Facebook and Google generation are too willing to surrender privacy says leading scientist
Young people too willingly surrender their privacy to Google and Facebook, a leading scientist warned yesterday.
Noel Sharkey, a professor of artificial intelligence and robotics at Sheffield University, said that older people were more cautious with their personal data.
Addressing the Cheltenham Science Festival, he said: ‘I’m 65, I don’t want to be targeted. I am very uncomfortable with it. It seems to me our privacy is gradually being violated and eroded without us noticing.
‘I am part of the generation which all read 1984 – I think we are less happy about giving up our privacy.
‘But the younger generation aren’t really thinking about it. The services that Google and Facebook give us are so good that people are willing to trade off their privacy for them.’
He said Google’s recording of all our online activities meant it knew far too much about us.
He added: ‘At the moment it doesn’t seem harmful. But because governments can get hold of this information, they can monitor you, things might change quite dramatically.’
Google has invested billions of pounds buying up cutting-edge technologies which will increase their access to people’s information.
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The internet giant recently paid £1.9billion for Nest Labs, a firm which makes internet–connected heating systems, allowing people to control their thermostats from afar.
Supporters argue that having greater control over home applications – which may soon include fridges that automatically reorder when you run out of food and lighting systems that turn on when they sense your approach – can only benefit consumers.
But connecting more things to the internet enables large firms to collect more and more data.
Another recent Google purchase is Deep-Mind, a British artificial intelligence firm which specialises in quickly building up a profile of an individual based on their internet activity.
Written by Ben Spencer and published by The Daily Mail, June 6, 2014.
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