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The Analytical World of Data Dynamite

 

 

By now, there will be millions of people all over the EU, and especially the UK who have subscribed to various companies and corporations on the internet, such as the BBC or Virgin West Coast trains as an example. Those people including myself, would have to subscribe to the BBC (example) in order to watch programmes online. In my case, i would watch various 'Political' programmes, or subscribe to buy train tickets from Virgin (example). All of us who reside in the EU have recently been sent emails from many companies and corporations asking for our permission to carry on with the service that those companies provide to us. And that's down to the new EU General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) (EU).

 

2016/679 is a regulation in EU law on data protection and privacy for all individuals within the European Union and the European Economic Area. It also addresses the export of personal data outside the EU and EEA. The GDPR aims primarily to give control to citizens and residents over their personal data and to simplify the regulatory environment for international business by unifying the regulation within the EU.

 

As part of new GDPR (European guidelines), companies, corporations, or services who use data collecting companies and adserving databases which trade information about their 'users', must be GDPR compliant, and by the 25th May 2018 or face penalities and fines.

If companies or services who collect and (trade) personal data on it's users fail to ask for permission from a user to accept the Modus Operandi (terms and conditions), they will effectively break with EU regulations.

 

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), agreed upon by the European Parliament and Council in April 2016, replaces the Data Protection Directive 95/46/ec as the primary law regulating how companies protect EU citizens' personal data. 

GDPR requirements apply to each member state of the European Union, aiming to create more consistent protection of consumer and personal data across EU nations. Some of the key privacy and data protection requirements of the GDPR include: 


Requiring the consent of subjects for data processing
Anonymizing collected data to protect privacy
Providing data breach notifications
Safely handling the transfer of data across borders
Requiring certain companies to appoint a data protection officer to oversee GDPR compliance.


Simply put, the GDPR mandates a baseline set of standards for companies that handle EU citizens’ data to better safeguard the processing and movement of citizens’ personal data.

The purpose of the GDPR is to impose a uniform data security law on all EU members, so that each member state no longer needs to write its own data protection laws and laws are consistent across the entire EU. In addition to EU members, it is important to note that any company that markets goods or services to EU residents, regardless of its location, is subject to the regulation. As a result, GDPR will have an impact on data protection requirements globally.

Websites that use data tracking and targetted advertising, including data analytics based advertising methods aren't all bad websites, that much has to be said. However, there are some who extend the boundaries of personal data collection and processing to an entirely new level, and have done for quite some time.

 

Every person within the EU who ever made a financial transaction online, or who subscribed to a particular service will be aware of how much information held on that person is stored and used, thanks to the new EU directive. Some will have been given the option to 'opt out' of the trading practises of companies using their data, or 'opt in' to have their data used/traded. The preference selections should be clear to all, accept - Not all companies are 100% compliant and instead offer it's users a complicated set of instructions to follow, with little more at the end of it than the will to give up and accept the terms on offer. In other words the amount of hidden adservers and data collectors are not being made 'obvious' enough.

 

To anyone whose computer skills allow them the status or 'literate', it's a walk in the park as they will know what to look for. However, there will be some people who take the Daniel Blake line of running a mouse up a screen means they're taking part in a physical excercise experience. Or actually, further to say, they have little computer knowledge. The fact is, regardless of having computer skills or not, there will be many people who will just 'accept' the terms and conditions and rather just move on, owing to the amount of emails received and the idea of having to wade through it all, and never truly realising the 'dark side' of internet life/online. Or for a better explanation, never fully understanding the amount of intrusiveness, and unsurmountable amount of data collected upon their person which has been largely unknown until now.

