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Data for the People: How to Make Our Post-Privacy Economy Work for You

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A long-time chief data scientist at Amazon shows how open data can make everyone, not just corporations, richer Every time we Google something, Facebook someone, Uber somewhere, or even just turn on a light, we create data that businesses collect and use to make decisions about us. In many ways this has improved our lives, yet, we as individuals do not benefit from this we A long-time chief data scientist at Amazon shows how open data can make everyone, not just corporations, richer Every time we Google something, Facebook someone, Uber somewhere, or even just turn on a light, we create data that businesses collect and use to make decisions about us. In many ways this has improved our lives, yet, we as individuals do not benefit from this wealth of data as much as we could. Moreover, whether it is a bank evaluating our credit worthiness, an insurance company determining our risk level, or a potential employer deciding whether we get a job, it is likely that this data will be used against us rather than for us. In Data for the People, Andreas Weigend draws on his years as a consultant for commerce, education, healthcare, travel and finance companies to outline how Big Data can work better for all of us. As of today, how much we benefit from Big Data depends on how closely the interests of big companies align with our own. Too often, outdated standards of control and privacy force us into unfair contracts with data companies, but it doesn't have to be this way. Weigend makes a powerful argument that we need to take control of how our data is used to actually make it work for us. Only then can we the people get back more from Big Data than we give it. Big Data is here to stay. Now is the time to find out how we can be empowered by it.


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A long-time chief data scientist at Amazon shows how open data can make everyone, not just corporations, richer Every time we Google something, Facebook someone, Uber somewhere, or even just turn on a light, we create data that businesses collect and use to make decisions about us. In many ways this has improved our lives, yet, we as individuals do not benefit from this we A long-time chief data scientist at Amazon shows how open data can make everyone, not just corporations, richer Every time we Google something, Facebook someone, Uber somewhere, or even just turn on a light, we create data that businesses collect and use to make decisions about us. In many ways this has improved our lives, yet, we as individuals do not benefit from this wealth of data as much as we could. Moreover, whether it is a bank evaluating our credit worthiness, an insurance company determining our risk level, or a potential employer deciding whether we get a job, it is likely that this data will be used against us rather than for us. In Data for the People, Andreas Weigend draws on his years as a consultant for commerce, education, healthcare, travel and finance companies to outline how Big Data can work better for all of us. As of today, how much we benefit from Big Data depends on how closely the interests of big companies align with our own. Too often, outdated standards of control and privacy force us into unfair contracts with data companies, but it doesn't have to be this way. Weigend makes a powerful argument that we need to take control of how our data is used to actually make it work for us. Only then can we the people get back more from Big Data than we give it. Big Data is here to stay. Now is the time to find out how we can be empowered by it.

30 review for Data for the People: How to Make Our Post-Privacy Economy Work for You

  1. 5 out of 5

    ☘Misericordia☘ ⚡ϟ⚡⛈⚡☁ ❇️❤❣

    While it's interesting that the author's take on the big data is quite upbeat, personally I think we've yet to see that the digi-fishbowl isn't a comfy place to live it. Takeouts: - Agency - Transparency - Social data - Empowerment Hail to our new master: raw data and whatever crap gets crunched out of it. Q: Many marketers talk about targeting, segmentation, conversion. I don't know about you, but I don't want to be targeted, segmented, converted, or sliced and diced. These aren't expressions of agenc While it's interesting that the author's take on the big data is quite upbeat, personally I think we've yet to see that the digi-fishbowl isn't a comfy place to live it. Takeouts: - Agency - Transparency - Social data - Empowerment Hail to our new master: raw data and whatever crap gets crunched out of it. Q: Many marketers talk about targeting, segmentation, conversion. I don't know about you, but I don't want to be targeted, segmented, converted, or sliced and diced. These aren't expressions of agency. (c) Q: Data of the people and by the people can be for the people - if we rise to the challenge. I invite you to join the revolution. (c) Q: Data are the new oil. (c) Sad, actually.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Graeme Roberts

