How Do Tech Companies Deceive You Into Giving Up Your Data And Privacy

from TED

Have you ever actually read the terms and conditions for the apps you use? Finn Lützow-Holm Myrstad and his team at the Norwegian Consumer Council have, and it took them nearly a day and a half to read the terms of all the apps on an average phone. In a talk about the alarming ways tech companies deceive their users, Myrstad shares insights about the personal information you’ve agreed to let companies collect — and how they use your data at a scale you could never imagine.

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16 Responses to How Do Tech Companies Deceive You Into Giving Up Your Data And Privacy

  1. Nicholas Stefanelli November 2, 2018 at 3:56 pm #

    In the world today, we are so blind to giving up our privacy. This is especially can be seen with our use of internet and technology. This all started with the patriot act. I understand why the Patriot Act was put up in the first place, after the consequences of September 11th, it does make sense to track for more terrorist plans and such; whether foreign or domestic, and even though it violates our rights as citizens, but we were all still frightened after the tragedy. However, with everyone under the microscope to be observed is scary and it feels like we the people are getting pinched. We have become numb to this pinch over the years though. We have allowed not only the government to take advantage of our privacy rights but we now allow all technological aspects of our lives do the same thing.
    I think, for the time being, it was fine for the government to do what they did. It was reasonable because at the time we were in panic and fear of another attack. If they keep this up forever and try to pass through more restrictions that violate our rights, then there is going to be a major problem. I personally would like to cease the restrictions set forth by the Patriot Act and allow more freedom back into the citizens hands, but at this time, we are all stuck with what we have. We need to find a balance of citizens privacy and protecting us as well.
    Know knowing this, and then seeing the Ted talk related to this blog it is no wonder we have be so accepting to giving up our right to privacy. Finn Lützow-Holm Myrstad talks about how certain/ almost all technology takes advantage of this. Seen that a doll can be so easily hacked is horrifying and that it took a specialist to realize it though. We are so blind to things these days because of the world we live in now. We need to take back our privacy and need to be more aware of what we are giving up. The more and more we ignore that it is happening the worse it is going to get.

  2. Joseph Capouch November 2, 2018 at 6:30 pm #

    I thought that the TED talk given by Finn Lützow-Holm Myrstad on the topic of cybersecurity and how much control consumers are giving to companies when agreeing to Terms of Service that they are not reading, was one that everyone should watch. This is because most people, including myself, simply are not very aware of when they are being taken advantage of by the companies they buy products, apps, etc. from, and what they are giving up. It seemed to me that Myrstad presented that information well discussing multiple companies, apps, problems, and potential solutions. These things made the talk very thorough, and I enjoyed it.
    There are a few problems that were outlined in Myrstad’s talk with why consumers are not reading the contracts they agree to on their devices. First of all, there is the problem with the sheer length of these agreements. Myrstad and his team found it would take hours to read them, time that many people do not have or are not willing to give. I can say from experience this is true for me, as I am often presented these agreements when getting something new that I am excited to try, or need to use, in either case taking hours of time to read the entire document doesn’t feel like a viable option. This is especially the case when these contracts are written in a language that most consumers, including myself, would have difficulty understanding or may not be able to understand them at all. Whenever I have even attempted to read contracts such as these, I have found myself confused and unclear on what I was agreeing to, furthering my belief that reading these is not worth the time. Lastly, there is the problem that if the buyer does not agree to the terms, they can’t use the product. In today’s age, many of the technological items that require these agreements are necessary or at least highly useful in daily life, and to avoid agreeing and using them would mean to be left behind from the rest of society. All of these problems come together to essentially leave people believing they just need to agree, and just hope that doing so does not come back to haunt them.
    One potential solution mentioned during the talk was the involvement of governments to regulate this area, and force companies to be more straightforward with their customers. While this sounds like a great option, I can’t help but wonder things such as if governments would be willing to take this on, if the sheer complexity of regulating so many different companies and products effectively in this way would be possible in a helpful manner, and if these giant companies would simply find ways around any regulation thrown at them, with their seemingly limitless resources. An idea that I liked more was that of a company embracing the quality of being more up front with their customers, and exercising transparency and security as a way of differentiating themselves from their competitors. I would prioritize a company like this, and be willing to pay more for their products if I knew that I was more secure by choosing them, and didn’t have to worry about deceptive agreements. Overall, I felt this talk did a great job of putting all this information forward, and I am glad to have learned what it had to offer.
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  3. MBB November 2, 2018 at 6:45 pm #

