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How do you feel about being spied on by a program?

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posted on Mar, 27 2010 @ 07:52 PM
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What I mean by that is, the "thing" doing the spying isn't a person, it is a program. The method could be through your laptop webcam. The program itself could be designed to recognize certain realities, for instance: any particular aspect of your overall appearance or behaviours, any word uttered within microphone distance, any sound at all.

Here I will reiterate, (in my imaginary scenario,) there is no person that will ever see or hear any of this material. Every bit of data that goes into the program will only ever be processed by a machine brain. (Somehow, this would have to be provable, but for my question to be answered properly, it is important that the question of trust be a non-issue.) Somehow, you must believe that only the machine (program) will be spying on you, knowing the results and "thinking about" those results.

The programs purpose could simply be to recommend ads for what it "thinks" you would spend money on.

"This person is skinny and has a beard." = "Get ripped fast!"
"This person is fat and eats alot." = "Doritos."
"This person used the words "buy a new car."" = "local car ads."
etc...

How do you feel about that? (Remember, knowing that no person will ever see or hear what the program gets to.)

Would that be okay with you?

(Please, for the love of ATS, don't respond with machine trust issues... You can say that the machine spying on you is still an invasion of privacy but you cannot say that a human is going to be spying on you.)

But if you do, my next question is, "Why do you care what a machine knows about you?"

For bonus points: What things could your computer advertise for you, if it was "spying on you?"

[edit on 27-3-2010 by briantaylor]

[edit on 27-3-2010 by briantaylor]




posted on Mar, 27 2010 @ 08:02 PM
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reply to post by briantaylor
 


It would be annoying more than anything, but are you trying to think about whether or not it would be a privacy issue?

I can't imagine that I would be embarrassed in front of a computer any more than a fat person is embarrassed by what the scale "knows" or an ugly person by what the mirror "knows." Privacy and embarressement come from your perception about what other people think or know about you and how they precieve/judge you. A computer would make no subjective judgements on a person, and they're too non-human seeming for us to develope a theory of mind for them( meaning we don't form beliefs about their mental states the way we do with humans or certain animals).



posted on Mar, 27 2010 @ 08:13 PM
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reply to post by OnceReturned
 


Thanks for your reply.

Why annoying?

Also, do you think the program would be legal?

[edit on 27-3-2010 by briantaylor]



posted on Mar, 27 2010 @ 08:14 PM
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reply to post by briantaylor
 


It's called hacking and anyone can do it, as long as you take the time. Honestly, for you all you know, I'm watching your IP address bounce from your router to your ISP to ATS and so on.



posted on Mar, 27 2010 @ 08:25 PM
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I make no noise when I am on the computer besides the sounds of typing... or when I am talking to someone. I honestly just ignore adds.



posted on Mar, 27 2010 @ 08:28 PM
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reply to post by briantaylor
 


I just mean the ads would be annoying, but all ads are annoying.

I don't think it would really bother people, except for those conspiracy fellows who could never - even for the sake of the thought experiment - accept that the information would not handed over to the goverment. So, I don't think there would be any reason for it to be illegal, at least in your scenario. In reality the risk of hackers and abuse by the government or corporations would be uncomfortably high for many people.

But if it were absolutely true that no person were ever involved then no, there is nothing bad about a computer knowing about you. Is there anything you wouldn't want a goldfish to know about you? I think the goldfish and the computer are equally of zero concern to me when it comes to exposing the details of my life to them.



posted on Mar, 27 2010 @ 08:41 PM
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Originally posted by briantaylor
How do you feel about being spied on by a program?


I feel doubleplus ungood about it, comrade.

Any info collected by a program has the potential to be used (or, more likely, abused) by a human. There are no "Chinese walls" when it comes to survalience.



posted on Mar, 27 2010 @ 09:48 PM
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reply to post by briantaylor

I think OnceReturned said it best:


Originally posted by OnceReturned
In reality the risk of hackers and abuse by the government or corporations would be uncomfortably high for many people.


I know you asked us to just have 100% faith (in this scenario) that there would be no human involved at all but then I have to ask - how would you ever take this thought experiment to fruition if you deny the reality of people thinking this way? There would never be a time when some/many people would not have this distrust.



posted on Mar, 27 2010 @ 09:59 PM
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I already get ads like that. I mentioned in a post that I had purchased an "X". And for the next week I got competitive ads for "X" during many computer functions.



posted on Mar, 27 2010 @ 10:04 PM
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Originally posted by OnceReturned
Is there anything you wouldn't want a goldfish to know about you? I think the goldfish and the computer are equally of zero concern to me when it comes to exposing the details of my life to them.


The difference between the goldfish and the computer is the potential for the information to be divulged to another human being. Would you video every aspect of your life? Afterall, if one follows this logic, the video camera is inanimate and would have no way of divulging your most intimate secrets.

I'm sorry OP (and I promise not to make another comment about this) but I honestly can't see how you can separate the potential of an object from the object itself - even in a thought experiment such as this.



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