    What an important book! Data is the largest and fastest growing business, frequently called "the new oil." It brings us great benefits, but as Andreas Weigend, the former Chief Technical Officer of Amazon, points out we should have rights over its usage and characteristics. The book (assembled for him by a British writer, from many presentations) is lucid, interesting, and evenhanded. We should love our data, and the goodness it can bring, but beware criminals and authoritarian regimes who would What an important book! Data is the largest and fastest growing business, frequently called "the new oil." It brings us great benefits, but as Andreas Weigend, the former Chief Technical Officer of Amazon, points out we should have rights over its usage and characteristics. The book (assembled for him by a British writer, from many presentations) is lucid, interesting, and evenhanded. We should love our data, and the goodness it can bring, but beware criminals and authoritarian regimes who would use it to cheat, control, and persecute us. Forty years ago, in Australia, the abusive (indeed criminal) release of confidential medical information radically altered the course of my own life. Despite the vastly increased sharing of data today, I believe that our data are much better protected by law than they were then. The big data companies, like Google, Facebook, Amazon, and LinkedIn, which Weigend calls "refineries" seem to be well aware of their responsibilities, and are increasingly active in working with us to help control, blur, and use our own data.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Charlene

    It might sound funny but​, to me, this book reads like a modern day ​Leviathan. ​Instead of discussing how citizens trade their personal freedoms for the security provided by the government (Leviathan), which limits those freedoms, this ​​author discussed how citizens today are trading privacy for targeted information that will help them better navigate the world. Humans increasingly use targeted information (data sharing) to help them find answers to questions, find the best products to by, and It might sound funny but​, to me, this book reads like a modern day ​Leviathan. ​Instead of discussing how citizens trade their personal freedoms for the security provided by the government (Leviathan), which limits those freedoms, this ​​author discussed how citizens today are trading privacy for targeted information that will help them better navigate the world. Humans increasingly use targeted information (data sharing) to help them find answers to questions, find the best products to by, and even find people to spend the rest of their lives with. However, this author wants his reader to think about the fairness of the exchange of information that is taking place. That is, are you giving powerful corporations more information than they are giving you? If so, what can citizens do to ensure they are getting as much benefit as the corporations or government do from data sharing? ​Unfortunately, when Hobbes wrote Leviathan, he ignored what the State's power meant for minorities (That would have to wait for Rousseau's response to Hobbes). Happily, this book does not follow in Leviathan's footsteps, at least in this regard. Weigend made sure to dedicate some of his book to what transparency means for minorities. His discussion on police body cameras and transparency in law enforcement was excellent. At times the book was humorous. Weigend​ compared some of the big companies and government agencies to the type of people most of us are all too familiar with, the type of person who demands complete transparency and accountability from everyone else while they try to keep all their information locked up tight. Those types of people usually want to know what you are thinking and doing while they keep their own motivations and actions secret. It provides them quite the advantage. Companies often want as much information from their consumers so that they can sell them more stuff and make more money. But, is that beneficial to the consumer? Weigend lists plenty of scenarios in which it is or is not as beneficial to the consumer (e.g. Verizon states, "This call may be monitored for quality assurance, but quality for whom-- especially if the consumer is denied access to that recording). I especially enjoyed his discussion of what can happen when mistrust runs amuck. If a consumer has severe mistrust of a company, the consumer will give fake info or flat out refuse to share info. This results in the consumer not getting targeted treatment like other consumers receive. In short, they lose out. In other scenarios though, a consumer gives information and that information is exploited. The author engages in many discussions, laced throughout the book, about different types of info sharing models used by various companies. Some are downright ingenious because the structure of the model ensures that companies can't exploit consumers. ​A few times, Weigend surprised me with tidbits of information I didn't ​know prior to reading this book. A really humorous example comes from Netflix. They don't trust you when you rate a movie. You might think yourself cultured. Thus you might rate a documentary or acclaimed film highly while you rate American Pie or Say it isn't So (one of my personal favorite dumb movies) low. However, Netflix knows you. If Netflix were Gwen Stefani, it would sing to you, 'I know you good, I know you good, I know you real good, oh." And, it really *does* know you good, the *real* you. When providing you with recommendations, Netflix is far more concerned with how much time you actually view a movie. If you fast forwarded through the documentary but rewinded the funniest scenes of American Pie, Netflix would rate American Pie higher and documentary lower, even if you rated doc higher and American Pie lower. Meaning, Netflix communicates and responds to the real you (that it knows so "good") and not the you that you try to present to the world. Another tidbit of info that I found interesting had to do with online dating. Online dating sites wanted their consumers to feel safe and comfortable, but there will always be a portion of people in the world who just suck. So, the sites created info gathering techniques that would help them identify creeps. It seems that it is pretty standard to create "creepinator" software to target creeps and keep them from interacting with the general public. But, that is a tricky business because what is creepy to one person is a turn on to another. Sometimes though, software can identify someone is generally creepy to everyone (uses rude or insulting language like "nasty," sends repeated unwanted communications to people who have not communicated back, and so on). My favorite tangent by far was the story Weigend chose to start the book. His father, an educator, had been targeted by the Stasi. When Weigend requested his father's file, he found out the Stasi had collected a file on not just his father, but him! You might think this type of invasion of privacy would make Weigend an advocate for privacy groups. However, he thinks there are far more advantages to sharing info than there are disadvantages. It is from his, 'Technology is good and sharing info is inevitable," stance that Weingend discusses data sharing in general. Weingend ended his book by talking about data in healthcare. To my delight, he highlighted Eric Topol's work. If you have not read Topol's The Doctor Will See You Now, you are missing out. Weingend has the same concerns about healthcare that he does about other companies, when it comes to the balance of data sharing. He provides some tips on how to maximize your agency and make sharing your personal data work for you and not against you. The epilogue featured Plato's Cave. What a perfect way to end the book.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Elena