    In today’s world, data is a key part of a successfully run business. It can determine how well you know your customers, industry, market and even how well you respond to issues. Companies that can acquire data that helps them make these decisions have an advantage over their competitors. However, collecting this data is not always easy with how concerned consumers are about keeping their data out of corporate hands where it can be sold and used against them. Companies know this and have found ways around getting data from people that use their products.
    The ways companies get customer data are numerous but many examples involve the terms of service that users agree to before using a product. They are always long with small text and no one ever thinks twice before clicking accept and going on to use the service. A study of the terms of service of a popular data app showed that they allowed the company to have access to information and pictures that a user uploaded to their profile, forever. When that information came out, the company changed that part of their terms of service almost immediately. Another example of this was a doll named ‘Cayla.’ Cayla was a doll that had microphones, speakers and a bluetooth receiver in her to interact with children who used her, and also a smartphone app. That already doesn’t seem very private or secure, but it gets worse. The dolls security was so bad that it was hackable by anyone who could connect to the doll via bluetooth, about a 60 foot range. The person who wanted to hack into it also didn’t need expertise in coding or any kind of cyber security. Once this fault was revealed to the public, the dolls were taken off of shelves in countries all over the world. It is clear that going forward device and data security will be extremely important to consumers buying connected devices.
    Personally I can see that there are issues with information security that need to be resolved. Especially as the trend of data collection through connected devices is relatively young. However, I can also see two sides to it. The negative side as shown by the article is that our personal data is not secure and companies can go after it and use it to their advantage. The other side is a little different though. While many people think that companies gather and then sell data to the highest bidder, that is not the whole story. Data also helps companies optimize the products that we use so that they provide a better experience for the consumer. With that in mind I can recognize that the issues that we have with data security, but I also want the devices/services that I pay for to work the best for me, and if that means that a company needs some of my data, I am okay with that.

  4. Petar Micevski November 2, 2018 at 7:46 pm #

    TED talks usually interest me in the subject that the speakers are presenting because of their passion for it. This TED talk will forever be kept in my memory because of the way Mr. Myrstad made me think during his presentation. Additionally, his TED talk stands alone because of his applicability in today’s world. While many other presentations also apply to the real world, his is the first where he showed an example of the security issues live.
    When he talked about the terms and conditions, it blew my mind on how corrupted the internet really is. I’m not talking about hackers or anything like that, I’m talking about how low the rules and regulations of the internet are enforced. This comes in some form of irony because the internet is the only place on Earth where people can become involved digitally. Everything that is done on a computer is tied into some sort of connection that allows people in other continents to talk face-to-face. In today’s world, the internet is one of, if not, the most important thing in the world. So why is it that such an important aspect of our lives has very little regulation?
    Well, when they were making the internet, it was agreed that the internet is an accessible feature on a global level. Since everyone was going to use it, many people thought at the time that the internet would be a place of harmony, where people would use it for their needs and nothing more. However, a human isn’t perfect in nature. As soon as people found out how to use the internet, others found out how to abuse it. Businesses took on this motto by polarizing the asymmetrical information between the buyer and the seller. While businesses argue that the world uses a caveat Venditor approach, the asymmetrical information between the buyer and the seller makes me believe that caveat emptor still supersedes caveat Venditor.
    An example would be the terms and conditions that Mr. Myrstad emphasized. In order to purchase any object you deem as a necessity, the terms and conditions make you give up your privacy and information in order to operate or own said object. Businesses intentionally make their terms and conditions hard to understand so consumers can quickly sign their rights away without knowing that they did. This is a serious problem because now that everything is going to become tech related, that means that more and more of our information is going to be signed away in order to have the necessities in life. I agree with Mr. Myrstad in the sense that businesses should focus more on the consumer, not the corruption of the consumer. However, the most important thing about Myrstad’s TED talk was the way that he mentioned how the public would react if it were known that users are being monitored and watched. That is a perspective that I have never encountered before because I constantly am for the approval of letting users know what goes on on the internet. If everyone were to know how duped they are going to be by agreeing to the terms and conditions, some won’t care, others will stop using those specific types of technologies, and most will fight for better terms and conditions.

