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.

More here.

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  1. 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. 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.

  3. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. This TED talk is very similar to our TID #3 regarding unilateral contracts. Even the caption says “Have you ever actually read the terms and conditions for the apps you use?” Which sadly a lot of people would answer no. People would rather just check off the box and move on with their day than to spend time reading what kinds of rights they are giving away to these websites or products. They would rather just be able to use the product than waste their time reading fine print. The speaker in this TED talk, Finn Lutzow-Holm Myrstad is part of the Norwegian Consumer Council, where him and his team decided to actually read the terms of apps on a phone. They printed 900 pages of terms. I cannot believe that it took them a little less than two days just to do that. This just proves the point that a lot of people are not willing to take the time to read these agreements if it will take that much time out of their day. Time is a very valuable thing and people would rather allow tech companies take all of their data than give up their time.
    When he talks about the Cayla doll, it is pretty eye opening to see that even a doll intended for children can be such a data and privacy invasive thing. He states how with parents consent of the terms and agreements, they are agreeing to the terms changing without notice, as well as the recordings of them and their child to be used for targeted marketing. That is very creepy and messed up in my eyes. Anyone can connect to the doll within range. As seen in the video a random man connected to the doll and started asking Finn questions whether his mom was home, and if he wanted to come out and play. This just makes kids an even bigger target if they have such a doll. There was no security restriction to do this until this was realized and the doll was pulled off of the shelves. I liked how Finn said “what is the point of locking a house with a key if anyone can enter it with a connected device?” How can such innocence of a child wanting to play with a doll become so twisted and stomach churning? Even adults cannot sign up for a dating app without giving up the rights to all of their pictures. The internet clearly is not safe, and after hearing some of these terms and agreements honestly makes me want to start reading them.

  14. This TED talk opened up my eyes in the way that us as human beings are completely losing control of our rights. Companies are simply forcing us to agree to their terms of use such as when singing up on a website with no other way around it. Most companies portray a manner as if the users don’t agree with a single policy they have to offer, then they can go find another company to use. One part of singing up for websites that is really an invasion of privacy is being forced to use your phone number when creating an account. I believe that it should be optional to include your phone number on all websites because it is not something that is necessary. They claim they need your phone number for recovery purposes, but who actually knows what they are using it for. Once these sites have your data, they are free to use it however they would like, primarily because this is what you agreed to in their terms of service. Companies trick us because they only show us the highlights and benefits of giving them your personal information, but underneath the covers it could go way beyond that.

  15. In today’s world Technology is everywhere. In fact, the idea of technology is an essential tool for many businesses. However, what many people aren’t aware of is how sites, apps, and other digital platforms allows companies the ability to access user’s personal data. Most of us spend much of our time these days on apps and sites for the use of entertainment, to connect with friends, to stay informed and for just about everything else. However, companies have resulted to create many sneaky techniques in order to deceive you into giving up personal and private information. The terms and conditions and privacy policy page is one of them. When signing up whether on a website or app, many times users fail to read the terms and conditions agreement because they are so long and hard to understand. This is because these terms are so vague and make it difficult to find concrete information on what exact personal information is collected, how it is used and with whom it is shared with. For this reason, Tech companies violate our security and privacy, they know a lot about us and continue to go out their way tricking customers into agreeing with things with no knowledge at all. When people sign up for these kinds of webs or mobile services, they assume that their data goes only as far as the company they’ve signed an agreement with. Unfortunately, that is not the case because the data and personal information they have collected has already been disclosed, used and probably even sold to third party users.