 

Political Provocateur looked at a number of internet based companies/corporations and found that some were using over 320 various data analytical, adserving and data processing organisations, such as: 

 

One Person Health Inc. (DBA Adacado) - ADARA MEDIA UNLIMITED - Adform A/S - ADITION technologies AG - Adloox SA - admetrics GmbH - Admotion SRL - AdRoll Inc - AdSpirit GmbHADventori SAS - PulsePoint Inc - AppNexus Inc - Avid Media Ltd - BIDSWITCH GmbH -RhythmOne LLC - Index Exchange Inc - comScore Inc - Conversant Europe Ltd - Crimtan Holdings Limited - Criteo SA - Dataxu Inc -Drawbridge Inc - Exponential Interactive Inc - Flashtalking Inc - GumGum Inc - LifeStreet Corporation - LiveRamp Inc - LoopMe Ltd - Lotame Solutions Inc - MediaMath Inc - NEORY GmbH - Maytrics GmbH - OpenX Software Ltd and its affiliates - PIXIMEDIA SAS - Platform 161 - Quantcast International Limited - Rakuten Marketing LLC - The Rubicon Project Limited - Scene Stealer Limited - ShowHeroes GmbH - Sizmek Technologies Inc. - Smart Adserver Sublime Skinz Tapad Inc - The Trade Desk Inc and affiliated companies - Amobee Inc - Underdog Media LLC - Yieldlab AG.

 

You might care to copy and paste into a broswer search engine one or more companies/corporations listed and discover further information about what they do, or to discover for yourself if that search result explains in enough detail to quench your curiosity, and if their prime directive is only to supply advertising however intrusive that advertising is targetted toward you. It may help you to search what information they hold about you and what they do with that information, or more importantly, if that information about you is passed on. It wasn't too long ago when the world took a gasp of breath at the exploits of 'Cambridge Analytica', now renamed 'Emerdata'.

 

Perhaps to some, the highlighted list above in red is not too long, but now take a look at the entire host of other companies and corporations that work alongside the above list, which are: 

 

