Knowing me, knowing you

Personal data quagmire coming to an ear, eye and AI near you.

13 June 2023

If the last 10 years on the web have shown me anything, it’s how underappreciated personal data was. To be fair, the last decade has also given me meme fluency, eye strain, and enabled my remote working life.

But a big takeaway, a gift of hindsight, is that knowing us – the basic facts, little preferences, deeply held interests, and unacknowledged habits – became a lifeblood of the web, elevating some companies to incredible levels of reach and riches. By the time we wondered if perhaps we shouldn’t trade our personal data away quite so cheaply and completely, it was too late. A whole economy and ecosystem had already been built on it.

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