    3.7 stars. Memorabilia. Why there are so many former physicists among data scientists: digital behaviour of invisible people is similar to that of particles, detected by their interactions. Chimneys as technology enabling privacy (allowing to separate spaces by walls) especially after Benjamin Franklin invented Pennsylvania stove in 1741. Cameras in devises that track eye's focus. The screens are scrolled down automatically as the eyes reach the bottom. Identifying potential medical problems by 3.7 stars. Memorabilia. Why there are so many former physicists among data scientists: digital behaviour of invisible people is similar to that of particles, detected by their interactions. Chimneys as technology enabling privacy (allowing to separate spaces by walls) especially after Benjamin Franklin invented Pennsylvania stove in 1741. Cameras in devises that track eye's focus. The screens are scrolled down automatically as the eyes reach the bottom. Identifying potential medical problems by comparing data on walking patterns from the individual's past to the present. Figuring out where the sheap originated by looking up unique code on a sweater (including the history of the area). Figuring out return on data to understand if dealing with a particular data refinary makes sense.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Cliff Chew

    As someone who works as a data analyst, this book actually covers very interesting concepts that I actually never have come across before, and I reckon that I am someone that has read quite extensively about this field. I would recommend this book for someone who wants general and yet also some slightly deep content on data analytics. One thing about this book that I felt was harder to appreciate is that the book covers many grounds, and hence, I was too keen on all the topics covered. That said As someone who works as a data analyst, this book actually covers very interesting concepts that I actually never have come across before, and I reckon that I am someone that has read quite extensively about this field. I would recommend this book for someone who wants general and yet also some slightly deep content on data analytics. One thing about this book that I felt was harder to appreciate is that the book covers many grounds, and hence, I was too keen on all the topics covered. That said, I would recommend this book to anyone interested in a non-technical, broad coverage of data science.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Everest Law

    A timely book Weigend attempted to outline a version of digital rights in the age of data, and I applaud him for doing so. He made his case using mostly examples from existing data practices and services (some of which he already approves of), and suggested improvements where applicable. If nothing else, this makes the book enjoyable for those who are familiar with popular data services (e.g. LinkedIn and Amazon), and would like to utilize their full potential. In addition to Western examples, We A timely book Weigend attempted to outline a version of digital rights in the age of data, and I applaud him for doing so. He made his case using mostly examples from existing data practices and services (some of which he already approves of), and suggested improvements where applicable. If nothing else, this makes the book enjoyable for those who are familiar with popular data services (e.g. LinkedIn and Amazon), and would like to utilize their full potential. In addition to Western examples, Weighed also draws on innovations by the Chinese IT sector to argue for his vision --- and the book benefited from his globalized vision A weaker part of the book is his attempt to outline a cost-benefit analysis for sharing private data. These things are hard to quantify, efforts to do so are fat and between, and it's just difficult to write about this convincingly for a lay audience

