Has the Internet Killed the Concept of Privacy?

Now that Google has consolidated all user information across all its platforms, creating a massive and profound collection of personal data, have our expectations of privacy been given the death knell. 

What's the Latest Development?

Google's new privacy policy has gone into effect, consolidating user information from across all its platforms. The creation of its massive personal data bank has many asking if privacy is a thing of the past. Joss Wright, who studies privacy technology at Oxford University, says companies like Google must be transparent about their privacy policies because much of their business depends on customer goodwill. That may be true, says Tom Chatfield, a writer and commentator on digital culture, but companies like Google prefer to apologize after the fact rather than ask permission. 

What's the Big Idea?

The worry is that individuals are no longer able to shape who has control over personal information nor the companies who collect that information. Scholars propose legal recourse for those who have been wronged by a company's data collection policy but the reality, says Wright, is that the legal process favors companies with the financial means to fight endless legal battles. Chatfield recognizes the seeming inability of well-meaning people, like the Green party, to effectuate political change. Reflecting on the Arab Spring, he proposes direct democratic action. 

Photo credit: shutterstock.com

Understand your own mind and goals via bullet journaling

Journaling can help you materialize your ambitions.

  • Organizing your thoughts can help you plan and achieve goals that might otherwise seen unobtainable.
  • The Bullet Journal method, in particular, can reduce clutter in your life by helping you visualize your future.
  • One way to view your journal might be less of a narrative and more of a timeline of decisions.
Keep reading Show less

How to split the USA into two countries: Red and Blue

Progressive America would be half as big, but twice as populated as its conservative twin.

Image: Dicken Schrader
Strange Maps
  • America's two political tribes have consolidated into 'red' and 'blue' nations, with seemingly irreconcilable differences.
  • Perhaps the best way to stop the infighting is to go for a divorce and give the two nations a country each
  • Based on the UN's partition plan for Israel/Palestine, this proposal provides territorial contiguity and sea access to both 'red' and 'blue' America
Keep reading Show less

Car culture and suburban sprawl create rifts in society, claims study

New research links urban planning and political polarization.

Politics & Current Affairs
  • Canadian researchers find that excessive reliance on cars changes political views.
  • Decades of car-centric urban planning normalized unsustainable lifestyles.
  • People who prefer personal comfort elect politicians who represent such views.
Keep reading Show less