  5. Michael Robins November 7, 2018 at 8:12 pm #

    This TED talk was very interesting in the issues that it brought up. Myrstad mentioned some eye opening facts about technology, data, and privacy. The argument can be made both ways for more data and less privacy and less data with more privacy. I personally fall into the thinking that privacy is paramount. In today’s big data world however, data and consumer information are also very important for businesses and even the government. There are serious consumer protection concerns when it comes to how businesses take and use consumer information. There needs to be a better balance of the two. This is what I think Myrstad was trying to get at. There are obviously benefits to companies that can acquire more data about their consumers. In the era of advancing technology and big data, it is easier than ever to do this. The example about Cayla is a perfect illustration of how easy it is to get the slightest bits of information about consumers, even at the expense of their privacy.
    On the other hand, taking it too far brings up privacy concerns. This seems like it is normal in the modern world. The dating app situation brought up by Myrstad really caught me off guard. I knew that information is collected when consumers are not aware. I did not know that that same information is permanently taken and can actually be used in almost any way the company likes. When an app asks to access photos, contacts, or whatever it may be, there is much more to it than what meets the eye. This is where the deceiving part comes in. The terms of service are something no one reads. This is due to not having the time and understanding of the terms. When Myrstad said it took over 30 hours to read a full terms of service, I was stunned. The excuse that companies gave, saying that consumers agreed, had me even more surprised. There are lines that can easily be crossed with the world of big data and privacy. Consumers should not have to feel vulnerable when using certain products or services. To achieve this, I think there needs to be more consumer awareness and less business deceiving. It should be interesting to see how Myrstad and consumer protection agencies try to combat deception of data and privacy.

  6. Cassie sibilski November 9, 2018 at 4:00 pm #

    I really enjoyed this Ted talk video because I find the whole issue of internet security and privacy concerns to be very interesting to hear about. I think it’s pretty scary when you really think about how much privacy you are giving up by “agreeing” to the terms and conditions that come along with apps. I also think that the example with the doll really shows how dangerous technology has become today and how vulnerable people are. The way they are getting you to agree to these contracts is through clickwrap, browse wrap, and shrink wrap agreements. The majority of people are not even taking one glance at what these terms and conditions even say, and if they did, they wouldn’t be able to understand what they were reading anyone. This is because they are often written in a legalese that people can’t really understand. This unreadable language that is used in these contracts we agree to is very intentional, because these companies obviously don’t want consumers to know what exactly they are allowing that app to have access to. These companies recognize that if the average consumer was aware of just how much of our private data these companies and third parties get access to, we wouldn’t want to agree to the terms. Then maybe people would end up trying to take more of a stand against these privacy concerns. That’s the reason they are written in such a confusing manner. These privacy concerns are such an issue because they can ultimately end up impacting someone’s life in a negative way if the wrong person gains access to your bank account information somehow. That’s a big problem that often gets overlooked when thinking about hacks. Another thing that was brought up in the video is how companies collecting your data could also come back to impact people’s prospects of getting a job which I thought was interesting to consider. This doesn’t really seem fair at all, and yet it’s happening. I think that something definitely has to be done about these privacy concerns. People also need to be more well informed about what it is they are agreeing to, and it’s up to us to do that ourselves, because the companies putting out these contracts obviously don’t want us to know about this stuff.

