From a technological perspective, the 21st century has advanced farther than the entire century previous. From a social perspective, there are times when I feel we have gone backwards a full century or more.
Think about technology and the information superhighway. With an iPhone or iPad we can connect to people and information anywhere in the world. Those same devices also connect us with information and ideas which are dangerous to the species.
Those same devices also provide information about us that is being harvested, culled– not responsibly shared– from each of us and then used against us by those same devices.
What comes first? Privacy? Fake News? Or, Education? Siobahn O’Flynn:
We street-proof our kids. Why aren’t we data-proofing them?
For the same reason we have difficulty segregating fake news from opinion and perspective. We– the average owner of iPhone, iPad, Android smartphone, Mac or Windows PC, and television news viewer– do not know how.
Google was fined $170-million because the company gathered– illegally– personal information from children on YouTube. Guess what Google did with the information?
For all the talk about technological prowess, Google is little more than a prolific advertising company that uses technology to enrich itself at the expense of humanity.
Our digital identities are fodder for scurrilous actors to poach and use against us by manipulating what we think, how we feel, and working to control our actions.
Fake News is the second leg of that nefarious stool because Google, Facebook, and other scurrilous players use it– combined with private information culled from users– to further advance causes with, on the surface, may seem loyal and nationalistic, but are irreprehensible.
How can private data collection and fake news be tamed?
That is no mean feat because older adults– those in control of the world– often are less knowledgable about what is fake than younger generations.
Google and Facebook fingerprint all we do online and build personal dossiers of our lives. That information is then sold and used by advertisers to manipulate our actions. You might think children are the most vulnerable, and while that might be true, adults suffer at the hands of manipulators, too.
The reason why education has yet to catch up to the scourge of privacy violations and the proliferation of fake news is that teachers and educational institutions themselves are also easily deceived and remain part of the problem rather than part of the solution.
Apple has built-in tools to help reduce privacy tracking. Apple, via Apple News, works with legitimate publishers to provide customers with valuable sources of information. Being an Apple customer comes at a price. The Apple Tax we pay gives us more– privacy and accuracy and education– but what about those who remain outside Apple’s reaches and cannot afford the luxury of privacy, accurate information, or proper education?