  7. 5 out of 5

    Edmund

    The value received from social media comes with the price of reduced data privacy. Furthermore, the increased rate of sensor data increases our loss of data privacy. Modern technology brings with it not only the loss of data privacy, but the loss of personal privacy. This is because data analysts have access to a vast wealth of data that can be mined for surprisingly personal insights. The author argues that we can no longer hope to control this and now should redirect our attention to how we ca The value received from social media comes with the price of reduced data privacy. Furthermore, the increased rate of sensor data increases our loss of data privacy. Modern technology brings with it not only the loss of data privacy, but the loss of personal privacy. This is because data analysts have access to a vast wealth of data that can be mined for surprisingly personal insights. The author argues that we can no longer hope to control this and now should redirect our attention to how we can make this "post-privacy economy" work for us.

  8. 5 out of 5

    桂英 吴

    ภาคภาษาไทยแปลได้แย่มาก ภาษาไม่สละสลวยเลย แปลตรงตามภาษาอังกฤษต้นฉบับเป๊ะ ๆ ตัวเนื้อหาเอง ก็เหมือนฟังนักเขียนมาพร่ำบ่นว่า ควรจะมีกฎหมายคุ้มครองข้อมูลอย่างไร เราควรจะเปิดโอกาสในการให้ข้อมูล แต่มีสิทธิ์ในการจัดการข้อมูลตัวเองด้วยอะไรแบบนั้น สุดท้าย อ่านแบบหงุดหงิดในสำนวนแปล และเนื้อหาของหนังสือเองด้วย ความรู้ที่ได้เรื่องจากหนังสือเรื่องนี้ ให้ 4 หน้ากระดาษจาก 400 หน้าพอ อ่านหนังสือแนวนี้ 3 เล่ม รวมเล่มนี้ ได้เนื้อหาที่อยากรู้จากเล่มอื่น (มี 1 เล่ม ใน 3 เล่ม ที่โอเค)

  9. 4 out of 5

    Shobanam Batumalai

    The first few pages got me thinking on the fragility of privacy of data is at this current stage and how it can backfire us if we as citizens of this world do not protect it enough. We need to be empowered to make smart decisions for ourselves and to protect our interest when dealing with Big Data. There is no escaping surely but there is definitely a workaround and this book tells us what they are and how we can do it.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Piyachat

    ได้รู้มุมมองและข้อคิดใหม่ๆ ในการนำ Data ไปใช้ มีการยกตัวอย่างเคสต่างๆ ซึ่งน่าสนใจมาก และทำให้เราตระหนักถึงควรมีสิทธิ์ในการเป็นเจ้าของข้อมูลของเรา สิทธิ์ในเข้าถึง รวมถึงสามารถแก้ไขได้ ซึ่งปัจจุบันผู้คนก็เริ่มตระหนักถึงปัญหานี้มากขึ้น จากกฎหมายที่ออกมาคุ้มครองข้อมูลส่วนตัวของผู้ใช้ แต่รู้สึกว่าการเรียบเรียงคำ หรือการแปลยังไม่สละสลวยเท่าที่ควร ทำให้ดูไม่เป็นธรรมชาติ หรือไม่เข้าใจเนื้อหาที่ต้องการจะสื่อในบางครั้ง ต้องวนกลับไปอ่านประโยคเดิมซ้ำหลายรอบ

  11. 4 out of 5

    Jacob Jozefiak

    The author spends more time talking about how data can theoretically be used than recommending how to "make our post-privacy economy work for you". The points on transparency and agency of an individual's data are strong points. However, these points could be covered in about half the time since a considerable amount of space is provided to tangents. The tangents are interesting, but confuse the message. The author spends more time talking about how data can theoretically be used than recommending how to "make our post-privacy economy work for you". The points on transparency and agency of an individual's data are strong points. However, these points could be covered in about half the time since a considerable amount of space is provided to tangents. The tangents are interesting, but confuse the message.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Sam Motes

    Covers the changing dynamics of security and privacy in an always on world where not only your internet surfing patterns but your use of the IOT (Internet of Things) reports on your every activity to build an insane profile of who you truly are. Wiegend builds the case for some interesting changes that could allow the user to own their digital footprint to some degree.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Tom

