An excerpt from a new book offers a tour of the companies that traffic in the data you generate each day on the Internet.
"The strategy uses new digital tracking tools like cookies and beacons as well as new organizations with names like BlueKai, Rapleaf, Invidi, and eXelate. These companies track people on websites and across websites in an effort to learn what they do, what they care about, and who their friends are."
This article fell into that darned gray area between what my intentions are for this Scoop.it topic and what is not really within that self-imposed corral.
It's well within my area of interest both personally and professionally, but at best it is a 3rd cousin to my primary areas of interest here.
The relationship has to do with the word "literacy." But, I've for the most part limited my focus to literacy as it focuses upon being able to read well in order to be able to access the rewards of being well-read.
"Financial literacy" articles and even "information literacy" articles, both of which are tremendously important, have been left to others to promote.
But I really felt I had to break my own self-imposed rules when I came across this article.
But, I won't beat myself up for digressing a bit...
I'll use Holden Caulfield as my defense reminding myself how much I appreciated Holden's position when he said, "It's nice when somebody tells you about their uncle. Especially when they start out telling you about their father's farm and then all of a sudden get more interested in their uncle. I mean it's dirty to keep yelling "Digression!" at him when he's all nice and excited. I don't know. It's hard to explain."
Yes, sometimes it's just hard to explain. So here goes...
Sometimes we tend to fear that our students know more than we do when it comes to new technologies. Sometimes our students, believing that they know much more than we do about new technologies, fail to consider how much they don't know about those very technologies. This curious situation is a gold mine for profiteers whose concern for privacy issues are trumped by their concern for personal gain.
Like the old "dangerous strangers" parents and teachers hoped to protect children from, today's marketers have recognized that much can be gained by emphasizing an offer of "free candy benefits such as friend birthday tracking and the ability to "focus our internet experiences upon what we are already interested in as an attractant covering far more questionable motives.
There's a lot of sugar in being able to have internet resources keep track of my friends' birthdays, but who are the people behind these services?
Well, I need not go on. Though many believe the story of The Wolf in Sheep's Clothing is an Aesop's Tale, it apparently was more likely sourced in The Bible.
"Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves (Gospel of Matthew 7:15, King James Version). The sermon then suggests that their true nature will be revealed by their actions (by their fruits shall ye know them, verse 16)"
Many of today's youth, are actually quite ignorant about the contemporary "Wolves in Sheeps' Clothing aspect to their online activities.
Perhaps this variation of the warning is more easily accessible as given in this abbreviated version.
"Follow the money."