  7. Danielle Blanco November 9, 2018 at 5:39 pm #

    The opening story immediately caught my attention. Imagine possessing a doll where its job its function were to record conversations around it and to communicate. I would feel uncomfortable with that inside my house first of all. However, the owners of the doll must connect their smart device using an app to have access to the information .They are required to agree to the terms and conditions. Like everyone else, they more than likely did not read through the contract because no one has time for that. Some things they were not aware of was that any stranger within a certain distance could connect to the doll and talk through it. Also, the conversations could be recorded for advertisers of the company. These are just a few example of the invasion of privacy problem with this doll. It is no surprise that t he doll got banned in Germany and is not sold in Amazon or Walmart. It is now in the Berlin Spy Museum.
    This was the opening story that brought up the bigger idea of our information being spread. We complain about having our information distributed to other companies such as third party companies. However, apps and services proved a terms and conditions that I mentioned earlier. They do present us with the information on how they will use the information we provide. However, many terms and conditions are way to long to read. In the video the example they used was a terms and conditions contract that was over 900 pages long and took 32 hours to read all of it. Companies could argue that they do provide the information on their company, but they present it in a format that is impossible to read and let alone completely understand what the terms and conditions means. They must provide a terms and conditions that is easy to understand. With recent allegations such as the lawsuit against Facebook and their third parties, many users of the internet are afraid to release their private information. They are now questioning companies usage of their information. Now companies are being put in the hot seat on their privacy settings. Companies need to put in settings that build trust with their users. For example, people who were using Facebook when it was discovered their information was being released to third parties, felt betrayed and believed they had no privacy. It is important to build trust with users so a company can grow. This begins with presenting users with facts on how their information is used. Users will feel comfortable on the site.
    I am an avid user and social media just like others my age. I hate to admit that I do not know the terms and conditions of these sits. On these sites, I enter a lot of my personal information and I am not aware how that is being used. A point that the speaker mentioned at the end of the video should be known to everyone that uses the internet. Information that we provide could come back later in the future and ruin opportunities for us. This begins with both the company providing clear cut easy to read terms and conditions and the user to read those conditions.

  8. Conor L November 9, 2018 at 8:02 pm #

    Finn Lützow-Holm Myrstad’s TED talk on how tech companies have deceived us about how they use our data was pretty shocking. Fairly often I find myself scrolling through my social media feeds when all of the sudden an advertisement pops up for a product I actually have been somewhat thinking about, but have not talked about or searched in my browser. This used to somewhat terrify me, however it makes sense now when Myrstad stated how companies have the ability to calculate algorithms based on prior sites visited in order to target potential customers for specific products. It’s interesting to see what course of action needs to happen next. The logical thing personally would be for a bipartisan organization to regulate companies ability to access users personal data. If there was more control over what companies can and can’t do, regardless of their hundred plus page terms and agreements pages it will create a safer more secure network on the web. As for now the thing that is most worrisome is the fact that I personally have never read any fine print within said agreement pages. I’m unsure how many irrevocable contracts I have willingly signed allowing companies to obtain any pictures, videos, addressed, potential search history, etc. I think the best point he made was towards the end of the video where he states if companies start to focus on privacy and security of their users, it will in turn create loyal customers who know their information is safe. The more individuals begin to speak out against data security the more of a pressing issue it will become, requiring companies to take the issue more seriously. If this falls into place it will be interesting to see how future generations view this early time of the internet and the deceiving nature by which people blindly let service providers access private information.

  9. Amy Rheel November 9, 2018 at 8:16 pm #

    This topic is extremely scary and should be a topic of concern that is talked about more frequently. As consumers we put our trust into products that we use thinking that what we input stays as our own, when the reality is that data is being used so that companies can advertise smarter for their products to appeal better to an individual. This example of a child’s toy being synced to the internet is such an eye opener that companies will really do anything to get information and data from consumers. Meaning that they will take advantage of children in order for their products to get into a person’s home to reveal their private information. It was even more upsetting to hear that this toy that takes data from the consumers’ home was voted for toy of the year because of all the high technological features that the toy has to offer. It is a shame that as a consumer today there is no way to have to privacy to yourself. We feel that a simple toy in the home is nothing but really it is a way for companies to get even more personal with us. There is so much taking happening in order for a company to get the most information from consumers that there is no respect to have some level of privacy. I appreciate the presenter has he said “what is the point of having locks on your front door if anyone can enter your home through a connected device”. I feel like there should be a major change in our society by taking a step back and realizing our lifestyles are being bought out just to study how companies can advertise better to consumers.

