“Imagine a not-so-distant future where you’re just driving on the highway. Your car is sending real-time data about your performance behind the wheel to your insurance company. And in return, the insurance company is sending real-time driver behavior modification punishments back – real-time rate hikes, curfews, even engine lockdowns. Or, if you behave in the way they like, you get an instant rate discount. In other words, the insurance company is shaping your behavior right then and there. Would you like that? What does is mean for our entire understanding of free will?” Shoshana Zuboff, author of “The Age of Surveillance Capitalism: The Fight for a Human Future at the New Frontier of Power.”

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What Shoshana is describing is the current shift into the new financial system, which is being driven by tech companies (Google, Facebook, Amazon) and a much broader control over the consumer.

In the old system you and I were the customers and establishing relationships were the key. Large businesses competed with local mom and pop businesses and the customer was king. But with the mass adoption of technology that is embedded with tracking tools, the ability to gather data on our every move, then translate that data into predictions and sell those predictions to others, without our knowledge, has transformed us into the raw product.

Armed with this information, ads are customized and follow you around the internet enticing you to buy an item or an idea. And it’s very profitable for those companies, like Google and Facebook, whose ad earnings generate more income than many countries GDP.

In turn, this has enabled them to buy up or imitate rivals, exert influence over entire markets and lobby to maintain those rights to gather and control even more of your private data. Though now, governments are attempting to figure out how to legislate this loss of privacy.

Recently, Freedom on the Net did a study on Machine-Driven monitoring of 65 countries. They found that forty of those countries have instituted advanced social media surveillance programs monitoring 89% of internet users.

What about governments? Of course, they have long employed people to monitor speech on social media but as witnessed in authoritarian governments, like Iran and China, have used this information to prosecute those that disagree with them.

Even in countries with fundamental freedom safeguards, like the US and UK, there are reports of abuse. For example, London police reportedly monitored nearly 9,000 political activists, many without criminal backgrounds, using geolocation tracking and sentiment analysis on data scraped from Facebook, Twitter and other platforms.

If that happened to you, would you be OK with it? What happens to privacy and freedoms? What happens to true freedom of thought and decision making? Can you see how a surveillance economy, with digital money and digital titles, would easily control you?

Can you see why now, more than ever, why physical gold and silver in your possession, is critically important? As Alan Greenspan wrote in 1966, when gold was fixed at $35 an ounce, as we transitioned from a gold standard to a debt standard “Gold and economic freedom are inseparable.” This is as true today, as we transition from the debt standard into the digital standard, as it was then.

Financial shields are made out of physical gold and silver. If you don’t hold it, you don’t own it.

Slides and Links:

https://www.wbur.org/onpoint/2019/01/15/surveillance-capitalism-shoshana-zuboff-facebook-data

https://www.wbur.org/onpoint/2019/01/15/surveillance-capitalism-online-data-privacy-facebook-google-amazon

https://www.eckerson.com/articles/if-data-is-the-new-oil-metadata-is-the-new-gold

http://customerthink.com/how-to-turn-your-data-into-gold-with-machine-learning/

https://www.wsj.com/articles/how-google-interferes-with-its-search-algorithms-and-changes-your-results-11573823753?mod=cx_immersive&cx_navSource=cx_immersive&cx_tag=collabctx&cx_artPos=2#cxrecs_s

https://infographic.statista.com/normal/chartoftheday_2496_facebook_revenue_by_segment_n.jpg

https://www.itchronicles.com/technology/data-the-new-gold-rush-for-businesses/

https://www.bloomberg.com/quicktake/why-eu-is-reining-in-tech-giants-while-the-u-s-is-hands-off

https://www.freedomonthenet.org/report/freedom-on-the-net/2019/the-crisis-of-social-media/social-media-surveillance

https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/ne9b3z/how-to-get-off-data-broker-and-people-search-sites-pipl-spokeo

https://www.forbes.com/sites/cognitiveworld/2019/02/18/not-good-as-gold-todays-ais-are-dangerously-lacking-in-au-artificial-understanding/#77b7aa9b536d