Actually, you are the product
Now more than ever with this global pandemic happening since late 2019, our lives are being shaped by our interaction with the digital world - work meetings on Zoom followed by Skype or Messenger Video Call with your family before a quick run with your favourite running app and a google search for your next meal. Technologies and services offer us a lot and greatly improve our daily lives. But what's the real cost of these tools we rely on so much?
A lot of companies, especially those offering free services, collect data about you. It might be data you knowingly and willingly share to enjoy the benefits of the service (name, age, email address,..) or data that you might not realize you are sharing, like your approximate location through your IP address or your social network identifier or apps accessing your contacts.
While some of this data, and its collection, may appear harmless to some, what happens behind the scenes is a real source of concern as the data collection is only the first step in a long and opaque process. Adtech companies combine this information and create an assumed picture of you that we may call a digital doppelganger - Your "digital secret identity". Actually, you may have hundreds or thousands of different doppelgangers held by companies you've never heard of.
Our data are so valuable that big tech giants spend so much time and effort building the platform that is useful for us and giving those platforms to us for free. Well, this data is collected for a single purpose: to better predict your behaviour and target you with ads.
Imagine a person who has never talked about their political views online, never shared anything related to politics, never donated any money and never mentioned anything even in their private emails. Now the algorithms models that had been developed can analyse his/her Facebook likes or the music he/she listen to and with high accuracy can predict their political affiliation, and then being the target of unnecessary ads.
P.S: This is not only for political affiliation. It stands out for every products and service using these marketing tools.
Technology isn't just hardware and software; it's a fundamental component of every aspect of our lives and society. Inventions need to be created with social impact in mind. The invention should not be driven solely by profit, and the long-term effects should not be ignored and unknowable.
If you are not paying for it, you are not the customer. You are the product being sold. It's a powerful phrase, a modern dialogue to get people rethinking their relationship to social media.
With Digital Twin, regain your freedom where you will live your digital life securely and privately. Now, you will have one and unique digital identity to interact in human-to-human way with your peers, edit, manage and store your documents, publish your web and make automatic payments.
With Digital Twin, only you own your data and no one else.