Let’s face it, as we advance technologically, our privacy disappears. And in its stead we have a new version of discrimination – only this time it isn’t by a person or a group of people, but rather by a cold “unbiased” machine such as a computer linked to a data base.
What am I talking about? Well, I am talking about “super crunching” which requires large amounts of data to be collected, compiled and spit out about people and the information will describe their actions, buying patterns, past history, etc. In fact, some of the information that is collected on you you may not even recall yourself!
I recently listened to a program on Coast to Coast that interviewed a Yale professor who seems to be very supportive of this – which to me seems pretty naive. It cannot be solely a positive thing; regardless of how we may feel about it it is here. Google is a pretty good example of this as Google is a private company that wants to catalog and store as much information as it can. Other companies use these large databases of information for many purposes, such as to estimate your “pay pain” or how much of a discount you would need to purchase your product. Based on the data compiled, they can formulate a picture of you and your future and place in society and determine your economic footprint.
It is a tool that can be used for both good or for evil. Fears about insurance companies accessing your spending habits may lead them to increase your rates because you are buying alcoholic products or perhaps buying lots of fast food. Regardless, this information can be used against you in some situations which begs the question – why not pay cash for everything? After all, our economy is crumbling and it is based on creating debt and not acquiring savings. If you pay cash for everything not only are you exercising good economic principles for yourself (and the economy in which you live) but you also keep private your spending habits so companies can’t get a hold of this information.
Unless you willingly give it out – such as with surveys, etc.
It is interesting to note, however, that as data storage technologies advance, our privacy deteriates. The more data that can be stored and accessed the easier it is to compile this data and the more it will be used. And you thought keeping up with your credit report was a problem.