AdSupply - ad4mat - AdBlade - AdButler - AdCentric - AdClear - Add2 Avolution - Addroid - AddThis - Adelphic - AdGear (Bloom) - Adimo - Adinfinity (Viziads) - Adjust - Adledge - Adman - Adobe - Adrime (now Weborama) - AdTriba - AdUp - Advanse - Advrtas/Outlyer Tech - AdYouLike - Adzerk - Affiliate Window - Almondnet (Datonics) - Alphonso - Amazon - AMG (Adconion Media Group) - Aniview - Annalect - AppsFlyer - Apsalar - ARAnet (now Brandpoint) - Arrivalist - Audience2media - Augur - Bannerflow - Barometric - Batch Media - Beintoo - BlueCava - BlueKai - Brainient - Brand.net - Bridgetrack - Brightcom - C3 Metrics - Cablato - Cake Marketing - Cardlytics - Catalina - Cedato - Celtra -Chango - ChoiceStream - Cint AB - Clickbooth - Clinch Labs - Clipcentric - Cobalt (CDK) - Collective Media (now Visto) - Comune - Connexity - Connextra - Conversion Logic - Coremetrics (now IBM Customer Analytics) - Cornerstone - Cuebiq - Dashbid - Datalicious - DataLogix - DBA Gamut - Dimestore (GFK) - DMA Institute - Double Positive - DoubleClick - DoubleVerify - Dynad - E-Planning - eBay - Econda - Effective Measure - Egentic - Emediate - Engage - Ensighten - Epom - ESV Digital - Eulerian - Everquote - Exactag - eXelate - Extreme Reach - EyeReturn - Factor Eleven - Flite - Fortis Participacoes - Foursquare - Freckle IOT - FreeWheel - Fuisz Media - Gemius - Genius Monkey - Ghostery - Gimbal - Goldspot Media - GrapeShot - Groovinads - GroupM Server - hbfstech - HIRO - Hitokuse - Hurra - I Behavior KBMG - IAG - Impact Radius - Improve Digital - Ingenius Technologies - Innity - Innovation Interactive (Netmining) - Innovid - InSkin - Inspired Mobile - Integral Ad Science / IAS(AdSafe) - intelliAd - Interpolls - Interrogare - Invite Media - iPromote - Jetpack Digital - Jivox - Knorex - Kochava - Korrelate - Krux Digital - Ligatus - Lightspeed Research - Likqid Media (LKQD) - Linkstorm - Liquidus Media - LnData - Lucid (Federated Sample) - Magnetic - Marchex Sales - Marketing Science Consulting Group - Markit On Demand - Massmotionmedia - Maxpoint Interactive - Media Force - Media6Degrees (now Dstillery) - Mediaglu - Medialets - Mediasmart - MediaWallah - Meetrics - Metapeople - Metrixlab - Miaozhen - Millward Brown Digital - Mixpo - MOAT - myThings - Navegg - Neodata - Netseer - Neustar AdAdvisor - NEXD - NexTag - NextPerformance - Nielsen - NinthDecimal - Nugg.Ad - NTT DOCOMO, Inc - Nudge - O2 Telefonica - Okra Media - Omnivirt - On Device - Ooyala - Optimise - ORU - OwnerIQ - Parship Greatviews - Pelmorex - Phluant - Pixalate - PK4 Media - Placed - PlaceIQ - Plista - Polar - PopRule - PopWallet - Predicta - Primis - Pubvantage - QuinStreet - Quisma - R-Advertising - Radium One - Rads Media - Ram Panel - Real Media Group - Refined Labs - Research Now - Resonate - RevJet - Revtrax - Rich Relevance - Rich Media Studio - Rippll -Sam4Mobile - Samba TV - Scoota - Semasio - Sentrant - Signal.co - SimpleReach - SiteScout - Skenzo - Sketchfab - SNT Media - Softcrylic - So-Net Entertainment Taiwan - SourceKnowledge (Sokno Media Inc) - Space - Sparkflow - Sparklit - Specific Media - Speed Shift Media - Spongecell - SpringServe - SpotX - Statiq - Steel House Media - Survata - TagCommander - Tail Target Audience & Insights Lab - Thunder (PaperG) - TNS - MercuryMedia - TradeDoubler - Trend Research - Triad Retail - Trueffect - TrustE (now TrustArc) - Tune - Turbo - Twiago - Undertone - ValueClick (now Conversant) - Varick Media - Velti - ViewersLogic - Visible Measures - Visual IQ - Vivalu - Vizu** - Wayfair - Weborama - White Ops - Wishabi - X+1 (formerly Poindexter) - Xaxis - Xplosion - Yellowhammer - Yieldr - ZANOX - Zebestof - Zedo - Zentrick - Zygon. 

 

To allow the reader a more rounded and better idea at the sheer scale of companies and corporations involved, you might take note of the few we've highlighted in 'black bold' in order to understand the intrusive nature regards information harvesting and adserving. Those names published in the lists above, exist as partners of one particular media communications corporation we looked, who in fairness did offer to it's users a relatively simple click button style access for the purpose of opting out/in, and who are a very popular well used organisation where people gather to chat online, but shall remain nameless. (No, it isn't Facebook or Twitter).

 

We also looked at various other websites including Virgin Trains West Coast, who sent out email's to their existing customer base with a message proclaiming 'Hello Jargo Free - No More Gobbledygook' to let everyone know that they've updated their 'privacy policy', to make it super easy to read and understand how they use your data to process bookings, and deliver updates on your journeys.

 

 

Virgin want Details on the devices and technology you use. Learn about you from letters, email, and conversations. Other data about how you use their products and services. Details about you that are stored in documents in different formats, or copies of. Any permissions, consents or preferences that you give permission for, and would like to offer you the customer, details about reward schemes you are part of e.g. Nectar, Virgin Atlantic Flying Club.

