What Are We Giving Up?

There have been a couple of events recently that make me wonder if we have given up too much of our privacy. We are nothing but a complex series of seemingly infinite data points to be mined for profit.

I am not a privacy zealot. I really have nothing to hide, I use my name and personal information online. I don’t hide behind fake accounts or pseudonyms. The intrusions I accept are the ones where I’ve agreed to allow access to my information. My concern is more about the stuff these companies seem to be collecting when I’m not online or working in the public realm.

The first example of note happened about three months ago. I work shifts and on a Saturday night about quitting time I received a notification from my phone. The notification from Google read “Would you like to call <insert wife’s name>. You normally call them at this time on Saturday evening.” I did a double-take. This was clearly based on my call history and that is none of their fucking business. It is not the same as agreeing to cookies when surfing on Amazon or Google or whatever website I visit. It is an invasion of my privacy pure and simple.

As troubling as that event was, the next event was even more intrusive. Two weeks ago, I was at a local supermarket. An upscale boutique type store, think Whole Foods on a local scale. They carry organic produce and meats, high quality ready to eat meals and a lot of house brands and other products from small producers with products like barbeque sauces, spice mixes, healthy snacks, etc…

On the day in question, I was perusing the aisles when I noticed a snack product from a small company. Flavoured roasted lentils, chickpeas and/or green peas. I’d never heard of the company or the product before so I picked the package up and took a moment to read the ingredient labels and nutritional information. Ultimately I determined it wasn’t worth the $9 for 85g of product they were asking for and I put it back on the shelf.

I want to stress that I never spoke the name of the product, saved any details about it and never searched for the product or company online. Worst case scenario, I was holding my phone in one hand as I read the packaging in store. Since that visit Amazon and a few other sites have bombarded me with advertisements for the very same product. Never once before have I noticed the ads before seeing the product in store and almost every time since. Coincidence, I think not and damning evidence that they are accessing camera information when the phone is not in use.

The article at the link below will give you an idea of what these companies collect on you.

Are you ready? Here is all the data Facebook and Google have on you | Dylan Curran | The Guardian

It is time to consider the information these companies are collecting and making billions of dollars from. How secure is our information and how much is too much. Lastly, it is my information, where is my cut of the revenue from the selling and sharing of it.


Copyright 2022 Greg Glazebrook, All Rights Reserved.

9 thoughts on “What Are We Giving Up?

  1. joanne the geek

    A couple of times now I’ve thought about buying a certain thing, and then suddenly ads turn up for the product I’ve been thinking of. At this point I hadn’t done any posts about it or even mentioned it to anyone. It may just be a coincidence, but I do get a little concerned every time that happens…

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply
    1. Gr8BigFun Post author

      I am not a conspiracy theory guy but makes you wonder if Bill Gates’ really did put the nanobots in the vaccine! Of course, I am kidding but it really is Orwellian when you think of the amount of information they hold and could use to control us if they chose. Definitely more than enough data about our elected officials to influence decision making.

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  2. Chel Owens

    My kids wonder why I won’t allow Alexa in our house and why I hate linking devices to bluetooth (our new pickup truck automatically pops up voice chat and saves our driving data!!). It gives me the heeby-geebies!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. Gr8BigFun Post author

      I had a Google home display in my home. Disconnected it because I’d be having conversations with my wife and all of a sudden the assistant would join the conversation!

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
      1. Gr8BigFun Post author

        1984 is exactly how it makes me feel except it’s not even a totalitarian regime with some moral compass as mess up as that may be, it’s amoral corporations exploiting us for $$$ and we all just go along like sheep. With the information they hold on people they can sway decisions at all levels of all government. Potentially more insideous than 1984.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Chel Owens

        It’s true. I often look around and think, ‘I didn’t think it would be like *this*.’ I mean, the dystopian novels have some organized, evil power in charge of everything. It’s just a greedy mess that is really terrible for us.

        Liked by 1 person

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