Jacob Ward reports:
Facebook and other companies may very well be protecting your privacy — but they don’t need your personal information to determine exactly who you are and what you’ll do next.
Our human sensor array was built to easily and automatically detect small, immediate anomalies such as snakes, fire, or members of an enemy tribe. Our cognitive and perceptual equipment evolved to spot those things right now and right here. Larger, more abstract threats and patterns are mostly beyond our immediate comprehension. This inability to detect the big stuff is one of the great challenges to our ability to understand, say, the worldwide implications of climate change, or the need to fill out a complicated form to enroll in a 401(k). And in the world of privacy and data, it clouds our ability to see the real effects of data collection.