The Big Think

April 7, 2014

Silicon Valley scares Americans

Filed under: Politics — jasony @ 5:15 pm

Silicon Valley scares Americans: Column:

“‘A level of suspicion and confusion we haven’t had before.’ That’s right. And it’s made worse by the increasing politicization of Silicon Valley, and the transformation of its leaders from rebels into what Joel Kotkin calls ‘the new oligarchs,’ people who once talked about technology as liberation, but who now seem more interested in using technology as an instrument of control. It’s not just NSA spying; it’s that the companies gather data on everyone, with comparatively little legal oversight.

You might have been OK with that a decade or two ago, when Silicon Valley seemed full of people who would stand up to the Man. Now, they are The Man (or The Woman) in many ways, or in cahoots with them. Might the information you gave to OKCupid be used against you someday? Your only protection, really, is their good nature. And how good is that?

After all, OKCupid dug out political donation data to get a CEO fired. If they’re willing to do that sort of thing, how elevated can their standards be, really?”

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