Privacy is an Illusion

It’s a little cliché to talk about the loss of privacy in our lives, but here goes. All our devices are collecting information about us and sending it on. I recently read an article that listed several culprits: Internet browsing and shopping- sophisticated programs analyze our browsing and buying habits and come up with predictions about our make-up and potential future buying habits. Devices such as Amazon Echo and Google Home collect data about our tastes and activities and send out data. Smart TVs collect and send data, Smart appliances in the kitchen have the same potential. Services such as Ancestry DNA have the potential to create privacy issues. Many medical devices are now internet connected. Discount cards issued by stores are used to track purchases and activity. When you take your computer to be repaired, the repair service can scan your drive for information. Commuting EZ cards can be used to track activity. Fitness trackers track your activity and location. I have had requests on my phone to rate places that I just drove by. They know where I am all the time. If you use a computer at the library and don’t carefully clear the browser when you are done, the next person has access to what you did.

All this leads us to the next level of hacking. Can a hacker get in and not leave evidence of the visit? Then information could really cause problems before its use is detected. And its not just the hacker problem, what about the use of the data by the original collector and what about government access. What a thorny area!

I don’t have an answer to this, but something does need to be done, if possible. Maybe its something that we will have to accept. I know there are things that can be done to slightly reduce the impact, but can it be eliminated?

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