The Living Thing / Notebooks :

The new surveillance state

our revealed preference for


Dorothy Gambrell: Do You Want to Know a Secret

Big data, pre-existing conditions, the pan*icon, and the messy politics of monetising the confidential information of the masses for the benefit of the powerful. This will be lots of opinion pieces; for practical info see Confidentiality, a guide to having it.

Think pieces explaining why one should care


Facebook will engineer your social life.

A quick guide to asking Cambridge Analytica for your data

Our cost-cutting institutions are leaking our info. After all, can you secure an iron cage?

Laura Northrup: Police Charge Arson Suspect Based On Records From His Pacemaker

Guilty before trial.

Confessions of a data broker and other tales of a quantified society.

Vicki Boykis, Facebook is collecting this:

Facebook data collection potentially begins before you press “POST”. As you are crafting your message, Facebook collects your keystrokes.

Facebook has previously used to use this data to study self-censorship […]

Meaning, that if you posted something like, “I just HATE my boss. He drives me NUTS,” and at the last minute demurred and wrote something like, “Man, work is crazy right now,” Facebook still knows what you typed before you hit delete.

No-opt-out-gamified citizenship: China builds the mother of all online reputation systems:

China is proposing to assess its citizens’ behavior over a totality of commercial and social activities, creating an uber-scoring system. When completed, the model could encompass everything from a person’s chat-room comments to their performance at work, while the score could be used to determine eligibility for jobs, mortgages, and social services.

“They’ve been working on the credit system for the financial industry for a while now,” says Rogier Creemers, a China expert at Oxford University. “But, in recent years, the idea started growing that if you’re going to assess people’s financial status, you should equally be able to do that with other modes of trustworthiness.”

The document talks about the “construction of credibility”—the ability to give and take away credits—across more than 30 areas of life, from energy saving to advertising.

(see also)

Why we live in a dystopia even Orwell couldn’t have envisioned

Alexa O’Brien summarises: Retired NSA Technical Director Explains Snowden Docs.

The Trust Engineers is a chin-stroking public radio show about how Facebook researches people. I argue that if you project it forward 10 years, this should evoke pants-shitting grade dystopia, when epistemic communities are manufactured to order by an unaccountable corporation in the interests of whomever.