    In fact, when it comes to downloading an app, I immediately agree with the terms and conditions. I allow the app to access my location, my pictures and videos and never had an issue with it. However, after looking at Finn Lützow-Holm Myrstad’s TED talk on how tech companies have deceived us about how they use our data, I was in complete shock. It is a scary to know how much privacy and personal information users agreed to let companies collect by a simple click. With this intention, it seems to me that businesses focus more on the corruption of consumers rather than the consumer itself. I never realized how sites, apps and digital platforms secretly invade on user’s privacy. I was never given any thought to the kinds of data these tech companies actually collect from thousands of users, including myself. Now that I am aware that apps are data seeking machines. I no longer feel comfortable on any site. In fact, I believe this a major issue. Companies should stop leaving out important details about how the users data will be used and focus more on building trust with them, which starts with presenting actuals facts. People have the right to be well informed about their personal information and if companies cannot respect the importance of user’s privacy, if possible its best to avoid these kind of platforms.

    In addition, Myrstad demonstrates with the Cayla doll, of how easy it is for someone to connect with a device from a few feet away and is given access to communicate with children without having any proper security. This makes me question the potential risks towards the safety of children. After all, this talk was an eye opener. Tech companies will continue to remain silent as long as we continue giving away the rights to the reproduction of our content. It seems to me that every piece of data about us now seems to be worth something to somebody. For this reason, people should begin to be aware of all the hotspots collecting personal data.

  16. Terms of Service is a phrase that’s scary to most individuals when they’re used to seeing a massive wall of text dumped on their screens, burdening with scrolling down for entire minutes to click a box that indicates their comprehension, and then sighing in relief that there aren’t more contracts and hurdles to pass. And the fact that most people don’t read the entire contract, or even part of it, is what makes them so frightening.

    Knowledge is a necessity when conducting business. Knowledge on trends, on interests, and on products are important in many fields. That information is locked within our devices, on the websites we visit and in our browser history. Whether or not I would prefer to purchase Nike shoes over Adidas shoes would be impossible to guess on a whim, but businesses would like to work with more information than that. So, a lot of companies hide within their scare Terms of Service novellas are conditions to use their products and services. Some more malicious companies ask for your information, access to your privacy and knowledge on what you like to do or where you like to shop. They don’t do this overtly, though. The masses wouldn’t have it. Instead, they hide it in their Terms of Service, taking advantage of the common person and their reluctance to read through paragraphs of legal drivel to get individuals to accept having their information taken and then sold to other companies to use for their own gain.

    Information selling and leaking is all over the media in recent times, the main cause being Facebook. Facebook has been known to sell private information for months now, and new information continues to come to light about how deep their hands reach into the masses’ private lives. Information theft and distribution is scary and potentially harmful for an individual or group’s well being.

  17. As soon as someone gets a new phone, there are terms and conditions that everyone has to agree to in order to use the phone right away. If anyone is like me, I am so excited to start using it that I press agree with no thought about what those terms and conditions could state. There are those sets of terms and conditions for everything. The scary part is that even if they slip in something that you do not want to agree to, you have to agree to all of it or none of it and it is legal so they can do whatever they want with that information. When Myrstad said it took him and his team 31 hours to read all of the terms and conditions and did not even understand what they meant, was a crazy thought. The creators of these apps and phones make it so that it is impossible to read them because of the terminology or make them so long that no one even thinks about attempting to read it.
    Dating apps are many people’s “bar scene” in this day and age. This is how many couples first meet each other, through a profile. However, knowing that any random person that stumbles onto my profile could see pictures that are very personal to me is frightening. From this information, people could figure out where you live, look at your family members, know your place of work, etc. Myrstad took it a step further and mentioned that people could not get healthcare later on in their lives because of their activity tracker. All because you agreed to the very long terms and conditions. Myrstad mentioned that it is hard to regulate already existing conditions because people already agreed to them. I agree that there needs to be a newfound way to control the data usage that is being taken from us and given to companies through internet laws. I feel that if enough people are educated and more aware of what they are agreeing to without knowing it, we can speak up and go from being deceived to being well informed.

