Here’s a little follow up on my last post, concerning my sweetheart’s aversion to use a fitness tracker.
As I said, he doesn’t want his personal moving data sent over the internet. Fine.
But wait a minute: he uses a satnav in his Mercedes Benz, so at least the Stuttgart boys at Daimler are well informed about his tos and fros. Given the fact, that sweetheart’s a real German, who doesn’t walk any further than the length of his car, unless doing sports.
On top, he uses a smartphone, so I am sure, pretty much everybody with a tiny bit of hacker in them could easily follow him around everywhere and could tell whom he talks to on the phone, maybe even how often and what about. And even if the content of his phone conversations may stay obscure to amateur hackers, this is where the US, Russian or German “Stasi” enter the picture, I am 100% sure of. And if they are technically not up to scratch, then I am 110% sure, Telekom, Google & Co. are.
And then, there are his credit card, his cash card and his online banking devices. At the least his own bankers are very well informed about his spending and consumer habits. And whom they see fit to sell it to. That’s illegal! you say. Of course that is illegal. But bankers have long since proven to not be the best keepers of lawful ways, have they? They would sell their grandma, if need arises, in my humble opinion. So why not our data to companies? Worse, even, they might be legally entitled to, because we oked it with a click on one of the thousand pages of tiny print one is required to agree to on almost every corner on or offline.
People, who are not as secretive as my sweetheart with their data might even opt to use one or more of company cash back cards or other constructs toward the same effect: giving you a little reward or deduction for all your offline consumer data on top of what they already have (which is your online consumer data).
Oh, and to you environmentally friendly guys with smart houses, where the heating turns down, as soon as you leave the house, the fridge orders groceries for you and whenever your doorbell rings, you get a video to your mobile: you’re in for the 24/7 watch of big brother. Don’t be surprised, if Amazon ships you complimentary blue pills, when you’re around my age 😉
I haven’t even begun to talk about folks, who use social media, sharing details plus photographs about their lives plus information about who their friends and acquaintances are with all and sundry. Or those who, god-forbid, even keep a blog. Where we spell out our inner thoughts for all the world to read.
So, I think it is futile to pretend, that we still have secrets. Every bit of information about us is available, sold and paid for. Or stolen. Did we really think, we would get all the benefits of the fourth dimension (which I consider the internet to be) without any cost at all? Just because “they” don’t ask for money, we don’t know yet, exactly how costly the use of internet really will be to the individual.
However, I also believe, Google, Microsoft and Co. don’t have the worst intentions on earth (compared to many other institutions including governments and other religious or wordly leaders – just ask Raif Badawi). Just because all our secrets are out there, doesn’t automatically mean harm yet. It still takes a criminal or otherwise evil intention to turn them against us. And that’s not so new, sadly enough.
In the end, a secret only stays a secret, as long as you keep it. So think twice about what you do in any dimension available. But don’t get too fussed with it, either.