  10. Tirzah K. November 9, 2018 at 8:24 pm #

    It is extremely easy for tech companies to deceive us into giving them access to our personal data. Many people are naturally social butterflies and love the ease of networking and entertaining peers online. Oftentimes, the first thought isn’t about privacy but rather how fast can we get logged on! Many adults have a Facebook account and love to share their private images so that their family members and friends can relate and enjoy. We often tag them in photos and video so that they may also share comments. The last thought anyone has though, before sharing their content, is about privacy laws. There’s usually a one-time pop-up that asks for permission to gain access to photos, videos, and media that we unknowingly accept and begin posting away. They way companies ask for permission is often by a short yes or no question and there’s no alarm as to what that permission is granting. A scary thought that was mentioned in the video is seeing one of your private photos in a couple of years being used in some type of commercial. The truth of the matter is, it’s highly unlikely that we would even know that our photo had been used in any type of media. The world is a huge place and the access that we grant can be sold to a third party that isn’t even located in the United States. Thus if our images are in use, we wouldn’t be able to see them. It’s great that people are encouraged to network and share their lives but companies need to be held accountable for using the data of the customers they are serving. Our children’s security should never be made vulnerable to voyeurs. Wi-fi should never be a part of any toy; but, on the other hand, a parent should always be in ear shot and observing should a doll contain wi-fi. We’ve heard the stories of young children placing huge orders for toys and sweets via “Alexa”; but, no one seems to consider that perhaps their child’s voice is being captured for further use. In the video, they speak of how easy it is for someone to log into a device from a few feet away and are then given access to communicate with children on the other end. There are so many credit breaches going on that it’s almost expected that our security can and will be breached also. That article was a serious eye opener. If we can’t depend on companies to respect our privacy, We need to start being more careful about the information that we put into cyberspace. We especially need to demand privacy and protections for minors.

  11. Tyler Peteraf November 9, 2018 at 8:54 pm #

    When it comes to apps on my phone, I have agreed to a lot of things that I really didn’t know that I was agreeing to. Most people simply look at terms and conditions and see how long they are and just agree to it anyway. Furthermore, as the video brings up, you might need that service right away and your are simply forced to agree with anything the app says. Without a doubt, companies go out of their way to try and trick their customers into agreeing with things with no knowledge at all. It’s important that we make sure that our data is safe and that we know what were doing on the internet. Tech companies will continue to try and deceive people, I really don’t thing that it is going away anytime soon. So what does that really mean for the people who are agreeing to these terms? I think simply put, we have to find a way to be smarter. I think you can definitely shift a lot of the blame towards these companies for deceitful methods that could certainly change, but their is also some blame to go around to the consumer. In an ideal world, you would like to think that companies wouldn’t do this type of thing, but that is not going to be our reality unfortunately. While that would be nice, we can’t rely on the companies being trustworthy so we have to rely on ourselves. We have to make sure we understand the things we agree to on the internet and allow ourselves to become smarter with the technology we use as it will continue to advance over the years.

  12. Shaunak Rajurkar November 12, 2018 at 11:35 pm #

    In the face of innovation, consumers are often myopic and struggle to see a product for anything more than its face value. Cayla’s design and software bears a striking resemblance to Amazon’s Alexa, a voice assistant that provides you with information, assists with shopping, and plays music (on the surface.) Soon after its release, it was discovered that Amazon is primarily used as a data mining tool by Amazon. The new age of big tech, particularly SaaS (Software as a Service), has changed one massive thing about the sale of products by corporations: originally, companies sold a product solely to gain revenue and make a profit – there was little to gain after the sale. In the modern day, tech companies have so much to gain after the initial sale: they are able to harvest data, track information to provide additional service, target ads, and manipulate and sell your data for additional income.

