Wednesday, December 28, 2016

VR Analytics=Privacy Invasion? (part 2/4)

In 2012, Facebook data scientists conducted a study titled, “Experimental evidence of massive-scale emotional contagion through social networks.” The study involved the secret modification of users’ news feeds to include positive or negative content. The emotional states of the users were then analyzed by studying their posts. “The goal of everything we do is to change people’s actual behavior at scale…We can capture their behaviors, identify good and bad behaviors, and develop ways to reward the good and punish the bad,” said one chief data scientist in a conversation with Harvard business professor Shoshanna Zuboff. Cookies and other tracking code are already being used by online advertisers to track the behaviors and habits of internet users, with details including the sites they visit and how long they spend scrolling, highlighting, or hovering their mouse over certain parts of a page. Google scans emails and private chats for information useful in “personalizing” content and for ad targeting. Yet that information is considered primitive compared to the kind of data that can be harvested through VR.

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