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Google’s Latest Plan to Sell Your Data Will Leave you FURIOUS

Giving our behavioral data to companies with this grand a scope will likely never be completely safe, but this is beyond reproach. 

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Google

One of the most invasive and unnerving realizations that we must face in our new technological age is the fact that we are very literally being mined by the products that we use.

There is a great deal of convenience in the internet.  We can use it to travel around our city on even the busiest of days with ease.  We can order any number of dishes from any number of restaurants.  Heck, we can even rent an electric scooter to ride around town, leaving it where we like when we’re finished.

But, as the wise have always told us, nothing in this life is free.  Sure, we pay for these services, and we pay to have access to the internet, but that’s not nearly all of the value that is being taken from us by the corporations whom we trust online.

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Google, Facebook, and others have long been selling our online behavioral data to advertisers, in order for those advertisers to then weaponize their work in the most effective ways.  Google is literally telling Dupont and these other enormous chemical companies, what time of day is best for them to run laundry detergent commercials in order to maximize their weaseling into our pockets.

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Worse still; this game is played at such a high level that only Holy Rollers need apply for a seat.  That means that you and I are simply pawns in the game.

Has that stopped forward-facing companies like Google from continuing this habitual debauchery?  Of course not.

And it’s getting worse. 

MOST OF THE data collected by urban planners is messy, complex, and difficult to represent. It looks nothing like the smooth graphs and clean charts of city life in urban simulator games like “SimCity.” A new initiative from Sidewalk Labs, the city-building subsidiary of Google’s parent company Alphabet, has set out to change that.

The program, known as Replica, offers planning agencies the ability to model an entire city’s patterns of movement. Like “SimCity,” Replica’s “user-friendly” tool deploys statistical simulations to give a comprehensive view of how, when, and where people travel in urban areas. It’s an appealing prospect for planners making critical decisions about transportation and land use. In recent months, transportation authorities in Kansas City, Portland, and the Chicago area have signed up to glean its insights. The only catch: They’re not completely sure where the data is coming from.

This “appealing prospect” sounds a lot more like data harvesting for the sake of targeting us with more advertisements.

To make these measurements, the program gathers and de-identifies the location of cellphone users, which it obtains from unspecified third-party vendors. It then models this anonymized data in simulations — creating a synthetic population that faithfully replicates a city’s real-world patterns but that “obscures the real-world travel habits of individual people,” as Bowden told The Intercept.

The program comes at a time of growing unease with how tech companies use and share our personal data — and raises new questions about Google’s encroachment on the physical world.

Concerns over the use of this GPS data are obvious enough to understand, but a fun analogy awaits you anyway:

Let’s say that Amazon puts a new Whole Foods store in your town, and Google isn’t happy about it for whatever reason.  Google has the power to reroute traffic to the area near that store to make it an unappealing commute.  Eventually, people will stop coming.

Or, even crazier, if Google decided they didn’t want the location to even show up in their Maps app.  You could be literally lost, confused, and impaired while driving.

Giving our behavioral data to companies with this grand a scope will likely never be completely safe, but this is beyond reproach.

 

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Clandestine Cabal Seeks to Hide Info in Jeffrey Epstein Case

Speculation over the identities of the concerned parties has run rampant online, given how well connected Epstein is.

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Jeffrey Epstein

In the pantheon of political pop culture, Jefferey Epstein is a bit of a lightning rod of controversy…as he should be. Epstein, who has already settled a lawsuit alleging him of sexually trafficking underage girls, is now fighting to keep some of the secrets of that case under wraps after an earlier adjudication was set to unseal the files. Epstein, who has been linked to some of America’s most powerful politicians and personalities, now has some reinforcements in his quest to keep his crimes quiet. Two mystery litigants citing privacy concerns are making a last-ditch bid to keep secret some details in a lawsuit stemming from wealthy financier Jeffrey Epstein’s history of paying underage girls for sex. Just prior to a court-imposed deadline Tuesday, two anonymous individuals surfaced to object to the unsealing of a key lower-court ruling in the case, as well as various submissions by the parties. Both people filed their complaints in the New York-based 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals, which is overseeing the case. The two people said they could face unwarranted speculation and embarrassment if the court makes public records from the suit, in which Virginia Giuffre, an alleged Epstein victim, accused longtime Epstein friend Ghislaine Maxwell of engaging in sex trafficking by facilitating his sexual encounters with teenage girls. Maxwell has denied the charges. Speculation over the identities of the concerned parties has run rampant online, given how well connected Epstein is. [Bill] Clinton, the 42nd president of the United States, was friends with Epstein and often flew on his plane and visited him on his island. Epstein donated to the Clinton Foundation and various Democratic causes and candidates. However, there has been no evidence that he was involved with underage sex activities. [Kenneth Starr is a]…former federal judge, U.S. solicitor general and independent…

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Reports Out of Camp Biden Say A Flag-Burning Running Mate is In The Works

The democratic frontrunner hasn’t even announced his candidacy yet.

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Joe Biden

Joe Biden is an odd bird, there’s no doubt about it, but that hasn’t stopped the democrats from being concerned over his physical and fiscal attributes on the eve of his long-coming 2020 presidential announcement. Biden, who has not officially announced, allowed a well-calculated “slip of the tongue” to be a barometer for himself last week should he go through with it.  And with a nearly complete staff underneath him, it’s really a matter of “when” and not “if” we find ourselves with Biden on the ballot. Now, in an oddly early bit of political chess, Biden’s “not yet campaign” is the source of a report that has the former Vice President eyeing up a controversial VP pick of his own. Advisers for former Vice President Joe Biden’s 2020 presidential campaign-in-waiting are debating whether to name failed gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams as his running mate, a Thursday report says. According to Axios, Biden aides believe adding Abrams to the ticket would send a strong signal to voters that he’s not “just another old white guy.” The outlet said Team Biden isn’t going all-in on picking the rising progressive star just yet, worrying that the move could be received as a “gimmick” and open the former Vice President up to a new line of attacks. The move comes at a time in which the democratic party polling shows that rich, old, white men are the most popular candidates that they have so far. Abrams has long been chastised by patriotic Americans for her involvement in a particular protest. Stacey Abrams on Tuesday defended her presence at a 1992 burning of a Georgia state flag, which contained the Confederate battle flag design, saying at a gubernatorial debate, “I’m a very proud Georgian.” “Twenty-six years ago as a college freshman, I along with many other Georgians — including…

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