This is just an idea, and I’d be interested in hearing people’s thoughts on it, especially those with technical know-how surrounding data mining and the ad companies that do it.
I read Shoshana Zuboff’s brilliant “Age of Surveillance Capitalism” about a year ago and haven’t been able to get it off my mind since, especially surrounding all the conversations in the Humane Tech community. I’m deeply concerned about the effects of the attention economy, particularly surrounding human will + the wellness effects it may have.
My own minor acts of resistance around this have been quite petty – for instance, when someone requires that I give them my email address for a service that, I feel, really doesn’t need to know that information about me, I will make up an email address or phone number on the spot. Or lie about my birthday, etc. I figure if they don’t need the information, they shouldn’t have it.
Out of nowhere the other day I thought, what if we’re going around this privacy stuff all wrong? It seems we find new ways to obfuscate our data, and new ways keep being created to mine more and more information out of us. Instead of trying to hide data, what if there were an app or program of somekind which gave these big companies massive amounts of false data, but presented it as though it were accurate? It’s kind of the “Garbage in, Garbage out” idea, with the aim of generating so much information that it becomes difficult for an ad company to discern what is true and what is false, essentially making all of the data about me useless.
Apologies for my technical ignorance if this has been done before, or if there are barriers I’m not aware of. At any rate, I’d love to hear thoughts on this. Thanks!