention the politicians party affiliation) resulting in the voting public taking the jaded cynical view that ‘they’re all the same’ and then end up disengaging from politics completely. What consumers need is the truth, no sectionalism, but the truth and through being truthful then and only then can consumers make an informed choice. As Steve Jobs noted an interview, it is about ensuring that the user knows exactly what they’re getting themselves into and for them to make the decision whether any trade offs are worth it.