Social media philosophy blog
Sunday October 22nd 2017

Lying software and data -hide and -seek

Web applications have become very efficient in sharing the personal information of users. Interestingly enough, this information, for instance attained in generous amount by Facebook third-party application developers and producers of smartphone apps, tend to be very trustworthy. Our computers, our servants, do not lie as much as we humans. The reason is that our computers, or smartphones, simply forwards our actual personal data, which have to be truthful in order to be congruent with credit card data. Data on surfing, location and contacts are also on the spot since our hardware knows what we are doing. You can’t fool your own computer.

Interesting alternatives are on the rise. The TISSA (Taming info-stealing smart phone application) is an app under development that directs your android smartphone to actually lie to other apps.

Three options for lying are available. “Empty” means that the smartphone innocently responds to information requests with “there is no such information”. “Bogus” allows the smartphone to be creative and feedback fictional data that will still allow the app to do its stuff adequately. “Anonymous” will filter away personal data.

Arguably, lying software is inevitable. It will also create a new twist for the mechanical/mathematical practice of data mining. Increasingly, it will be difficult to trust the data as users will purposely corrupt what their computers are saying about them. Probably, this trend will be followed by a counter trend in which application developers will attempt to trick lying software into spilling the actual beans. We are talking some kind of digital truth drug here. Counter-countermeasures by privacy conscious citizens are then bound to follow…

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