Big Brother is a Fucking Creeper.

We all know our myriad devices listen to us. Actually, maybe we don’t all know, but, if you didn’t know, let me be the first to inform you. All of your devices are listening to you.  Yep. Your smart phone, your computer, your tablet, your smart television, Alexa, those dot thingies and all the other things like it, your smart watch, and probably even your car. The ones with cameras are likely watching us, too. Creepy, huh?

Without reading, we all click “yes” agreeing to the terms and conditions to have this or that device or app, and there you have it. In the fine print we’ve all neglected to read, we’ve given over access to the cameras and microphones on our devices.

Supposedly, this is a marketing thing that allows whoever reviews this shit to know about the things we enjoy, want, or need so items can effectively be marketed to us.  Sometimes, I’m cool with that. I mean, I don’t really suppose there’s much wrong with seeing ads for things I might actually want over ads for crap I would never dream of getting. Sometimes, though, it’s just weird.

Yesterday, I was with some friends, and we were talking about Tesla cars. My friend, Melissa, said something about them making a truck and how strange looking it was. Being the curious sort, I pulled up Google on my handy-dandy phone to check this shit out. In the search box, I simply typed “T-E-S,” and the very first suggested response was “Tesla Truck.”

What a wacky coincidence, right?

By the way, is this awful, or what?

Next, we got on to talking about where the charging stations are for these vehicles, and one of us said, “I wonder how much it costs to charge your car?”

“I don’t know.  Let’s find out,” I replied, and I pulled Google back up.

“How muc…”

Really, Google?  You can’t even pretend you weren’t part of our conversation? I mean, yes, we did ask you, but how about maybe pretending we have just a smidge of privacy? How about making it the second or third option down?

If we are going this route, I can see all kinds of evil intent being fulfilled with this technology. I don’t even care that I sound like an insane conspiracy theorist. What’s sad, to me, is that we are all merrily going down the path to giving our souls away to Big Brother, and no one seems to really care. Myself included. I mean, are you willing to give up your devices? Personally, I’m trying to limit time I spend on them, but they are still sitting there… listening… learning.

and thus sayeth The Barb:

I’ve had that experience too, and it’s super unsettling, no matter how many times it happens.

The funny thing is, I’ve been teaching Girl Child how to look up the privacy policy for any app she’s interested in, and what to look for when she reads it before deciding to get the app.

Now, I like to think of myself as a fairly intelligent person, and a lot of times I have to reread these sections to understand what we would be agreeing to.

Not only do corporations assume no one will read this stuff, they go out of their way to make it as dense and complicated as possible, to discourage anyone who does try.
I worked in a hospital for nearly a decade. I understand Latin. If your policy is too complicated for me to figure out, that shit is deliberate.

Having said that, Dissy is absolutely right. I’m not going to give up my smartphone either. I did, however, make one concession to paranoia, and I won’t get an Alexa or anything like it. When we got our security system installed, I went with the basic package, telling the salesman that under no circumstance do I need to carry on a conversation with my house. And I’m profoundly creeped out by the idea of my refrigerator reminding me that we’re low on milk.

I also know damn well none of this is really going to make much of a difference. I carry a 24/7 wiretap in my pocket that also tracks my location, and I’ll keep doing it, because it means when my aging mother gets sick or I blow a tire on the side of the highway, no one is ever without a way to reach out.

Besides, as weird as my life gets, hopefully there’s a few moments of laughter for the NSA agent who has to listen in. You’re welcome Gary.

2 thoughts on “Big Brother is a Fucking Creeper.”

  1. Yep, I have a few of those stories as well. I toured my aunt’s workplace, Combi Packaging. I never used my phone while there. For months afterwards I got ads about Combi. Currently, I’m getting ads for bookbinding on Pinterest on my phone. I never used my phone to look that up. I DID use my laptop to get an idea on how to sew the binding. Freaky. I refuse to use Bixby or Alexa. My father had Alexa, got mad at it and told her she was an idiot. Ever since, anytime he would ask Alexa a question, she responded that he would have to call customer service because she wouldn’t help him. They got rid of it when they we sitting on the porch and heard Alexa talking by herself in the basement. But they didn’t learn. They replaced her with Google assistant.

    Liked by 1 person

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