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Eli Pariser habla de “La burbuja de los filtros: lo que Internet te oculta” (2 de 2)

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So, what are they saying, the leaders of Google, Facebook, Yahoo!? I mean, are you talking to them? Well, I tried to. You know, I had a brief conversation with Larry Page, in which he said, "Well, I don’t think this is a very interesting problem." And that was about that. But, you know, further down in Google, there are a bunch of people who are wrestling with this. I think the challenge is — I talked to one Facebook engineer who sort of summed it up quite well and he said, "Look, what we love doing is sitting around and coming up with new clever ways of getting people to spend more minutes on Facebook, and we’re very good at that. and this, is a much more complicated thing that you’re asking us to do, where you’re asking us to think about sort of our social responsibility and our civic responsibility, what kind of information is important. This is a much more complicated problem. We just want to do the easy stuff." And, you know, I think that’s what’s sort of led us to this current place. I think there are also people who see the flipside of that and say this is one of the big, juicy problems in front of us, is how do we actually take the best of sort of 20th century editorial values and import them into these new systems that are deciding what people see and what people don’t see. Talk about how much money is being made off of this. And I mean, just this neutral term of "personalization" — Right. — it sounds so benign. In fact, it sounds attractive. It sounds great, yeah. It’s geared and tailored for you. What could be better? Right. And it does rely on the sense of a sort of cozy, familiar world online, where your favorite website greets you and goes, "Oh, hey, Eli, we’ve teed up all of these articles for you. Welcome." It feels very good. But, you know, what’s driving this is – you know, in some ways, this is the driving struggle on the internet right now between all of these different companies, to accumulate the biggest amounts of data on each of us. And Facebook has its strategy, which is basically ask people to tell Facebook about themselves. Google has its strategy, which is to watch your clicks. Microsoft and Yahoo! have their strategies. And all of this feeds into a database, which can then be used to do three things. It can target ads better, so you get better targeted ads, which honestly, I think, you know, sometimes is fine, if you know that it’s happening. It can target content, which I think is much more problematic. You start to get content that just reflects what it thinks you want to see. And then the third thing is, and it can make decisions about you. So, one of the sort of more surprising findings in the book was that banks are beginning to look at people’s Facebook friends and their credit ratings in order to decide to whom to give — to offer credit. And this is based on this fact that, you know, if you look at the credit ratings of people, you can make predictions about the credit ratings of their friends. It’s very creepy, though, because really what you’re saying then is that it would be better not to be Facebook friends with people who have lower credit ratings. It's not really the kind of society that we want to be building, particularly. Well, even more frightening, obviously, is once all of this information, personal information, is gathered, it saves the government, in its ability to surveil its population, a lot of work, because basically the private companies can gather the information, and all the government has to do is issue the subpoena or make the call that "for national security, we need this information." So, in essence, it doesn’t have to do the actual surveillance. It just has to be able to use it when it needs to. There’s a funny Onion article that has the headline "CIA Rules Out Very Successful New Facebook Program," implying that the CIA started Facebook to to gather data. And it’s funny, but there is sort of some truth there, which is that these companies do have these massive data bases, and the protections that we have for our data that live on these servers are far less protection than if it’s on your home computer. The FBI needs to do much less paperwork in order to ask Google for your data than it does to, you know, come into your home and look at your computer. And so, increasingly — so this is sort of the downside of cloud computing, is that it allows more and more of our data and everything that we do to be available to the government and, you know, for their purposes. And not only in a democracy, but in an authoritarian state, as well. That’s right. I mean, it’s a natural byproduct of consolidating so much of what we do online in a few big companies that really don’t have a whole lot of accountability, you know, that aren’t being pushed very hard by governments to do this right or do it responsibly. It will naturally lead to abuses. Google Inc. announced yesterday that they have launched a bid to dominate a world in which the smartphone replaces the wallet as the container for credit cards, coupons and receipts. The mobile app is called Google Wallet. How does this fit into this picture? Well, it’s just another — I mean, the way that Google thinks is, how can we design products that people will use that allow us to accumulate even more data about them? So, obviously, once you start to have a sense of everything that people are buying flowing through Google’s servers, then you have way more data on which to target ads and target content and do this kind of personalization. You know exactly how to slice and dice people. And again, you know, in some contexts, that’s fine, actually. I don’t mind when I go on Amazon, and it recommends books. They’re obviously not very good recommendations sometimes, but it’s fine. But when it’s happening invisibly and when it’s shaping not just what you buy but what you know about the world, I think, you know, is more of a problem. And if this is going to be sort of the way that the future of the internet looks, then we need to make sure that it’s much more transparent when this is happening, so that we know when things are being targeted to us. And we have to make sure that we have some control as consumers over this, that it’s not just in the hands of these big companies that have very different interests So, you have a powerful force, Eli Pariser. You were the head of MoveOn.org. Now you’re what? The chair of the board — I’m on the board, yeah. — of MoveOn.org. So, this, MoveOn, has millions of people it reaches all over the country. What will MoveOn do about this? Well, you know, there’s sort of this dance here, because basically MoveOn takes on the issues that its members want to take up. So I’ve been very — you know, I don’t want to sort of impose by fiat that I wrote a book, and here’s — now we’re going to campaign about this. But, you know, there are campaigns that we’re starting to look at. One of them, I think, that’s very simple but actually would go a significant way is just to, you know, have a basic — have a way of signaling on Facebook that something is important, even if it’s not likable. Obviously this is sort of just one small piece, but actually, if you did have an "important" button, you would start having a lot of different information propagating across Facebook. You’d have people exposed to things that maybe aren’t as smile-inducing, but we really need to know. And Facebook is actually considering adding some new verbs. So, this could be a winnable thing. It’s not — it won’t solve the whole problem, but it would start to indicate — it would start to remind these companies that there are ways that they can start to build in, you know, some more kind of civic values into what they’re doing. And any sense that in Congress any of the politicians are paying attention to some of these issues? Or understand this? Yeah, there are a few that have been really attentive to this. Al Franken, in particular, has been very good on these data and privacy issues and really pushing forward. It’s obviously challenging because a lot of the Democratic congressmen and women are — get a lot of money from these companies, Silicon Valley. You know, certainly the Obama administration and Obama got a lot of support from Silicon Valley. So, they don’t totally want to get on the wrong side of these companies. And they feel like the companies are on the side of good and on the side of sort of pushing the world in the direction that they want it to. It means that we don’t have as good congressional watchdogs as you would hope, but there are a few good ones. And Franken, in particular, has been great on this. Well, Eli Pariser, I want to thank you for your work and for writing The Filter Bubble: What the Internet Is Hiding from You, board president and former executive director of MoveOn.org, which at five million members is one of the largest citizens’ organizations in American politics. This is Democracy Now!, democracynow.org, The War and Peace Report. Back in a minute.

Video Details

Duration: 9 minutes and 22 seconds
Country: United States
Language: English
Genre: None
Producer: Democracy Now!
Views: 61
Posted by: democracynowes on Jun 22, 2011

Internet se está convirtiendo cada vez más en una cámara de resonancia donde los sitios web adaptan la información a las preferencias que detectan de cada usuario. Cuando los usuarios buscan la palabra “Egipto”, algunos pueden consultar las últimas noticias sobre la revolución y otros pueden solamente consultar los resultados relacionados con unas vacaciones en ese país. Los cincuenta sitios web principales toman un promedio de 64 bits de información personal cada vez que alguien visita su página y luego diseñan sus sitios de acuerdo a las preferencias que los usuarios manifestan.

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