Guess what? Uncle Sam isn’t the only one watching. The list of companies, agencies, and devices watching you, collecting data about you, selling that data to the highest bidder, is growing. As the Internet of Things expands and becomes pervasive, how can that possibly be good news for you and me?
Watching You For Profit
Look at how many of our popular electronic devices come with eavesdropping features built-in. Smartphones, tablets, computers have cameras and microphones.
Samsung sells smart televisions which can, with the right applications installed, listen to your voice and watch your movements via built-in microphones and camera.
Amazon’s new Echo device is voice controlled– which means it listens to what you say. Amazon’s moribund Fire smartphone is so smart enough to listen and watch (via the built-in microphones and cameras and Firefly technology).
Amazon and Samsung are not alone in leading the way toward personal surveillance. Google’s Nest thermostat and Dropcam division specialize in monitoring you and your home.
How do you think Google, Apple, and others know that traffic on a given highway or street is congested? Someone is watching.
While websites and information make up the World Wide Web, the Internet of Things makes up a vast and rapidly growing web of computing devices which exist within the Internet’s pervasive infrastructure, and it’s that connectivity and the collection of personal information which presents users with potential problems.
Where Apple Stands
Just as it was with the proliferation of information on the World Wide Web, there does not seem an organized plan for the proliferation of information gathered on the Internet of Things.
It takes little effort for a database-centric organization to find out details about your likes, dislikes, personal habits, history, and plans. Why? Nobody is controlling the flow of information from us to those disparate databases scattered all over the world.
The Internet of Things could easily become a danger to humanity on a personal basis. That’s why we need a white knight, a maker of Internet of Things technology which promises and delivers a measure of personal privacy and security and protection from the data collectors.
We, and everything about us, are being harvested by a disparate group of entities for their benefit, but not for ours. Apple needs to step forward with both a plan and line of products which creates a personal firewall between us and the connectivity which we let into our lives.
I don’t want to be tracked without my complete knowledge and cooperation and permission. If Apple isn’t watching over us, that means everyone else is watching us and everything we do.
How can that possibly be good for you or me?