Big Brother is Watching You

In the morning, an alarm on my phone wakes me up. I go to the gym, scanning a little chip to let me in at the door. I listen my suggested tracks on Spotify. For lunch, I Google recipes and when I do my groceries, I scan my Visa PayWave and Everyday Rewards Card. I turn on the TV to watch Netflix, and later sign into YouTube from my laptop… it goes on and on and on…

It’s 2017, and this is the everyday level of connectedness that we’re seeing when it comes to the Internet of Things. Already my patterns of behaviour are being monitored, and accumulative trends used to predict future activities. The Internet of Things appears a wonderfully personalised and convenient phenomenon, yet raises significant issues when it comes to privacy and surveillance, and questions of who can access this stored data.

What happens when I go to take out health insurance, and they see I’ve been buying beer and chocolate at Woolies, and have only gone to the gym once this fortnight? Or when I go the bank to take out a loan, and they see I’ve had avocado toast and a latte three times this week at the local coffee shop?

Don’t know about you, but it makes me want to pack up and move far, far away to a cave in the Himalayas.

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Featured Image: https://threatpost.com/house-rejects-amendment-to-sever-nsa-data-collection-funding/101498/ 

Published by susiealdermann

Fifth Year Bachelor of Communications and Media/ Bachelor of International Studies (Dean's Scholar) student

5 thoughts on “Big Brother is Watching You

  1. I really enjoyed reading your blog post. I completely agree with the points you raised about how everything personalised can appear good on the outside, but with further consideration, is actually quite concerning regarding personal privacy. It really does make me wonder who actually has access to my information, and how much information do they have access to?! It’s quite unsettling knowing that what is supposed to be private information, is not really all that private.
    Here is an article I found that provides a few tips on how protect your online privacy – https://www.eff.org/wp/effs-top-12-ways-protect-your-online-privacy

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Yeah well I don’t know about me either, but I think I’m coming to the Himalayas too after reading that! Being monitored this much worries me! The information you have included throughout this blog is very informative, makes me question my privacy just typing this blog comment currently. You’ve also increased some great links to follow through on, nice work!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. It really is crazy to think how much of our lives is connected to the internet, and you illustrated it perfectly. Everyday tasks are now being aided, or involve, using technology, and being connected online. It was not until this week where I actually sat and realised it. As much as I love technology… it’s scary in a way, to think how many things are actually connected to the Internet. According to this article (https://theconversation.com/are-we-ready-for-a-world-even-more-connected-in-the-internet-of-things-50889), published in 2015, there is expected to be “50-billion devices to be connected to the internet by 2020 compared to the 15-billion currently connected”. That’s just insane to think about. You demonstrated your everyday level of connectedness, and I’m sure there are people are very similar. Imagine what it’s going to be like in a few short years.

    The hyperlinks you provided were really useful, and connecting the idea of being connected to essentially the issue of privacy is a great way to think about it, if not a little intimidating. I might also think about moving to somewhere remote… maybe a beach somewhere. Great post!

    ~ Brendon

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Your blog has highlighted the most controversial drawback of the internet of things, which is privacy surveillance. You give some examples, such as when you go to take out health insurance and they see I’ve been buying beer and chocolate at Woolies and have only gone to the gym once, etc, and you say you want to “pack up and move far, far away to a cave in the Himalayas”. Yes, it is the issue of surveillance. However, I can see some positive aspects in your examples. If they are gonna know that you have only gone to the gym once and that would trouble you, then before going to take out the insurance you would actually go to the gym more, and buy less unhealthy food. What I’m trying to say here, is that the interference of the internet of things in our lives can keep our world more organized, effective and efficient. Still, the matter of privacy will stay and remain concerned. You could check out this article on privacy in the era of the internet of things by TheGuardian: https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2015/apr/07/how-can-privacy-survive-the-internet-of-things. Tks

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Great point of view! I can see how most people would be conscious of the future and how connected everything online is moving into our real world daily lives. The only counter I have to your theory of health insurance seeing what you eat and how you live is that people will be rewarded for not smoking etc. And it could help dramatically in transforming peoples attitudes of healthy eating, potentially leading to a significant action to reduce obesity in Australia specifically but even worldwide.
    Bottom line I agree, but how off the grid will we have to go to get out of the all-seeing eye?

    Liked by 1 person

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