Ghost in the shell cyberbrain

Excellent Medium article on some behind the scenes data science, and how Cambridge Anylitica (now renamed as Emerdata Ltd.) used behavioral profiling, ad micro-targeting via Facebook, and AI to win elections and influence opinions and politics worldwide.

The best way to thwart these kind of systems is to use an open source web browser like Firefox, and use addons such as:

  • (Search) DuckDuckGo: the search engine that doesn’t track you
  • (Email) Protonmail: free-mium email account provider with a Swiss-based company with better physical and legal protections (+) for you than most other companies/countries.
  • (Password Manager): Firefox Lockwise or Lastpass:
    • Keeps track of your passwords for various different web apps so you don’t have to
    • Set one master password for your account, other passwords are saved and filled in automatically by the browser addon
    • Prevents you from getting pwned if one the companies hosting your account gets hacked and the password isn’t securely stored.
  • Privacy Badger: Learns how sites track you, and drops these connections
  • Ublock Origin : Blocks most ads
  • Facebook Container : Isolates Facebook’s elements from the rest of your browsing


More browser addons:

  • Google , Amazon, etc. Containers: Isolates behavior and tracking to site-specific containers
  • Disconnect : Similar to privacy possum
  • Facebook adblock: blocks Facebook ads
  • (Bonus) VimVixen : Speedy web browsing with vim shortcuts (for the old-school terminal lovers out there)

Also, it’s worth going into your Google account settings and turning off personalized ads and location data collection, especially if you have an Android phone.

These all may be helpful steps to help secure your privacy, even for reasons that may not immediately be clear to you at the time (+) (+) (+).



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