It's Your Information, Take Control of it.
With the recent revelation that the CIA has myriad of tools at their disposal that they can use to be used to spy on American citizens. While the revelation of this truth may be somewhat frightening, the threat is not new. In fact, it may be part and parcel of Internet technology making it vulnerable to exploitation by government and individuals alike.
Writing for the online publication Op-ed news in an article titled, " WikiLeaks says the CIA can use your TV to spy on you. But there's good news." By Trevor Timm in which it was stated, "The most widely reported aspect of the purported leak is the allegation that the CIA has myriad ways to hack popular smartphones like iPhone and Android devices -- and that the agency could be allowing its hackers to take control of internet connected televisions and covertly listen in on conversations in people's living rooms. This type of attack has been the worry of many privacy advocates for years, as more and more televisions and other household devices (collectively known as the "Internet of Things") are increasingly connected to the Internet while always "listening." This seems like something ripped directly from the pages of a science fiction novel.
If journalism is the first draft of history then we can also say that science fiction is our first glimse into the future. From Orwell’s prescient warning about freedom and the role of government in 1984 to how Star Trek predicted many of the trends in consumer technology we see today. Science fiction has played a distinct role in defining the future. In most cases Sci-Fi takes two approaches to the future Utopian and Dystopian. In the utopian version of the future technology is harness to serve man, solve major concerns, and generally improve life. Think “Men in Black” or some of the alien contact movies.
Whereas the dystopian version of the future usually posits that our over reliance on technology has led to catastrophe. Movies franchises like the Terminator and a Matrix, and the Mad Maxx series’ are all examples that purport to show what our dystopic future could look like. But since we are likely to see some aspect of each come into being we should at least start to think about which of these is likely to come about. By doing so we can begin to plan and address these concerns before they became a problem. While neither is any more likely to come about than the other we should prepare for the dystophic possibilities inherent in our political and economic systems. Moving away from fossil fuels helps to militate against the possibility of resource shortage and oil reserve depletion. The efficient use of resources and energy further enhances our ability to guard against fossil fuel depletion. As dangerous as our possibly dystopic future is the over reliance on technology to solve man-made problems thinking that there will always be a technological fix precludes a person from avoiding the problem to begin with. How interested in Climate Change would the average person be if they thought that a technological solution was in the offering that could save the day?
As dangerous as our possibly dystopic future is the over reliance on technology to solve man-made problems thinking that there will always be a technological fix precludes a person from avoiding the problem to begin with. How interested in Climate Change would the average be if they thought that a technological solution was in the offering that could save the day?
While our imaginations are filled with the images of a bleak future built on scarcity, it is just as likely the broad outlines of our future can be observed in the present. In other words, even our most profound technological processes don’t spring forth from the ether rather they are the evolutionary adaptation of existing technology. Rather than watching for the intrusive arm of Big Brother (Government)intruding in your life, what if we were to invite in and willingly give over a part of our freedom for convenience or for profit. As such concepts as Telematics, Infotainment, and Self Tracking become an integral part of the internet of things that is exactly what we are poised to do if we do not put safe guards in place.
As the recent Wiki-leaks reporting is beginning to confirm our government, and the businesses that run it, have at their disposal tools that can, in the wrong hands, wreak havoc on communities and their ability to safe guard sensitive information. They are able to do this by exploiting the process used to make the technology function; therefore this ability is embedded in the technology itself. Cell phones use towers and satellites to send and receive information to and from your phone, this location information can be used to track a person’s movements. Your cars’ OBD II port tracks driving behavior such as speed and acceleration, shock sensors can detect crashes as well as other crucial information. While your television sends and receives information to and from your cable provider. Together this information can be used to create a rather robust psychographic understanding of people down to the individual level.
Since this is information is going to be generated and this information has value people might want to start thinking about taking hold of our information and restricting access to that information so that people can receive payment for having access to that person’s information. Encryption and ownership of information are but two possible ways to protect our information and by extension our privacy against unwarranted intrusion.