FACEBOOK.TRACKING.EXPOSED by Claudio Agosti

The scope of the project is to visualize the impact of algorithms over the perception of reality. We, citizen and user, are influenced by the information to which we are subjected. It is impossible for a person alone to understand Facebook’s logic, and its effects on society. For this reason I want to enable an open community of user, citizen, researcher, and journalist, because only together can they understand if the influence of the algorithm is in our interest. I don’t believe so. I hope that the user will someday be able to develop, choose, share, or even sell the algorithm they want to use, and that the platform will simply become a means of data transit.

Reflecting on how the internet has been revolutionary to driving news, mobilizing people, and stimulating new thoughts, it naturally follows that our right to information has to be updated for this new era. This is about our fundamental rights as an active and informed citizenry. The Terms of Service of Facebook may forbid me to crack open the algorithmic Pandora’s box, but it doesn’t matter; this right exists on a higher level, and if I have to exert civil disobedience toward a private entity, so be it.

Perhaps someone will wonder if my project violates the Terms of Service of Mark Zuckerberg’s platform. I don’t really care. From Facebook, I am extracting only metadata, the only thing that is truly necessary to begin the investigation. After all, “it’s only metadata”I

I’m Claudio Agosti, I’m a European citizen; Started in ’99 dwelling into the hacking scene, I later became passionate about information hiding,then in the broad meanings of privacy, then in anonymous whistlebowing and advocacy. I am dedicated to technopolitics.

I believe in 2016 the goal of a cypherpunk should longer simply be “encrypt everything”. The power dynamics online have changed since the early ’00s. Now transnational corporations use crypto as a method of cost reduction and so many people have easy access to it, more space is freed up to focus on other goals. We must recognize the social media platform as a new infrastructure that cannot be escaped, and instead must be addressed as a technological challenge. In doing so, we can ensure that our privacy, security, and the neutrality of information are protected.

Challenging the network monopolies, challenging massive profiling, and the business dynamics supporting this, is my primary concern now. Telco, Big Data industries, and nations are in a fight against themselves. This offers a new opening for users; in this chaos, we have to preserve and increase the human rights on the Internet and be reactive to deal with abuses when they arise.


 

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