Bookmarked Why Data Is Never Raw (The New Atlantis)
“Raw data is both an oxymoron and a bad idea; to the contrary, data should be cooked with care.” “Raw” carries a sense of natural or untouched, while “cooked” suggests the result of cognitive processes. But data is always the product of cognitive, cultural, and institutional processes that determine what to collect and how to collect it. In this sense, “raw data” is indeed a contradiction in terms. In the ordinary use of the term “raw data,” “raw” signifies that no processing was performed following data collection, but the term obscures the various forms of processing that necessarily occur before data collection. (Summary via Tom Woodward)
Sometimes I wonder if I write just to be glad when I find my thought more clearly articulated by somebody else. As I wrote elsewhere, data ain’t data, it is never raw, instead it is always involves some sort of bias and interpretation.

Assumptions inevitably find their way into the data and color the conclusions drawn from it. Moreover, they reflect the beliefs of those who collect the data. As economist Ronald Coase famously remarked, “If you torture the data enough, nature will always confess.” And journalist Lena Groeger, in a 2017 ProPublica story on the biases that visual designers inscribe into their work, soundly noted that “data doesn’t speak for itself — it echoes its collectors.”

via Tom Woodward

Replied to My Instagram Problem (bavatuesdays)
I never planned to get on Instagram, and I was even less inclined to enjoy it. But 616 posts and 18 months later I’m realizing I am deeper in then I ever intended. I tell myself I can quit anytime, but now that Twitter holds little joy for me and Mastodon feels like a temporary rebound relationship, Instagram has quietly become my go to.
It is interesting having gone somewhat quiet on social media. I think what you highlight in this post is the power and presence of a personal community in driving the connections. I am finding that although I may have certain values if the consensus says something different then it does it really matter.

At work, I refused to share my contacts with WhatsUp (and Facebook Inc) and the answer has been that I am excluded from certain conversations. In this circumstance I have lost out?

I like your point about transferability and think that maybe as you point out that this maybe what matters most. This then allows for such projects as Manton Reece’s transfer of Instagram to Micro.blog or Jonathan LaCour’s move to transfer Facebook content using Micropub. A part of me wonders if I retired my Known instance to early?

Bookmarked Big tech has your kid’s data — and you probably gave it to them (Vox)
A big culprit: “sharenting,” or parents willingly giving away their children’s information, like name and date of birth. Those Facebook birth announcements may be posted with innocent intentions, but they can come with serious consequences. According to security experts at Barclays consulted for the children’s commissioner report, this leaves the door open to identity theft. The experts cited criminal reports where kids’ data was stashed away until they turned 18, upon which fraudulent credit card and loans applications were created in their names.
I am always intrigued by what we share online and the implications this may have. One area that interests me is the consequence of inadvertantly sharing things like photographs. Do social media sites even care if we tag or not? Do they automatically tag? Is this attached to our shadow profile? As the New York Times highlights, the collation of tracking data by third parties is currently unregulated.
Liked The Next Data Mine Is Your Bedroom by Sidney Fussell (The Atlantic)
Just this month, the insurance company United Healthcare began partnering with employers to offer free Apple Watches to those who hit certain fitness goals. Insurers might also offer benefits to residents whose homes prove their fitness or brand loyalty—and punish those who don’t. Health insurers could use data from the kitchen as a proxy for eating habits, and adjust their rates accordingly. Landlords could use occupancy sensors to see who comes and goes, or watch for photo evidence of pets. Life-insurance companies could penalize smokers caught on camera. Online and in person, consumers are often asked to weigh privacy against convenience and personalization: A kickback on utilities or insurance payments may thumb the scales in Google’s favor.
Listened IRL Podcast: Checking Out Online Shopping by Manoush Zomorodi from irlpodcast.org

When you shop, your data may be the most valuable thing for sale. This isn’t just true online — your data follows you into brick and mortar stores now as well. Manoush Zomorodi explores the hidden costs of shopping, online and off. Meet Meta Brown, a data scientist who unveils the information Amazon captures about you when you make an online purchase; Joseph Turow, who discusses how retailers are stripping us of our privacy; and Alana Semuels, who talks about becoming a hoarder with the advent of online shopping. Plus, learn about a college coffee shop where you can actually buy a drink with your data. (Is it worth it?)

This discussion of big data reminds me a comment by Ben Williamson in regards to ‘sensitive’ data captured by Class Dojo:

ClassDojo has been dealing with privacy concerns since its inception, and it has well-rehearsed responses. Its reply to The Times was: ‘No part of our mission requires the collection of sensitive information, so we don’t collect any. … We don’t ask for or receive any other information [such as] gender, no email, no phone number, no home address.’ But this possibly misses the point. The ‘sensitive information’ contained in ClassDojo is the behavioural record built up from teachers tapping reward points into the app.

It would seem that sometimes it is not the comments on social media we make or the food that we purchase from Uber Eats, but the actual purchasing of such items that matters. To focus on the noun, ignores the ‘information’ provided by the verb.

Liked Companies keep losing your data because it doesn't cost them anything by an author (Array)
If companies were paying out damages commensurate with the social costs their data recklessness imposes on the rest of us, it would have a very clarifying effect on their behavior -- insurers would get involved, refusing to write E&O policies for board members without massive premium hikes, etc. A little would go a long way, here.
Bookmarked How TripAdvisor changed travel by an author (the Guardian)
The long read: The world’s biggest travel site has turned the industry upside down – but now it is struggling to deal with the same kinds of problems that are vexing other tech giants like Facebook, Google and Twitter
I recently recieved an email from Trip Advisor informing me of a ‘big announcement’:

Imagine if everything you love about TripAdvisor was personalized around the friends and travel experts you follow, giving you an easy way to plan and make the most of every trip.

It was interesting thinking about this after reading the long read from Linda Kinstler discussing the rise of the platform. I wonder if it would have been better worked as:

Imagine if you provided TripAdvisor with a list of all your friends and those who you deem as ‘experts’ so that we can then use the profile to better target you with advertising on the web

Read Write Microcast #016 - Computer Games, Now and Then

That data-centric world seemed benign at first — smartness that helped us. We gave up data about ourselves, and the technology around us got smarter.(Genevieve Bell)

In this return to microcasting, I reflect on playing Command and Conquer and the way in which computer games have changed over time.