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Surprised to see you mention fintech. I think you should leave them out of it — all this dystopian shit is made by the evil “don’t be evil” people.

It’s ironic. When I was 18 and I heard about people doing HFT I thought it was unethical, siphoning money from Joe Shmoe to evil rich people. The older I get, the more I realize Facebook and Google are the truly evil choice — it’s the people in HFT that can have a clear conscience.

IMO Google and Facebook have their hands remarkably clean relative to the rest of the Adtech industry.

I've heard some crazy shit about how much money comes from adtech to fund blackhat data brokers. Adtech buys hacked databases on underground markets, but more than that they fund supply chain attacks to get highly intrusive adware into popular apps. They frequently buy up applications that have a wide install base on phones and browser extensions, and then on the next update, request maximum privileges and use it to loot as much as they can from user systems.

It's a symbiotic relationship. Shady ad networks are often used by criminals for narrowly targeted attacks (advertise this crafted phishing site to women aged 25-35 in the greater Dallas Fort Worth area who are recently married). Those criminals use that access to obtain more private data which they sell to adtech companies. It's a pretty gross business.

In other news, HFT isn't bad because it's HFT, it's bad because order matching services have a bunch of shady, undocumented order types that are designed to allow HFT firms to specifically extract winnings from retail investors. They are absolutely economic parasites, and no one has any incentive to stop them.



> bunch of shady, undocumented order types that are designed to allow HFT firms to specifically extract winnings from retail investors

Ehn, most of those order types are to try to beat other HFTs. When talking about order types, it's HFT vs HFT.

While I agree with you on FB and Google. Fintech isn't just trading. Financial data is tracked and sold by these financial tech / services companies just like browsing activity. Even the "privacy first" companies like Plaid, who doesn't sell the data, would have given up their data to Visa had the acquisition gone through. All these companies are incentivized to track everything they can.

Bingo, and very well put. I have several friends who work at Facebook. I won’t, and this is why. I honestly think part of the reason Facebook pays such a premium for engineers is the ick factor.

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