Google and Facebook know what you are about to do, even before you think of doing it, thanks to the new Algorithms!

It’s a well-known fact that Social Media and Tech Giants like Facebook and Google sell users’ data to the advertisers. This is after all, their main source of revenue.

It seems like there are no boundaries set for these companies in regards to what kind of data can be accessed. You could be discussing a certain brand of smartphone with one of your contacts, and see an ad of the exact brand shortly on the platform.
Your smartphone isn’t really spying on your conversations—the truth might be even creepier
Co-founder of Center for Humane Technology and former design ethicist at Google, Tristan Harris claims that companies these days have improved and highly efficient algorithms that can predict a user’s next move. In addition to that, inference and extrapolation techniques have also allowed these companies to use these algorithms to reach the same conclusion as users, even before them!
"I think people don't even yet recognized where we are what the issue is... I would argue and this is bold claim the technology is holding the pen of history right now... I'm here to tell you is for technology to gain control over humanity it doesn't have to hack human strengths — we're all looking for when as technology gets stronger than human strengths replaces our jobs, it's smarter than us, starts taking our jobs, it starts doing things for us — what I'm gonna argue is that just by hacking our weaknesses it can take control.", said Harris at Milken Institute 2019 Global Conference.
It’s easy for these algorithms to figure out behavioral patterns such as users who buy a particular product, also end up purchasing other products with it and through these associations, advertisers can get a better idea as to what might be in demand.

To be honest, the tech is quite impressive. However, knowing that almost anything can be exploited by someone with ill intentions these days, it’s important for companies like Google and Facebook to keep a close eye on it and prepare in advance to tackle the issue of uncalled for consequences.

The concerning thing is that the business model of these well-established companies is built around the concept of ad targeting and grabbing users’ attention. The technique is useful but measures need to be taken to hold the responsible accountable, shall anything goes awry.

There have been several instances of privacy scandals and data breaches over the past few years, which has caused troubles for both users and policymakers. However, capturing users’ attention is how these companies run and it’s time for you to start acting wisely when surfing the web.

Read next: Internet Users Aren’t Doing Enough to Prevent Misuse of Their Data
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