Lack of privacy gives a persuader unseen leverage to destroy personhood.
A fully autonomous car now needs twenty-nine cameras. Drive a Tesla? Ten cameras, and one reads your facial expressions. 4,000 Gigabytes of them up to the cloud. Who owns that data? It is the subject of... disagreement. Perhaps the responsibilities and opportunities of holding it are not clear at this time.
Our Age looks interesting through the hidden peephole of information privacy.
In a western movie, there's always a hostile scout doing recon just over a rocky overlook. He's gathering information with a spy glass. You can't do anything about him... maybe build a fence. Down in the saloon, there's a magic show, complete with a fortune telling psychic. As we wait in line for tickets, the entertainer's clever accomplice is outside the door taking some of our names and addresses on a petition, maybe for a church or charity.
Those names go straight to the very well paid town gossip and her information about the kind townsfolk goes (by some clever trick) to the psychic. He rewards us with astonishment. (Sorry if that ruins psychic shows). But who is the psychic today? What is the act? Who gets paid?
Today, we buy our tickets online... With credit cards and phone numbers. These numbers allow the big gossip (who's been collecting dirt on us for years) to further build your Mini-Me in the sky. This pile of information about you - more about you then you will ever know - is sold to the highest bidder. Any highest bidder. The following pages detail where the Mini-You data comes from and where it goes. Fact is... even the programmers, captains of industry, social psychologist, economists, and mathematicians who create AIs, don't know exactly what happens to all the data.
Are there important relationships between privacy, persuasion, and personhood. We might be convinced to look at those relationships - if they exist. How to get the most dollars out of the available pockets with as little expense as possible. Simple. But the dynamics of the information economy might have some side effects that people have not thought out. At the risk of being stupid, each step; the collection, the processing, and the use of this data is important to issues larger than the economy. If you time my mouse hovers over models on my favorite website and suddenly all the ads I see have blond models, that's creepy. But analyze my social postings and tweak my newsfeed so I vote for your employer in the election... you should be in jail. Just my opinion right there.
Actually, the art of "convincing" has a long history and many words describe it's methods; "educate, argue, influence, persuade, manipulate, and coerce." Looking at these words might help. With no words, people are isolated. Isolated people are easier to manipulate. Ask any cult leader or narcissist.
The threads of our very personal information run to interesting places, and are held by people or machines we'll never meet. But they've met us and we are at a very unfair disadvantage. Our buttons will be pressed - we will be persuaded.
The glorious internet. And it's free! No, it's not. When we are given something - we become indebted to the giver. We owe them and pay for the free lunch with our unconscious allegiance and shoe size. Neither psychic salesmen or senators are interested in having profitable illusions exposed. They help people be distracted so tricks will be overlooked, friendships sawn in half.
When people make up their own minds, they come to their own conclusions. They are free to act on their own conclusions and retain personhood. When people do not make up their own minds, they do not come to their own conclusions. They are not free to act on their own conclusions and give up personhood. Everyone wants a free mind. Preferably attached to a free body.
Read on if this is of interest to you.
Or not. Up to you. If you want.
I don't care.
Lack of privacy gives a persuader unseen leverage to weaken personhood.