    If predatory technology targets age groups that are too young to understand the dangers of technological convenience, families could be in serious risk of data manipulation and company breaches. Myrstad makes a great point in saying that avoiding these devices alone will not protect consumers from any risk, because simply being connected to the internet puts us in a “take it or leave it position,” where we are at the mercy of massive corporations with judicial leverage. The unilateral contract, where performance implies assent, has made it impossible to disagree to any terms and conditions that we do not agree with. We are almost always subjected to undue influence. Yet, if we wish to stay up to date and connected, we have no other choice. There is little we can do as consumers to prevent companies from doing this. Moreover, the pockets of legislators are lined with corporate money; the United States Congress will rarely act in the best interest of citizens if it means opposing their supporters.

    The fact that some of these contracts take days upon end to read is ridiculous. They are intentionally convoluted and their intents are malicious. Obfuscation of contracts has been commonplace business practice for centuries, but online unilateral contracts have amplified this to an unreasonable degree. Myrstad makes the argument that consumers are not responsible because the contracts are literallt impossible to read, and thus should they not be help accountable. I agree. These contracts are unethical – but we must do our best to keep up with them to avoid irreversible damage.

  13. Amanda Nitting November 16, 2018 at 1:05 pm #

    The internet has always had two phrases that people will use when discussing technology. An optimist will say that technology is beneficial because it helps with maximizing time and completing a task most efficiently. However, the pessimist will argue that the internet is a dangerous place that invades on the user’s privacy. In practice, it seems that both sides are correct, but taking more time to see how the internet can be harmful to its users’ needs to be stressed more. If there was to be a study done that researched how many times a person has signed away his or her rights through a unilateral contract, the results would be mind-blowing. It can be as simple as clicking on an accept button to a company’s terms and conditions that most people do not have the time to read or would even understand the language.
    The speaker, Finn Myrstad, main focus during this TED Talk is to have the audience understand that consumer protection needs to be more addressed. His first example includes a highly advanced doll named Cayla. The problem with this doll is that she could talk to the child playing with her and not only that but anybody within a certain amount of feet could connect to Bluetooth with her. It amazed me that this product would even get onto the market without this product having proper security. The idea of having a doll that would have able to communicate with a child is very interesting in itself, but the fact that even parents were not reading the terms to know how this toy really worked if concerning. That is due to the fact that the parent not knowing could have put their child in a dangerous position because the terms and conditions are out of control that the parents did not bother to read it.
    It goes beyond just the example from above, but the fact that consumers are constantly put into a position of “take-it-or-leave-it.” Although to some extent, it is in the consumer’s best interest to know what they are signing for, for companies to exploit consumer’s due to the fact that they make their terms so complicated is not right. Agreements that internet users are obligated to agree to are creating an unsafe environment on the internet because the amount of data these tech companies are collecting without them even realizing. Not enough people really understand how the internet operates or what it means for tech companies to collect personal data information and invade of a person’s privacy. The thought about the government creating up-to-date rules that will ensure a user that they have more control over their own data is important for causing a safer cyber environment. As Mr. Myrstad stated at the end of his presentation, “We can use our voice to remind the world that technology can only truly benefit society if it respects basic rights.” Companies are not respecting the consumer which over time if consumers realize this, will make them lose trust and they will in return stop putting their loyalty into that company. Security is crucial for this new technology age that is only going to keep on progressing and a movement needs to be created so that the people are not getting taken advantage of.

  14. Henry Steck November 16, 2018 at 4:48 pm #

    This TED Talk reminded me of TID #3 which our class just completed. The subject of the talk goes back to the same problem we addressed: tech companies currently operate in an environment that makes it easy for them to create Terms of Use Agreements (TOUs) that force consumers to sign away long lists of important rights. I might not be able to easily navigate or print out my iPhone’s terms of service before agreeing, but I have to tap “I agree” anyway if I want to use the phone.

