Why is LinkNYC such a problem?
Contrary to the claims of CityBridge, LinkNYC does nothing to address the digital divide. Instead, it invades New Yorkers’ privacy by collecting our data and making us potential subjects of surveillance with cameras that are wired to track movements, association patterns, browser habits, and online activities. That data could also be •used by corporations to bombard LinkNYC users with targeted advertising that turns our private habits into public electronic billboard ads •used by the NYPD and the other state agencies to racially profile and further harass marginalized communities. •a rich target for hackers.
The only borough that has been opted out from LinkNYC’s targeted advertising is Staten Island.
Corporate surveillance Business Insider says that the booths will collect neighborhood-specific data. A representative from Intersection, the parent company of LinkNYC has commented that it will use LinkNYC to “gain insights into how people use the network and how people move through the city.” The company, which is owned by Google, plans to build neighborhood profiles that can be sold to advertisers.
In other words, citizens are the product.
Google has not categorically ruled out individual-level surveillance of users of LinkNYC with a representative of its subsidiary opting only to say that it is “not currently part of the strategy.” But, given the lack of clarity on the policies the govern LinkNYC, it could be. The New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU) wrote an open letter to Mayor DeBlasio demanding clarification of these policies. It has gone unanswered.
The Snowden revelations about the NSA’s mass surveillance are only the latest chapter in a long history of state surveillance, one that has disproportionately affected marginalized communities and communities of color.
The NSA invaded our online worlds. Now, Google is bringing that model to your street.
Say no to LinkNYC. Rethink Link .
Target for hackers