Kako varna je demokracija v času socialnih medijev in big data?

Brexit in Trump sta rezultat aktivnega targetiranega manipuliranja volilcev prek socialnih medijev (predvsem prek Twitterja in Facebooka). Oba primera sta pokazala, kako zlahka je pravzaprav zmanipulirati tudi najpomembnejše nacionalne odločitve, če “veliki podatki” o vzorcih obnašanja, osebnih preferencah in referenčnih krogih najbližjih prijateljev, padejo v roke algoritmom specializiranih analitskih podjetij, ti pa se iz komercialnih razlogov vključijo v politične kampanje. Dokler so algoritmi specializiranih analitskih podjetij delali zgolj za posamezne ponudnike blaga in storitev in tako pomagali spreminjati / manipulirati nakupne navade potrošnikov, je bila zadeva sicer sporna, vendar še nekako znotraj okvirjev sprejemljivega. Toda ko algoritmi analitskih podjetij in zbiratelji “velikih podatkov” vstopijo v službo političnih kampanj, postane zadeva zelo resna – ogrožena je  demokracija.

Spodaj je intervju s Christopherjem Wyliem, “žvižgačem” iz Cambridge Analytice, ki je razkril, kako je njegovo podjetje prek Facebooka po naročilu manipuliralo obnašanje volilcev v V. Britaniji pred Brexitom in v ZDA v predsedniških volitvah leta 2016. Pri tem pa ne pozabite, da je Cambridge Analytica zgolj en, razkrit primer tovrstnega manipuliranja. Ostalih primerov, razen ruskega zelo podobnega pristopa v predsedniških volitvah leta 2016 v ZDA ter primera filipinskih predsedniških volitev, ne poznamo. Lahko jih zgolj slutimo. Kar pomeni, da je nevarnost za demokracijo še toliko večja. In ključno vprašanje je, kako zasebnim kapitalskim centrom moči in nacionalnim varnostnim službam onemogočiti dostop do “velikih podatkov” o naši zasebnosti in kako jim učinkovito preprečiti ciljane manipulativne napade na naše vzorce obnašanja.

Težko bo, priznava Wylie. Toda “demokracija je nacionalno vanostno vprašanje”, zato bo treba najti ustrezne načine, da zavarujemo demokracijo.

CHRISTOPHER WYLIE tells Kenneth Cukier why he blew the whistle on Cambridge Analytica. They discuss whether platforms are doing enough to protect users’ privacy and what governments can do to safeguard independent elections

“I saw the beginnings of creating a private, parallel intelligence-gathering operation that reported solely to the president and his political advisors without any kinds of oversight or control.” So says Christopher Wylie, a self-described queer, Canadian vegan with pink hair and facial piercings.

He built up the data team at Cambridge Analytica and then resigned when he saw the destructive ends to which his talents were being put. He later blew the whistle when he realised the extent of the monster he helped create.

Cambridge Analytica’s psychographic modeling techniques are able to infer the hot-button issues for individuals based on their personality traits. The system was used in both the American presidential election in 2016 and the Brexit vote that same year.

Since Mr Wylie came forward, the American Congress and Britain’s Parliament have held hearings on the matter, and Britain’s privacy watchdog, the Information Commissioner’s Office, fined Facebook the maximum amount allowed, albeit a paltry £500,000.

In an interview with The Economist’s Open Future initiative, Mr Wylie notes that there are lots of other companies like Cambridge Analytica lurking in the background of politics in many countries, which harms both personal privacy and democracy.

“We need to change our mindset and understand that the protection of our democracy is a national security issue,” he says. “When any country interferes with your democracy, they are attacking you.”

My Wylie is relieved that his revelations has emboldened the “data cops on the data beat” to act against privacy violations. Yet he acknowledges that regulating the data on the bog web platforms will be tough.

Vir: The Economist

%d bloggers like this: