September 10, 2019
All Eyes on You
By Chris Gaarde, Assistant Editor
I suppose by now we’re all used to it…
Whether you’re out walking the dog in the suburbs or running to catch a bus in the city, you can barely go a block without seeing one.
Sometimes you’ll spot them at your neighbor’s front door… sometimes they’ll even appear on your street overnight without explanation. And most of us won’t even notice.
Make no mistake. Whether you see them or not, they’re watching you. They know where you’ve been, what you’ve said, and can predict where you’re going next… And chances are, you’re only making it easier for them.
So, how many surveillance cameras are on your street? Or in your office? And what about Siri and Alexa? How many times have you been recorded, willingly or otherwise?
This past weekend, online news aggregator Axios focused its “AM Deep Dive” column on the topic of surveillance, AI, and the “psychology of being watched.”
Until now, the vast majority of information collected about us has remained untouched – there was just too much to make sense of it all. But AI allows data that might once have gone unnoticed to now be detected, analyzed and logged in real time…
Boosters of surveillance technology argue that it can make cities safer, improve traffic, speed up airport and stadium lines, make workers more productive and safeguard valuable company property.
People are willing to be watched in certain cases. Most trust police to use facial recognition responsibly… but a majority don’t trust tech companies or advertisers to do the same.
The feature, made up of six small parts, looks at everything from anti-surveillance fashion to privacy and surveillance in the workplace. It’s a bullet-point breakdown on a subject we’ve covered before, and it’s chockfull of sources and links to take you further down the “Big Brother” rabbit hole.
It feels like we can’t go a month without hearing about a new data or privacy breach (this week it’s the Boy Scouts of America), and odds are good you’ve already been affected. Unfortunately, we’re only now realizing just how much our data, words, faces, and movement are being tracked, stored, and analyzed.
Now here are some of the stories we’re reading…
Editor in Chief P.J. O’Rourke’s humorous look at how privacy has become a thing of the past, and how the government is taking advantage of our oversharing culture.
Western concerns about what could happen with China’s Social Credit System have in some ways outstripped discussions about what’s already really occurring… The exaggerated portrayals may also help to downplay surveillance efforts in other parts of the world.
Luckily, there are strategies you can use to minimize or even avoid [privacy] dangers… a toolkit for dealing with issues like identity theft, online harassment, and general data security.
Whoever was behind this incident appears to have used AI-based software to successfully mimic the German executive’s voice by phone. The U.K. CEO recognized his boss’ slight German accent and the melody of his voice…
And let us know what you’re reading at [email protected].
Assistant Editor, American Consequences
With P.J. O’Rourke and the Editorial Staff
September 10, 2019