Data Is The Overlord Of Everything

We behave like how we are made to.

Have you heard of behavioral profiling companies? It turns out that these companies actually use the personal data to profile people in order to predict their behaviour, and then, with the indirect psychological influence, to guide them in the direction they want – toward the goals of the politicians who hired them.

A recent finding that many politicians are using behavioural profiling companies has raised a big storm; and the main person mentioned is Nigel Oakes.

The current US President used such services during the election (and the campaigns) and the advocates of Brexit used them before the referendum. These are not isolated cases, and the purpose of such services is to identify key swing voters and to direct them in a desirable direction; to vote for their potential leaders. These are the voters who finally decide who wins.

Does this mean that we do not actually behave as we really want to, but that we behave as we think we want to, because someone has guided us in that direction? Also, does this mean that anyone can access personal information?

Running the world has become easier, thanks to such superlative investigation.

But here is the interesting fact. Such investigations are allowed in the US; companies are candidly allowed to collect third-party data without seeking consent. But in Europe, such investigations or access are prohibited. The respondent has the right to reject a conversation.

All that said, this is the era of the Internet, and there are several ways to get personal information. In addition, social networks have become chief sources of various kinds of data – what is liked, what news is followed, what are the interests of people, what do people subscribe to, and peoples’ contacts. Political parties are also constantly under hackers’ attack, in order to take over personal data of their followers. The recent news about personal data of millions of Americans being leaked, cannot be a coincidence. Imagine the result of manipulation of such a large number of people.

A lot of companies claim that they use targeted marketing and online advertising on social media. But that may be the new weapon. And it is evident that such a weapon in politics is an influence, by sending the right messages to the right people through social networks. The problem is that utilization of personal data, and its analysis, has psychological influence over people. Although these techniques have been used before, ever since the Second World War, and later in the CIA and NATO projects, for the first time it has been revealed that they are used even on ordinary people. So, it is not unsafe to say that our opinion is not truly our own. It is an imposed one. And that our decisions and in turn the government’s decisions and infact elections and their results, are all underhanded actions. Data has cast its shadow. After these findings, both Trump’s victory in the US elections, as well as the “No” vote in the UK’s referendum, have become questionable. Peoples’ minds will now be constantly catechised as to whether their vote was conscious or psychologically manipulated. A steady progress in data mining, intelligent data algorithms, and intelligence platforms could be a very powerful, yet dangerous and unregulated area of psychological engagement, which can lead to big consequences for the whole world. It is essential to limit information gathering. But what should it be limited to?

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