    Longer than it needed to be; more than you wanted to know about the people who know all about you, like Facebook, Gmail, and the like. The prescription is for more activity, with or without more benefit.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Roman Fiodorov

    Вроде и примеров много, и темы интересные, но подача оставляет желать лучшего. Хотя допускаю что все дело а том, что читал русский перевод. Есть много интересных мыслей, но они настолько точечно расположены, что чаще всего просто теряются.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Jason

    Great overview of the data that companies are collecting and does a good job balancing every chapter by talking about implied ethical issues and being optimistic about how data collection can be a positive force.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Tamler

    Fine breakdown of digital privacy and security. It is a nuanced and difficult new world to navigate and we are ill equipped at the moment.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Randall

    In "Data for the People", the author argues that we, as users of the internet, give up not only privacy in exchange for services such as email and online shopping, but that we give up our data which companies use to improve their services, their marketing, and their profits. To that end, he thinks in exchange for privacy and data we should not only get what the internet currently provides us, but that we should be able to see the data we are giving up and have more agency over it. In other words In "Data for the People", the author argues that we, as users of the internet, give up not only privacy in exchange for services such as email and online shopping, but that we give up our data which companies use to improve their services, their marketing, and their profits. To that end, he thinks in exchange for privacy and data we should not only get what the internet currently provides us, but that we should be able to see the data we are giving up and have more agency over it. In other words, we are currently getting the short end of this deal and we should demand more information and control over our data. While the author goes into great detail about how our lives as users of the internet will improve with greater access and agency of our data, he spends much less time discussing the dangers of all this data either in the hands of private companies or governments. He's sold on the idea of the more data the better and that is his focus.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Kaitlin Marquardt

    If there was one book I read this year that I'd want others to read, this is it. It's an incredible science based view of the possibilities of people being empowered by their data. Andreas shares examples in every area of a person's life where the power could shift to the individual. This is quite different than most perspectives of data and algorithms. They are often presented in a negative way, because of how corporations are using them and the inherent bias they acquire from us. This book has If there was one book I read this year that I'd want others to read, this is it. It's an incredible science based view of the possibilities of people being empowered by their data. Andreas shares examples in every area of a person's life where the power could shift to the individual. This is quite different than most perspectives of data and algorithms. They are often presented in a negative way, because of how corporations are using them and the inherent bias they acquire from us. This book has heavily influenced my view of the future of technology and solidified the importance of an individual's right to their own data. As a scientist working on a quantitative self research project, I'm thankful for the guidance this book has provided.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Kathy Nealen

    Data is being collected about us everywhere and being used without our awareness. If we have a smartphone or some types of cars, our location can be traced. There is both some comfort and some fear in knowing this. All of this data can help us with our health, safety and even basic consumer decisions. But it can also be used to violate our privacy and manipulate us. We need to have a better understanding of the data about us and more control of it. I don’t expect most people will make the effort Data is being collected about us everywhere and being used without our awareness. If we have a smartphone or some types of cars, our location can be traced. There is both some comfort and some fear in knowing this. All of this data can help us with our health, safety and even basic consumer decisions. But it can also be used to violate our privacy and manipulate us. We need to have a better understanding of the data about us and more control of it. I don’t expect most people will make the effort.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Dmytro

    Загалом цікава книга з багатьма конкретними кейсами. Але практично відсутні будь-які технічні деталі, методи, алгоритми та ін. Тому сприймайте цю книгу як для загально розвитку та для поверхневого розуміння куди рухатимуться моделі збору, обробки та публікації персональних та загальнодоступних даних

  21. 5 out of 5

    Cyndi

    I loved this book. It helped me feed my curiosity about data in society. It is a good book about the cultural aspects of the data that we are creating and a good discussion about privacy. Although, I disagree with the author on whether or not privacy is a necessity.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Jeremiah Williams

  23. 5 out of 5

    Jate Saitthiti

  24. 5 out of 5

    Julian Pecenco

  25. 4 out of 5

    Dongus

  26. 4 out of 5

    Thikhakan Suksangwal

  27. 5 out of 5

    Jacktober

  28. 4 out of 5

    Andrei

  29. 5 out of 5

    Juliet

    Read an advanced copy for a November 2016 course with Weigend at Fudan Univeristy

  30. 5 out of 5

    Anita

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