Luis Daniel Riveros, MasQueDigital’s General Manager, has expressed his opinion previously about the Big Data and its effects on security and (especially) on the privacy of social networks users. He argues that this is a useful tool; nevertheless, it is being used to get information on an unethical manner and with opportunistic ends.
Luis Daniel Riveros, B.Eng. is not alone with his statement. For example, Martin Hilbert (German expert in social networks) agrees with him; moreover, he has dared to warn people in international press by stating: “Everyone is being spied on and people need to know!”
Thanks to Daniel Riveros, we already knew that people are leaving (voluntarily and involuntarily) tons of personal data on the net that was used for big companies to shape behavior. “Simple data about where you are or where you have been can predict with a 90% probability where are you going to be every moment of every day next year, something that a marketing company would take advantage of very easily”. Hilbert agrees on Riveros’ statement and he goes beyond by maintaining that this is not a matter of publicity but of politics.
In other words, Big Data influences democracy! And that’s not all, it also jeopardizes it. According to the German expert, the current president of the United States, Donald Trump, used this tool to win the elections in a campaign strategy previously proven by Barack Obama.
Hilbert explains “In Cambridge, the psychologist Michal Kosinski developed a study where he affirms that with your Facebook likes others can predict your sexual orientation, ethnic origin, religious and political opinions, intelligence and happiness level. He follows “a businessman bought it and created Cambridge Analytic, a service that Trump hired for his campaign. Obama also manipulated the citizens a lot in 2012 because they got data from everywhere.
What does that mean? How do they use all that data? Well, simply: the Political Campaign Staff can use that information to create exclusive content for each voter. the specialist explains “For example, if trump says ‘I am in favor of having guns’, some receive this phrase with an image of a thieve breaking into a house, because they are nervous people; others are more patriotic, so they receive an image of a man going hunting with his son”. Furthermore, he warns “This is the same campaign phrase but presented with two different versions, although 175 thousand were created. They brainwash you. It has nothing to do with democracy. It is pure populism. They tell you exactly what you want to hear. Democracy is useless with something like that”.
If this is the case, the worries of our Assistant Director, Luis Daniel Riveros, about the Big Data are not only well grounded, but also well backed up by foreign experts who dare to go deep into the issue to assure that this is a tool that is a real threat to democracy, one that could easily constitute an informational dictatorship for predictable societies.