  18. In the society we live in today, there is no privacy. We have come to the point where we do not even think twice about clicking on that box and moving onto the next screen to use whatever service it is. In this TED talk by Finn Lützow-Holm Myrstad he mentions numerous great points and examples about what is happening with all our information when we check that little box and hit agree. Not only does all your information you put into that app get received by the company but so does a lot of information we are unaware of. Like when he talked about dating apps and how the one app he used to create an account on also got access to all his Facebook pictures, and the fact that they had all this information forever and you could never take it back. That is a very scary reality in today’s society, and having your personal information out there is not a good thing. With these big companies getting access to information we did not realize we were giving away, they are able to have a better target market, making us all walking targets for certain ads. You ever look something up on google, and then the next day you see an ad related to that search. It’s a scary thing what people and companies can do with the information they receive from us. I agree 100% with Finn about how these apps and companies need to give us our privacy and keep our information safe to build loyalty and trust between the users. If something does not happen soon, this problem will just keep on getting worse. I always found data privacy in apps and other services to be very interesting about how much of our information they actually get from us. Overall this was a very informative and interesting TED talk that shared a lot of great points on this issue, and that we need to do something about it.

  19. Growing up with technology by our sides, I think the current generation knows that nothing on the internet is ever truly “private.” A simple leak of a username, password, or answer to a security question leads to hundreds of thousands of leaks a day. This ted talk does a great job of explaining this, giving numerous great examples to what is actually happening to our data. In a world were somebody’s personal information can be shared by a literal click of a button, it is a known fact that no information online is secure. I think because of this, companies are spending a lot of their money assets on privacy protect, and I’m sure for most of these same companies, it takes up the majority of the funds. What’s the point of storing information about users and clients if anyone online has access to the same information? The answer: there is no point. Not protecting information is detrimental not only to the company (because it will lose information that could improve sales, etc.), but also to the users themselves.
    Imagine if you bank account information was stolen, and when you called the bank to fix the issue, they told you they didn’t have any security in order to counteract this issue. Not only would you be mad at the bank for allowing this to happen, you might also question the validity of the bank itself. This directly highlights why companies need to take privacy seriously; one small step in the wrong direction of protecting your user’s data and you might find yourself on the edge of losing everything.
    The next big issue I see when it comes to the privacy of the world is in regard to the terms of service subject. It’s almost laughable how easy it is for a company to shove all of the blame on users when it comes to a breach in their system. Usually in the terms of service section, there is a section about how “the company is not liable for any and all damages related to the product or service.” This should be a major red flag when it comes to users, but of course its easier to click straight through the prompt online instead of reading through the 15 pages of legal jargon. They do this on purpose though. This lets them accomplish two things; it protects them from any lawsuit that might be headed their way as well as keeps consumers from actually reading into what they are signing up for.
    The more the world changes, the more changes we see in technology. Hopefully there is a world one day where the internet is actually safe, and privacy concerns won’t be an issue… but in all reality, I’m assuming there will always be someone trying to pry the information from unsuspecting people. Today, data & information are the world’s greatest currency, and people are willing to do anything to get it. Whether that be hacking into company databases or simply a lackluster employee trying to make a quick buck, people will always believe that there is no privacy on the web.

  20. I remember hearing about the Cayla doll and how creepy it was. People eavesdropping on families in their homes and the potential for child predators listening in and talking to children was just too much, and rightfully so, the doll was banned. This Ted Talk episode touches on the “take it or leave it” terms and conditions that we all agree to when we download and use apps or when we purchase new devices. Finn Lutzow-Holm Myrstad is correct when he discusses how we are cornered into giving up every ounce of our privacy.

    I especially cringe at the thought of my photos being used by some entity 20 years from now for an advertisement that I never consented to. And the idea that health insurance companies can pay to receive your data (data that you agreed to let an app use in any way it chooses) and make decisions whether to insure you or not, or to determine how much your premiums will be. These are the slimy ways in which companies deceive and exploit us. I gave serious thought to what the speaker said about how if people were given the facts in an understandable way by these companies, or if people were told they were being watched, etc., people would change their behavior in order to protect their privacy.

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