We are all familiar with Facebook, Whatsapp, Gmail, and iMessage. These programs are almost a mandatory thing to have nowadays. Giant companies and even state officials use these to exchange valuable data, info, and so on. However, many of us think about the dark side of the Internet. What if they’re spying on us? What are their permissions? Is our privacy safe?
Well, there is no concrete answer to these questions; it’s a pretty gray area. However, the European Union presented a proposal with tougher rules which could severely jeopardize companies reliant on marketing.
According to the proposal, the web companies would have to vouch for the confidentiality of their client’s conversations. Also, they need to get consent from the clients before tracking and targeting them with the advertisement. For example, services like Gmail won’t be able to scan your emails and draw relevant data to target you with a personalized advertisement before getting your agreement. A vast majority of free online services rely on ad revenue to fund themselves.
The new proposal also requires web browsers to ask the user whether they want to allow cookies or not upon installing a new browser. As we can see, it’s up to you to say yes, or no, it’s that simple.
Yves Schwarzbart, head of policy and regulatory affairs at the IAB said –
“It will particularly hit those companies that … find it most difficult to talk directly to end users and what I mean by that is tech companies that operate in the background and facilitate the buying and selling of advertising rather than the ones that the user directly engages with…”
However, the CEO of Appnext, Elad Natanson, who makes money specifically by advertising said –
“There is no doubt that it is time for the entire ecosystem to become more transparent and fair to all of the stakeholders. Users want easy access to trustworthy sources of information while feeling safe with the data they share.”
Although we’ll get more concrete definitions about privacy violation, no one can guarantee a 100% safety on the Internet; that’s a fact. Companies that get caught for violating user privacy face a fine up to 4% of their global turnover. Is this a fair fine? Is 4% of global turnover enough?
Before getting deeper into the matter, the proposal needs to get approved by the European Union and member states first.
The technology is constantly growing, and it’s not even a matter of time when we’ll see the first robots constructed. They are here! Many hi-tech companies, especially in Asia, have been developing artificial intelligence over the last few years. Needless to say, the improvement and the leap forward are incredible. We now have robots that cook, clean, can make a joke, or even console their owners after a bad breakup. However, one question remains unanswered – Should we give them citizen rights?
This never-ending debate is going to last for some time because there are many different opinions on this hot subject. Granting rights to robots will have consequences that we’re unable to predict. However, if we prepare ourselves well, we shouldn’t have a problem.
The European Parliament approved a set of regulations to control the creation and use of AI with an included “electronic personhood.” The author of the report, Mady Delvaux said –
“A growing number of areas of our daily lives are increasingly affected by robotics. To address this reality and to ensure that robots are and will remain in the service of humans, we urgently need to create a robust European legal framework”.
However, we’re sure that electronic personhood will protect the interests of few, at the expense of many. As soon as the regulations go through and rules get published, the designers of AI will simply adjust their machines and (ab)use the newly voted regulation. This move doesn’t mean these people are evil; it’s simply a logical thing to do for any commercial activity.
The humanity has come to the point of no return when it comes to AI development. There’s nothing we can do to stop this trend. However, we are still the superior ones, and as such, we need to find a universal way of controlling this technology. Numerous questions come to mind such as:
These crucial questions will be left unanswered for some time, but we need to start thinking about them in advance. When the moment comes, if we’re not ready, it’s going to be too late. Would you let an AI raise your child? Would you let it vote? Think about it.