“Big tech” knows all your secrets and sells them to the highest bidder—this guide for the everyday tech user explains how it happens, why it matters, and how to protect yourself and your most precious commodities, your identity and privacy.
THE GUIDE TO USING EVERYDAY TECH—FROM GOOGLE SEARCHES AND AMAZON TO GPS AND FACEBOOK—WITH EYES WIDE OPEN.
What if somebody knew everything about you? Your . . .
• relationships: work, social, and private
• family history, finances, and medical records
• even your exact location . . . at any time of the day
• personal preferences and purchases
Somebody does. That somebody is “Big Tech.”
Facebook, Google, Amazon, Apple, and Microsoft know more about you than you do.
And they make billions of dollars by cashing in on your private data.
Our personal data, which Big Tech companies get for free, is the engine that drives the unregulated, free-for-all, Wild West world called the digital marketplace. These corporate giants may bring us information and entertainment, convenience and connection, but they also do a lot of harm by:
• threatening our privacy, discovering and disseminating our personal information.
• spreading dangerous misinformation from foreign governments and bad actors.
• manipulating our behavior, affecting what we see, buy . . . even who we vote for.
So, what can we do about it?
This eye-opening book provides vital information that has been out of reach to those who need it most—the millions of Facebook, Google, Amazon, Apple, and Microsoft users who have come to love and depend upon these digital products. Veteran consumer advocate Jane Hoffman makes the complex world of Big Tech simple to grasp as she reveals exactly how Big Tech uses—and abuses—your personal information. And she proposes a bold blueprint for reforming these corporate behemoths—including a data dividend.
Your Data, Their Billions is a guidebook to everything at stake in our digital society, from Big Tech’s overreach into our daily lives to its practices that threaten our democracy. Knowledge is power—and it starts here.
About the Author
Jane Hoffman is a Senior Fellow at Harvard University and previously served as Commissioner of Consumer Affairs in New York City. Her leadership as an advocate for consumer rights and protections in the digital era is built on a long career in public advocacy. Her work for social, consumer, educational, and environmental rights includes spearheading groundbreaking programs that drove public policy and new laws in New York. She was also a member of the New York State Public Authority Reform Commission, New York City Department of Cultural Affairs Commission, New York City Commission for United Nations Consular Corps & International Business, and the Fund for Public Advocacy. In 2002, Hoffman was a Democratic candidate for New York lieutenant governor, and she has been profiled in the New York Times for her public advocacy.