Is Facebook Selling Your Data?

privacy
You ‘protect’ your physical privacy – why not your electronic?

We like our privacy in the UK. We build walls, fences and hedges around our homes. We pull our curtains tight shut at night; some will even go so far as to not answer their phones after a certain hour in the evening. We even have a saying – high fences make good neighbours. However – we appear quite happy for the world to potentially see us in our bathing suits, or for our ideas, thoughts and responses to be used to influence political campaigns. Where is the privacy now? And it’s not just the UK – if you use social media, wherever you live on planet Earth, someone, somewhere is pawing through your personal stuff!

BBC Radio, this morning, ran an article about the possibility that Facebook is selling your data to third parties. There are concerns about sharing data that goes beyond what is acceptable – what is acceptable may differ from country to country, person to person. It’s a minefield.

We have heard many tales about people; families, holidaying in foreign parts and discovering a photograph of themselves in shop fronts. It could be argued that when you sign up for Facebook, or other social media sites, that you agree to all their terms and conditions – but who really takes time to read the small print, honestly?

Cambridge_Analytica is a London based company that serves businesses and political parties who want to change audience behaviour and  it is your data that they have apparently been using to assist with their analyses.

Who hasn’t done a quiz, or questionnaire, or similar on social media? I know I have – whether to actually find something out about yourself, or for pure vanity, is neither here nor there. One quiz platform – ‘This is Your Quizzical Life’, agreed to hand over your data. You gave your consent – did you know that?

One of the questions being asked is – Did it use your Facebook data in the Trump campaign? Investigators believe they have given misleading information to social media users, and that tighter regulation is called for. Simply put – are you being exploited? Investigators are seeking to conduct a data audit,part of that investigation will pose the question – What is Facebook’s integrity?

How do you safeguard your information? Who, exactly, do they share your data with? Data Protection in the UK is pretty strong; so we are told. How secure are platforms like Facebook in actuality? I know I have posed questions and given no answers, but that’s the issue – how exactly do we deal with protecting personal data; including family photos, whilst at the same time, sharing with friends and colleagues? And it isn’t just your information, but all those connected with you through social media; friends, family, colleagues, acquaintances; that bloke across the other side of the world – if everyone doesn’t act to protect themselves, then the door, so to speak, is still open for the users.

We could all go down the draconian route, and delete all our social media accounts; not give these, let’s face it – huge – companies the opportunity to profit from our personal lives. But that ain’t going to happen. Or, we could do what Nicholas Waddell suggests in his article on The Sociable, and sell it yourself – you make the money instead of the companies!

In the meantime I would suggest – 1. Do not post any pictures at all. 2. Do not do any quizzes. 3. Do not share your political opinions.

But do remember – Your business, is their Business!

privacy2
It’s not quite Netrunning – but they are already inside our heads!

 

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2018/mar/20/officials-seek-warrant-to-enter-cambridge-analytica-hq

https://www.theguardian.com/news/2018/mar/18/what-is-cambridge-analytica-firm-at-centre-of-facebook-data-breach

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2825715/Haven-t-seen-Family-finds-photo-used-adverts-world-greeting-cards-political-campaigns.html

https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2014/sep/30/what-do-you-do-if-your-pictures-are-used-without-your-consent-on-social-networks

https://sociable.co/technology/companies-sell-data-why-not-you/

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Because Every Country Is A Winner – At Something!

 

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And The Winner Is…

The Olympics is a time when individuals who are at the very peak of their performances, get to compete against each other for more than a medal and a trophy. There is the glory and the prestige, the honour of performing on behalf of their nation. We stand in awe at the skeleton bob crew that hurtles at speeds up to 78mph! Skiers who leap 800ft. And gymnasts who twist themselves through contortions a cat would envy.

Takes all sorts doesn’t it? Some of us may be able to recall names who have surpassed others in their field…but what about countries successes? Who – or rather, where – is best at what?

Time to make a list!

 

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Finnish -ing School 

Image result for old japanese couple matching outfits

Image result for young niger man
Handsome Wodaabe Male

Image result for french cheese humor

Image result for colombian waterfalls
Colombian Falls
Image result for lego mound
Lego Liebe

 

 

N.B: All details correct at time of posting, pole positions may change. No details to be taken seriously. Strongest/Best/Kindest are all relative and may have taken little effort on the part of the ‘winning’ nation. The author takes no responsibility for the amount of Lego consumed or lists topped.

Information is Beautiful – International Number Ones

 

Why you should play Dungeons and Dragons.

There has been a lot said about this fantasy table top role playing game (RPG) over the decades, from the 80’s when it was deemed ‘anti-Christian’, to the 90’s when it became ‘Satanical’ and into the 00’s  when it was played by ‘nerds’. Now I want a go…

A little background…

The game was originally designed by Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson, and first published in 1974 by Tactical Studies Rules, Inc. (TSR)

Regarding the view that it promotes anti or irreligious feeling, influences teens to be drawn to commit suicide or even murder, I strongly object. If you look at statistics showing deaths as a result of ‘religious wars’, you find the numbers reach into the thousands, even millions. The Crusades alone were accountable for up to 9 million deaths (according to some sources).

