Digital Tire Tracks
Jun 10, 2021
By: Dylan Ratigan
One of the last instructions given when fighters meet in the center of the ring before a prize fight is, “protect yourself at all times.” Seems logical enough. If the other guy is going to try taking your head off, you should probably protect against that. The interconnected world in which we live today is no different. You have to protect yourself at all times.
The world of data and the myriad of ways that data can be parsed and parceled is virtually incomprehensible. It used to be, your internet history was what you needed to worry about. Those were the simple days. Now, have a conversation with someone about dog diapers and see what kind of ads you start getting. Hell, just writing that last sentence, I’m destined to see ads for pet supplies. The digital footprints we leave have proliferated into a network of digital tire tracks.
It’s one thing for content marketers to understand the things you look at online, listen to or read. But take the top two people you text most often and ask them the types of things they watch, listen to or read and I’m willing to argue you’re being served up content based on the hypothesis, friends have like-minded interests and you’ll be interested in content based on what your most frequently contacted friends like.
When content providers have you by the proverbial digital (eye) balls, it affects behaviors. When algorithms based on your behavior and the behavior of your friends can predict your future actions, free will risks being replaced by subtle manipulation. Just in writing this piece, Google is able to very effectively guess the next words I’m going to write before I can type them. Did it do that based on my past writings, readings or both? Does that change how I articulate my thoughts? Perhaps.
There are many positives to understanding data. I like the suggestions Netflix makes for me. I like that Amazon knows the types of books I read. On the other hand, when conspiracy theorists get sucked down and indoctrinated into a QAnon rabbit hole simply because Facebook can monetize that behavior, you have to consider the cost. When Google can develop a profile of me based on my emails and web searches, which can then be sold to content marketers who bombard me with unsolicited emails, it’s annoying.
Digital privacy needs addressing. Asking Google, Facebook, etc. to police themselves, the same companies who have a vested interest in monetizing the data we need policing, is like asking the fox to guard the chicken coup. Ask the chickens how that worked out.
Options involve risk and are not suitable for all investors. Please read Characteristics and Risks of Standardized Options before deciding to invest in options.
tastytrade content is provided solely by tastytrade, Inc. (“tastytrade”) and is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not, nor is it intended to be, trading or investment advice or a recommendation that any security, futures contract, transaction or investment strategy is suitable for any person. Trading securities can involve high risk and the loss of any funds invested. tastytrade, through its content, financial programming or otherwise, does not provide investment or financial advice or make investment recommendations. Investment information provided may not be appropriate for all investors, and is provided without respect to individual investor financial sophistication, financial situation, investing time horizon or risk tolerance. tastytrade is not in the business of transacting securities trades, nor does it direct client commodity accounts or give commodity trading advice tailored to any particular client’s situation or investment objectives. Supporting documentation for any claims (including claims made on behalf of options programs), comparison, statistics, or other technical data, if applicable, will be supplied upon request. tastytrade is not a licensed financial advisor, registered investment advisor, or a registered broker-dealer. Options, futures and futures options are not suitable for all investors. Prior to trading securities products, please read the Characteristics and Risks of Standardized Options and the Risk Disclosure for Futures and Options found on tastyworks.com.
tastyworks, Inc. ("tastyworks") is a registered broker-dealer and member of FINRA, NFA and SIPC. tastyworks offers self-directed brokerage accounts to its customers. tastyworks does not give financial or trading advice nor does it make investment recommendations. You alone are responsible for making your investment and trading decisions and for evaluating the merits and risks associated with the use of tastyworks’ systems, services or products. tastyworks is a wholly owned subsidiary of tastytrade, Inc (“tastytrade”). tastytrade is a trademark/servicemark owned by tastytrade.
Quiet Foundation, Inc. (“Quiet Foundation”) is a wholly-owned subsidiary of tastytrade The information on quietfoundation.com is intended for U.S. residents only. All investing involves the risk of loss. Past performance is not a guarantee of future results. Quiet Foundation does not make suitability determinations, nor does it make investment recommendations. You alone are responsible for making your investment and trading decisions and for evaluating the merits and risks associated with the use of Quiet Foundation’s systems, services or products.
Small Exchange, Inc. is a Designated Contract Market registered with the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission. The information on this site should be considered general information and not in any case as a recommendation or advice concerning investment decisions. The reader itself is responsible for the risks associated with an investment decision based on the information stated in this material in light of his or her specific circumstances. The information on this website is for informational purposes only, and does not contend to address the financial objectives, situation, or specific needs of any individual investor. Trading in derivatives and other financial instruments involves risk, please read the Risk Disclosure Statement for Futures and Options. tastytrade is an investor in Small Exchange, Inc.