Law in the Internet Society

Retrieving Productive Life in the Digital Society

-- Revised by KeisukeHayashi - 31 Dec 2020

1 Problems - Our Productive Life is infringed by Digital Technology

In our daily life, people spend more than five hours a day in average using digital devices, including more than three hours for smartphones. Digital devices make much influence on our daily life. Especially, big tech companies, Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix, and Google analyze our interest, assign each person with service contents they individually prefer, attract our intention to the service, make us stay longer surfing on the Internet. We are made to spend our time on digital device without being aware or deliberate. We might become to have narrow view of things because they provide us with similar things that we show interest in based on our historical data of the services.

What is more, our privacy might be used to discriminate ourselves from social and economic perspective. Aggregated personal data might make disadvantage of the socially vulnerable because they might pay for expensive insurance fee calculated based on their aggregated personal data at higher premium than other people.

In addition, big tech companies have large influence on our political ideas and political process. Data they analyzed and gathered are used to manipulate people’s mind and thoughts, which was conducted in the US president election in 2016, and the Brexit election in 2019, through violation of applicable laws by Facebook. Free marketplace of ideas, which is the basis of our democracy, is impaired and might not be effective these days.

2 Proposal - We should reduce our time in using digital device and obtain IT knowledge and technology

To retrieve our productive life in the digital society, I believe, among what we can do ourselves, we should decrease our using digital devices and spend time on creating productive life. Additionally, we should improve and make efficient use of own digital technology and knowledge to prevent our personal information from being exploited.

3 Decreasing our time in using digital devices

SNS services are designed to make us pay attention longer on the services. We push good button on Facebook, watch videos recommended by YouTube? , and share someone’s tweets on Twitter. These services analyze our behavioral history on the services and capture our preference and interest, show and inform what people might show interest in, making us spend time playing these services. As a result, we find ourselves spending more time than expected. Big tech companies make us spend time using their services, and try to gain advertising revenue. However, we should stop and think about using these services, otherwise we use them when we have vacant time, get on a bus or train, wait in line. We may stop using the services, delete the app on smartphones, and spend time alone for reading books, walking in the park, watching nature, spending our time significantly and meaningfully. As a result, we may improve our life more fruitful than spending time using digital devices.

Moreover, we should discuss or talk to each other in person, by mail, email, or phone rather than watching someone’s comments which might be made falsely or with malicious intent in the Internet. This enables us to understand each other, develop our thought, think something reasonably without being interfered by algorithmically tailored advertisement through the Internet services. When people realize and practice this, their political ideas will unlikely be influenced by other third party’s intent.

On the other hand, it is true that we cannot live without using digital services these days. To utilize those services wisely, we must also learn how to protect ourselves from big tech companies when we use them.

4 Improving and making advantage of our knowledge and experience on digital technology

Big tech companies take every measure to obtain our personal information, i.e., not only our name, address, birth of date but also our preference, interest, location, marriage, behavior history etc. We rarely realize such information are gathered, and what is worse, are sometimes not informed of it. For the purpose of individual self-defense for our privacy, we should learn the structure of the business and knowledge related to the Internet. In free internet services such as google search engine, Gmail, Facebook, twitter, those are not literally free and take advantage of customers ourselves, i.e., our interest, preference, and inclination for efficient advertisement. In addition, by learning computer knowledge and technology such as programming, encryption etc., we can tell what services provided by big companies are essential and what are not. Also, we do not have to surrender to big tech companies and to give our personal data up.

5 Conclusion

In our daily life, we should control ourselves for spending so much time on digital devises and know what is necessary for our life. We should spend our time on other than digital devices such as hobby to make our life productive. In addition, when we have to use digital services and technology, we should learn computer technology and protect our privacy.

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r3 - 31 Dec 2020 - 08:48:32 - KeisukeHayashi
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