 

From the Virgin West Coast website: 'The law and other regulations treat some types of personal data as 'special'. We will only collect and use these types of data if the law allows us to do so: Health data and gender - for safety related incidents and refund purposes. Criminal convictions and offences - for fraud prevention and criminal proceedings.'

 

That's all well and interesting, and of course various companies will need to keep and update the data they hold on a customer for a variety of reasons such as making a purchase online, but have Virgin made it easy for customers to opt in and opt out of allowing the use and storage of other data held on their customers? Data that wouldn't ordinarily be neccesary for anyone to purchase train tickets? Here's the website link, find out for yourself: https://www.virgintrains.co.uk No need to let us know, we already know the answer!

 

Of course, for a lot of people it's about opting out of receiving emails that offer a user or customer various offers throughout their subscription with a particular company or corporation. It's when you look deeper into the somewhat misleading nature, or the pretence of any suggestion 'that's all it actually is', you have to wonder how many fines and penalties such companies will face for breaking new EU directives; and actually, is it worth it to 'carry on carrying on' with such practices of controlling huge rafts of personal data which have gone largely unnoticed until now. Not many would have realised the amount of data which is collected upon their person, and by how many companies and corporations involved in the worldwide information trade to which we are the commodity.  

 

The MSM - (Mainstream Media) including newsprint online and various media outlets that produce televised programming are mostly all part of a corprorate structure that rely on the revenue from advertising to enable them to beam programmes into the homes of viewers, and/or, who also write the articles read by the electorate, of which some were until now, unaware of the importance of their gift of data for harvesting. Up until now that is. And who also might trade customer information similar to how a stockbroker trades coffee beans. 

 

For a better explanation of how it works, it's important to understand that for every person who posts an MSM related article on social media, that article has a potential reach. One particular post in support of a biased agenda toward right wing politics (for example) might have 50 or 100 readers. It might have 15 further shares to which we're now getting into the business end, and the inclusion of mathematics to assess any realistic tally. Those 15 shares might include 15 times 50 or 100 readers including an extra 15 or more shares, and obviously it's heavily multiplied again. The realistic reach of just one posted link by the MSM could reach litterally tens of thousands of people or more, whilst also at the point of being read is also being recorded through the use of data analytics, which is stored and passed on as third party information to an entire legion of adserving and data harvesting companies and corporations. What they do with the 'user information' after that is anyones guess. 

 

Still believe it's a wise thing to post article links from the MSM onto various FB groups, timelines and pages? Perhaps instead it's time for groups to ban the posting of MSM related links, or at least consider it. There's certainly room for debating the subject owing to the collection and harvesting of personal data involved. With thanks to the new GDPR EU rules on the collection and processing of data, we are seeing now in real terms the extent and scale of it all unfold. If anyone has 'accepted terms and conditions' without checking first hand what it all means, that person is back in the system of the analytical world of data dynamite, and someone is making money off your personal data. Effectively, this is your chance to get out, or at least opt out and lessen the extent of your personal data being harvested!

 

Some independent media websites allow advertisments as a means of survival. The costs involved in running such websites are significant to say the least. If donations are not fourthcoming, they are usually left with little choice but to allow advertisments, and this itself is important to understand. It wouldn't generally mean that particular site is unsafe with regards the collection and holding of personal data, and therefore any reader may want to check that websites terms and conditions to be sure of the sites integrity.

 

Political Provocateur is neither an information harvester or presents to readers any form of data intrusiveness whatsoever. We absolutely do not collect data on readers or provide the use of data analytical processing. We catagorically do not allow any form of advertising whatsoever on any page within this website. We are a proud member of the independent media and absolutely do not rely on any revenues collected at all or otherwise from advertising; or take part in the sale of reader information and furthermore, never have or ever will. 

 

Political Provocateur is a SAFE SITE. 

 

 

 

 

 

Cordelia Houseman for Political Provocateur

 

 Edited by Simon O'Donnell for Political Provocateur

 

 

 

 

 

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