Section One - Meet the bad actors
A story about the Chinese social credit system and a bunch of bad actors (5 minutes)
This is a crash course on the impact of bad actors. But what exactly is a bad actor? Let's start with the bad in bad actor.
What you would describe as bad? Is a government that is spying on their citizens a bad actor? Or is this government just keeping people safe? The answer depends a lot on context and culture. For example, the surveillance (and social credit) system in China seems very dystopian to citizens in Western countries, but a lot of Chinese people are very positive about it.
Or maybe they are too afraid to criticize the system.
If you do not know what the plans for the Chinese social credit system are, please watch this short explanation video (2.30 minutes):
In the West governments are also spying (remember Edward Snowden) and so are the Big Tech companies. But is a company that is surveilling its users a bad actor? Or is it just a business model that is also profitable for the users?
And what about the actor in bad actor? This can be a government, a company, an organization or just (bad) people.
In this crash course we only have one hour. That means making choices.
- We do not focus on governments or companies;
- We do not focus on things that might be bad or not;
Instead, we focus on the really bad people. This is also more fun.
In this crash course will meet a lot of people abusing technology. These people are:
- Breaking the law;
- Using technology to avoid the consequences of breaking the law;
- Hurting people;
- Stealing identities;
- Stealing data;
- Insulting people;
- Targeting ethnic groups;
- Creating societal unrest;
- Pitting certain groups against each other;
- And the list goes on….
We've divided these bad people into 4 different groups, which we'll cover in the following sections.
- identity thieves;
This is not a complete overview, far from it, but it will help you to get informed and inspired about what bad actors can and will do with (digital) technology. This will help you think about using, designing or assessing technology with bad actors in mind. Perhaps this ensures that you make different choices or, at least, are aware of the risks
Let’s start with the hackers in the next section.
Take aways from section one:
- It is hard to objectively state what is 'bad';
- Bad actors can also be governments or companies;
- We focus on really bad people;
- Being aware of potential actions of bad actors helps you make better choices considering the impact of technology.