    I found it very interesting that Finn, the speaker in this talk, comes from Norway (Part of the Norwegian Consumer Council). As I mentioned in my initial response to the TID, many of the trailblazers protecting consumers from unfair TOUs come from Europe. The EC seems to slap Google, FB and other tech giants with the massive fines that others will not. Google set the record earlier this year with a fine of over 4.5 billion Euros. Brussels I, Council Regulation 593/2008, Council Directive 93/13, and EC Directive 2005/29/EC represent important examples of current regulation which is at the forefront of the European Union’s fight to protect consumers from unfair TOUs. This legislation strikes down clauses in tech TOUs calling EU consumers to distant forums for arbitration, to agree to clauses with overcomplicated language and other, I will argue, unconscionable TOU contents. I understand that unconscionable is a strong word, but I selected this word after reading Uber’s TOU. If you take a look at it, you may feel the same way.

    We need more watchdogs like Finn and his team here in the United States fighting for consumer rights. There is plenty of language in the UCC that we can lean on, but the US has not taken the same steps as the EU to curb “big-tech”. What makes this complicated is that Google, FB and other companies are domiciled in the US and provide the US with a competitive advantage in the IP they create. Big tech also continues to pour money into DC to push the government in their direction. We must insure that regulators are informed on the status of TOUs. While it is important to protect our tech giants as competitive advantages, we must also protect consumers.

  15. Paul Lee November 16, 2018 at 6:38 pm #

    In today’s age, technology is always improving and being innovative. Changing human being lives for the better. I believe our greatest achievement in technology is our internet and what we can do with it. However, what do human being give up in return for such an innovative accomplishment? We give up our data and privacy in return for that as tech companies do deceive or force users to submit to their terms and conditions. There is such a law called the “Take it or Leave it” which can be found in a variety of consumer product that many people do not know about. First off, Apple products or iPhones have a contract that forces the user to after they buy it to agree to Apple’s binding contract but if you do not agree, one can not use the iPhone completely. There are different terms and conditions agreement that need to be changed. But this is one of them, that needs to be immediately addressed.
    I strongly resonate with many of Mr. Myrstad’s internet and companies points that show the world what the faults are in terms and conditions. How companies are deceiving users to agree to their binding contract. I strongly support his point about users or human beings, in general, using their voice to protect their own privacy. He states in his TED talk, “And us, the citizens? We can use our voice to remind the world that technology can only truly benefit society if it respects basic rights”. I truly support this as many human beings are not voicing their complaints to tech companies and to the government specifically. We, the people, can truly change how our data and privacy is stored and used by these tech companies such as Google, Facebook, or Instagram.
    I also agree with his point that if these tech companies can safely protect our data and explain what they are going to use with these private data. They can surely establish a strong, trustworthy relationship with their consumers and it will doubtless increase their pool of users. And then his point that the government around the world should ensure internet protection and up to date rules is something I support. I believe that the

  16. Yash Wagle November 16, 2018 at 8:33 pm #

    In our society technology is all around us, for many this technology has brought convenience and perhaps a more relaxed lifestyle. However, as this TED talk explains the convenience and benefits of technology does come caveats, one of them being that our data can be used under the discretion of these companies. This unfortunate part of companies using user data is that many time can utilize data in a manner that can also hurt the user. In just this TED talk Myrstad explains how just looking at web browsing activities algorithms can decide whether you can get a mortgage. Or how healthcare companies could use activity trackers to decide health insurance costs, there is evidence that healthcare companies are already doing this. Sadly, even though these company’s usage of our data can be looked as a privacy intrusion we have allowed them to utilize this data anyway they desire through accepting their agreements. Many times these terms and conditions are long and full of legal jargon that the average user fails to read, or perhaps even understand. Sadly, by a user indicating acceptance to these terms they are routinely upheld by courts. The quality of these agreements are in a ‘take it or leave it manner” meaning either accept the terms to use the product, or don’t accept the terms and don’t use the product. This manner of agreement definitely leads to an unequal bargaining power between the two parties in the contract. It is because of this unequal bargaining power I believe that in many cases agreements are unconscionable and should not be enforced. As this TED talk explains the course of action to regulate company’s data usage is through new internet laws, and consumers being more aware, and use their voices to speak against the data usage practices of these companies. I sincerely hope that such actions to regulate these companies do take place. By not being able to have any control of this data usage, just as the TED talk explains we are losing control of our lives.

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