The Crusades were a series of religious wars sanctioned by the Latin Church in the medieval period, especially the campaigns in the Eastern Mediterranean with the aim of capturing Jerusalem and the Holy Land from Islamic rule, to recapture Christian territory and defend Christian pilgrims. The term “crusades” is also applied to other campaigns sanctioned by the Church.’ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crusades

 

death-toll

This is a section of an image of the Death Toll Comparison Breakdown from Wait But Why site is a fascinating accumulation of statistics. http://waitbutwhy.com/2013/08/the-death-toll-comparison-breakdown.html

 

So it seems that war in the name of God was, and is acceptable, and by default, so are those deaths.  My research led me to discover a total of 130 deaths attributed to D and D – the large majority of these were suicides. I am not taking away the fact that it is always tragic when a young person takes his or her own life- and over 90% of these were male, but looking deeper we will find that there was an emotional even mental health issue at play here.

130 is a long, long way from 9 million, so should we ask ourselves, if people played games instead of following a religion, might we not have less death on our hands?

The view that Dungeons and Dragons (or D & D) leads young players to become involved in Satanism and Satanic rituals is also unfounded nonsense. Many members of Christian churches were up in arms about D & D in the 90’s as it was deemed a ‘gateway’ to the ‘darker’ side. The vast majority of these concerned parents were American. Reading some of the comments, or news reports of the time reminded me of those black and white info films they used to show of the dangers of smoking cannabis – ‘Reefer Madness’ is a fine example,

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sbjHOBJzhb0

and is laughably naive to anyone today who  views it today. The knee-jerk reaction must have been invented by the Americans, as anything that they cannot comprehend immediately, or that does not fit into their clean living, white picket fenced world is deemed evil.

I’d like you to take a look at what others have said about playing D and D, don’t just take my word for it – after all, I’m one of those ker-razy people who play it!

Craig Hallam is an English writer. I have met him on a couple of occasions, and I can tell you that he is a very lovely man; kind of word, polite and friendly; he used to be a nurse – how decent can you get. He plays D and D. Visit his page “How D&D helped my writing – I’ve found it’s a massive help to maintaining creativity. When my books are stumbling… and I can’t get my Auth-on, D&D has been exactly what I’ve needed.” https://craighallam.wordpress.com/tag/dungeons-and-dragons/

Ethan Gilsdorf is an American writer, poet, editor, critic, journalist and teacher – second decent human career. He plays, or played D and D. And can explain a lot better than me, why you should play the game. I GAVE A TEDX TALK “WHY DUNGEONS & DRAGONS IS GOOD FOR YOU (IN REAL LIFE)” Ethan Gilsdorf explains the positives, for himself, of playing the game, and why it can be good for you too. http://www.ethangilsdorf.com/ethanfreak-blog/2016/5/25/igave-a-tedx-talkwhy-dungeons-dragons-is-good-for-you-in-rea.html

Playing D and D, I have learnt about so many things I did not learn in school. My knowledge base has expanded. Why? Because when you are the DM; Dungeon Master, or in my case Mistress, you are tasked with writing a scenario, or story if you will, that will not only fit the players, but challenge and entertain them, not for a couple of hours, but possibly for weeks on end! And if you veer away from the ‘traditional’, rule toting aspect; like we did, you better find something to keep your players playing.

Research, research, research.

I reckon I could teach university students a thing or two about how to research.  Because we moved from the original themes of dwarves, elves, wizards, dungeons and, er, dragons, we have to work with each other – collaborate – on what we all wanted to do. Don’t get me wrong, sometimes the experiment doesn’t work, but mostly, it is still fun. In fact, now I come to think of it, in over 25 years of playing (Yes, you read that correctly TWENTY FIVE YEARS), we have to my knowledge only had 3 games with dragons in them!

Where/when have we played?

By this, I do not mean what time and what room in the house, I am referring to game scenarios. After the traditional scenario/setting, we have played; an all Dwarven world, post-apocalyptic Mad Max style world, 12th century Damascus, World War II, the future ( space, cyberpunk, extra-terrestrials), Discworld influenced landscapes, Time Bandits influenced game, horror film influenced games, pensioners, demi-gods, siblings, postmen!! The variations go on and on.

You can see how the imagination is tried and tested – excellent for an author.

So, to me and my ‘team’; some of this might surprise the sceptics amongst you:

We’re all of us, over 50 years of age.

One of us is a professional musician and educator.

One supports the elderly.

One supports students with learning difficulties.

One of us is in the IT sector.

One of us is a support in the community.

One is an artist.

We’re all parents.

And we drink tea at ‘half-time’.

In conclusion, I have nothing against religion per say (you have no clue as to what belief system I follow if any) and I am deeply saddened by the death of anyone under the age of 50. But a table top role playing game is not the reason people fall by the wayside in one form or another. It encourages fair play, comradery, storytelling, imagination, patience, acceptance to name a few aspects. And its great fun!

What about ‘the nerds’, I hear you ask…

…well, that goes without saying.

 

 

10 Good Reasons to Play D&D by AMERON (DEREK MYERS)

http://dungeonsmaster.com/2010/11/10-good-reasons-to-play-dd/