"We know where you've been, we can more or less know what you're thinking about" Privacy of your data
If you’re one of the many people who, when confronted with your internet usage and the privacy of your data say “I’ve nothing to hide”, and my articles have done nothing to dissuade you or convince you then you MUST get down to Charing Cross Road “Glass room exhibit’
“You’re invited to experiment and reconsider the idea that even if we think we might have nothing to hide, we should at least understand what we’re not hiding.”
Many of the exhibits are innocuous 3 minute looking videos on an tablet with an attached set of headphones, but some are large digital display screens, on these you’ll be able to see in real time, how your very own mobile phone is ‘pinging’ all the time, how you appear in a display tracked, and then, even, see where you go after you’ve visited- many people were displayed as having gone to McDonalds- should I really know the whereabouts of strangers.
In there you’ll learn many things including new technological advancements, like the data TFL are collecting about you are going to the same company who works for the US armed services.
TFL are looking to grow this data to include facial recognition, palm vein scanning and object tracking- just like your mobile phone
If the fact that a US military contractor will hold the data of identifying your face, and scanning your palm leaves you in awe rather than concerned, then take for example the marketing companies are using your data to track and profile you from beyond Facebook.
Ad tech company ‘Tapad’ target you as you walk past billboards- currently taking place in Piccadilly Circus, and on Google branded buses. They’re calling it your ‘digital DNA’ collected from all your devices, even your TV, and it can tell the difference between different people in the same house.
There’s a prototype device that can care for your elderly relative when you’re not there, a device that can tell if they’ve opened their fridge today, taken their medication, slept well, and send you the updates by text message. When you piece together that they are gathering a whole lot of data, on their illness, on their sleep patterns, on their eating habits, on your loved one, which is sought after and handsomely paid for, you’ll wish you had just got up and gone to see them yourself, not to mention the fact that none of these devices can replace the human contact so many elderly people are deprived of.
You’ll learn, Google are stakeholders in UBER, in Motorola and other pharmaceutical companies. So, when you’re using your FitBit they’re collecting all that data on you and using it to decide how much to charge you for health insurance, or deciding how likely you are to develop an illness, and influence the price of the drugs you might need.
The repercussions of all this are numerous.
A chilling quote on a main display explains "We know where you've been, we can more or less know what you're thinking."
Take for example 23&Me have sold 800,000 peoples DNA profiles to Pfizer. They can look at these results and tell you what diagnoses you may develop in your lifetime. You may never develop these of course, and you may never have discovered this is a potential in your DNA, but the knowledge of it could alter the course of your life, and you may make different decisions.
Heath insurers are offering cheaper fees if the buyer allows them to collect data from a FitBit.
Money lenders are already asking to look at your Facebook profile and will judge on you getting a loan or mortgage based on who your friends with- imagine they’re influencing who you’ll choose to add as a friend in the future based on money.
Its not all terrifying and gloomy, they do have a Data Detox Kit available and workshops with incredibly knowledgeable staff on hand to help you switch off all those data signals, how to fool the FitBit, attaching it to a drill and letting it spin, or a ticking metronome and be tech privacy savvy.
But it’s like they say. “You’re invited to experiment and reconsider the idea that even if we think we might have nothing to hide, we should at least understand what we’re not hiding.”