We’ve just gone through a three-year knock-down, drag-out fight between the Trump administration and the deep state over allegations of collusion by Trump with Russia and counterallegations of spying on Trump by the deep state. There’s no need to recite that history; we’ve all heard enough already. But what if you were being spied on not by the deep state but by the device in your pocket or on the kitchen counter?
According to this article, that’s happening every day with innocuous and convenient devices like Alexa from Amazon, Assistant from Google and Siri from Apple. Most people who have these devices think of them as a one-way street where they can order pizza, buy products and get information by voice command. That they can do. But these systems are really a two-way street.
They’re listening to your private conversations, tracking your whereabouts and talking amongst each other (robot to robot) about your behavioral patterns and whether you might be some kind of threat to society. Even that can sound benign if the “threat” is a possible mass shooter. But how good are the algorithms? (Not very good, in my experience.)
And what if that “threat” comes to be defined as your religious beliefs, political beliefs, family size or thoughts on climate change that happen to be at odds with what’s considered acceptable by the engineers and thought police at Google? I don’t have Alexa (ever since I smashed mine with a sledgehammer) and I don’t use Assistant. I have Siri (can’t seem to get rid of it) but I leave it in the “off” position and disable all other apps from communicating with it.
I’m not exempt from this kind of Big Brother surveillance (no one is) but I do try to keep it to a minimum. Other techniques (none infallible) are to leave your phone off whenever possible and leave it home if you’re just walking to do routine tasks.
Good luck with all of the above; it can seem like a losing battle. The only thing worse than deep state surveillance and Silicon Valley surveillance is when the two join forces. I’ve seen that firsthand also. It’s not coming; it’s already here.
Institutional investors can schedule a proof of concept with the world’s first predictive data analytics firm combining human and artificial intelligence with complexity science. Check out Jim Rickard’s company at Meraglim Holdings to learn more.