“Behavioural micro-targeting” is one of the freakiest things to come out of 2016. This is the use of mass data collection and data analysis to individually target people online with advertisements and propaganda designed to be most effective to their personality.
The Observer recently published a large, but worthwhile article detailing the shady connections of Cambridge Analytica, the company at the forefront of this scary new industry, especially in regards to Britain’s pro-Brexit campaigns.
Here’s what’s most concerning. These are technologies previously contracted by the military in developing nations to manipulate and study public opinion. Now they’re being used by whoever can afford them to influence (or manipulate?) elections and referendums in the ‘developed’ world. These are technologies that can evaluate a person better than a work colleague can, possibly even more than the target themselves can.
Just think about how utterly crazy that is. Technology used by the military to influence foreign elections (already terrible!), is now something billionaires can rent.
It’s often not realised how much of our personal data is collected, bought, and sold behind our backs. Nearly every move you make and thing you type whilst connected to the internet can be and will probably be collected and used to profit of us, or in this case, target us for political manipulation.
The shady connections, shady people, and covert behaviour certainly breed no confidence.
I definitely suggest you read these articles.