Dataland — a place where your activities are tracked 24/7 — is almost upon us, say some researchers. Popular myths stress the advantages of a data-driven society, but there’s a dark side. In Dataland, we’re tracked 24/7. What we eat, when we sleep, the real-time state of our body and minds — all of it is monitored and available for analysis. When we walk from one room to another, the temperature changes to shift energy usage to the most efficient level possible. When we leave our homes, we are guided away from trouble spots. We receive only job or credit offers that will match our lifestyles.
“Data is not something like a natural resource, that we pull out of databases like oil out of the ground,” Crawford said. “Data is a function of human creativity and thought. In that sense it requires an enormous amount of care and thinking in how we use it.” “We need better data ethics,” Crawford said. “Dataland is almost with us. We can’t afford to set up a system with no opt out and no protection for citizens. That is what is at stake.”