Big Brother is Watching, and it’s not who you think…

14164592302_93c7807b58_oFor decades, people have thought the governments of the world to be some evil, omnipotent overlords bent on knowing our most intimate details and controlling our lives. While they may not necessarily be wrong, or “crazy conspiracy theorists”, there’s a much greater, silent threat to our privacy that has crept up while we weren’t looking, the Corporate World of Business.

We know the stories of companies tracking users through the use of our cell phones, drones that monitor zip around our skylines, cookies embedded in web pages, etc. We know this practice exists and we take measures to try to counteract these methods, right?

Were you aware that your tablets, phones, and computers are communicating even when you’re not using them? Say you’re watching the latest episode of your favorite show on Hulu or watching a funny video on YouTube on your laptop when all of a sudden, an ad plays. For the duration of that ad, your laptop is sending out an ultrasonic signal that is detected by your phone, tablet, even other PC’s, that connects all of these devices to you. That signal monitors everything done during its duration: How long  did you watch the ad? Did you search the product afterward? What devices, and how many, are in that location? Which ones were used?

These are just the questions they admit to, but if they can monitor all of this, what’s stopping them from eavesdropping on your phone calls “to see if you discussed that ad with anyone”? They will claim to have “strict ethical codes” and “never violate the privacy of users”, but then I didn’t agree to this ultrasonic monitoring tool, did you?

EULA’s of the services and products we use are far too broad, the laws governing the collection of data far too outdated, and technology is advancing far too fast to get everything on the same page. So the question posed now is, how much privacy do we really have? How much is it worth to you, and how much is it worth to them?

With the world becoming more connected, the IoT becoming the future, can we really prevent the unauthorized spying? The short, simple answer is: no. At least, not with the use of more technology.

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Image credits: book radio