Data as the nuclear waste of the Information Age: Ghostery CEO Jean-Paul Schmetz

TechFirst with John Koetsier

Jul 8 2022 • 28 mins

Data is the nuclear waste of the web and machine learning, Ghostery CEO Jean-Paul Schmetz tells me in the last TechFirst podcast. And big tech is redefining privacy to suit their business and cut out their competitors ... not to actually deliver privacy to people.

Today, our identities are as much digital as physical, maybe more. We are where we surf, what we watch, the apps we use, the games we play, the people we engage with on social.

So privacy is a big deal and getting bigger. That's true legislatively, especially in Europe, but also technologically. Big tech has been very eager to share how privacy sensitive it is: Apple has molded its whole brand around privacy, introducing App Tracking Transparency, and Facebook is keen to say you can trust us now … we’re Meta. Google is introducing Privacy Sandbox for web and Privacy Sandbox for Android, and killing the third-party cookie … the bit of data that websites you DON’T visit can put in your browser and track you around the web.

But they all have their own definitions of privacy, which often don’t mean you giving them less data … just their competition. And Ghostery says that Google’s Manifest V3 update to Chrome will break anti-tracking and ad-blocking services.


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