If you truly wanted complete and total privacy, you would need to give up nearly all of the technology that you are currently using. I wish that wasn’t true, but this is the reality of the world in which we now live. The “Big Brother surveillance grid” is constantly growing and evolving all around us, and those that are using it to watch, monitor, track, influence and control us have an insatiable appetite for more data. They are constantly pushing the envelope, and most people don’t seem to care. But if we don’t stand up for our rights now, eventually we will find ourselves living in a society where there is absolutely no privacy at all.
In fact, many would argue that we are already there.
Recently, I was horrified to learn that researchers have been working on a way to use WiFi to look through the walls of our homes to see what we are doing. The following is a brief excerpt from a Vice article entitled “Scientists Are Getting Eerily Good at Using WiFi to ‘See’ People Through Walls in Detail”…
Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University developed a method for detecting the three dimensional shape and movements of human bodies in a room, using only WiFi routers.
To do this, they used DensePose, a system for mapping all of the pixels on the surface of a human body in a photo. DensePose was developed by London-based researchers and Facebook’s AI researchers. From there, according to their recently-uploaded preprint paper published on arXiv, they developed a deep neural network that maps WiFi signals’ phase and amplitude sent and received by routers to coordinates on human bodies.
As we have seen with so many other highly intrusive surveillance technologies, those that have developed this method are touting the benefits that it could have…
The researchers ague that their Wi-Fi approach to imaging humans in households could be applied to home healthcare, where patients may not want to be monitored with a camera in places like the bathroom or with other sensors and tracking devices.
No matter how old I get, I don’t ever want anyone using any technology to monitor me while I am taking a dump.
If that makes me old-fashioned, so be it.
Sadly, this is not the first time that researchers have developed this sort of technology.
Most people don’t realize this, but scientists have been working on ways to see through our walls for about a decade…
Researchers have been working on “seeing” people without using cameras or expensive LiDAR hardware for years. In 2013, a team of researchers at MIT found a way to use cell phone signals to see through walls; in 2018, another MIT team used WiFi to detect people in another room and translate their movements to walking stick-figures.
Did you know that cell phone signals can be used “to see through walls”?
Neither did I.
Of course cell phones are probably the most comprehensive surveillance devices ever created, and the vast majority of us willingly carry them around wherever we go.
If you don’t get what I am talking about, perhaps this information from the American Bar Association will help you to understand…
Depending on the number of apps installed, a cell phone may send data regarding its location thousands of times per day. Indeed, some phone apps will share as many as 200 individually time-stamped location data points within a 12-hour interval. These data are sent in real time to multiple companies, each of which can track the phone in real time or retrace the phone’s path by analyzing the logged historical data. According to the Times, every minute of every day, everywhere on the planet, dozens of companies . . . largely unregulated, little scrutinized . . . are logging the movements of tens of millions of people with mobile phones and storing the information in massive data files.
Location data are collected by companies along with millions of other data points, commonly packaged and sold as marketing analysis to advertisers, financial institutions, real estate investors, and other third parties. Location data are particularly lucrative to advertisers, who use it to determine the places people frequent and the times they go to these locations.
Nothing you do on your cell phone is private.
And your cell phone makes a record of every location that you visit.
So you better not get into trouble while carrying your phone, because law enforcement agencies can use cell phone data “to follow people’s movements months back in time”…
Local law enforcement agencies from suburban Southern California to rural North Carolina have been using an obscure cellphone tracking tool, at times without search warrants, that gives them the power to follow people’s movements months back in time, according to public records and internal emails obtained by The Associated Press.
Police have used “Fog Reveal” to search hundreds of billions of records from 250 million mobile devices, and harnessed the data to create location analyses known among law enforcement as “patterns of life,” according to thousands of pages of records about the company.
We really do live in a “Big Brother society”, and there is no going back.
In fact, things will only get worse in the years ahead.
Last week, I was greatly disappointed to learn that Ford has just patented technology that can remotely control your vehicle…
Ford Motor Co. has filed for a patent on technology that could remotely shut down your radio or air conditioning, lock you out of your vehicle, or prompt it to ceaselessly beep if you miss car payments. Ford said it has no plans to use the technology, contained in just one of the many patents filed by the auto-making giant.
Still, it emerges at a troubling time for car owners. Loan delinquencies have been steadily ticking back up from their pandemic lull. Cox Automotive data showed severely delinquent auto loans in January hitting their highest point since 2006. The use of technology to aid repossessions isn’t new, but the patent application is wide-ranging, even proposing the idea that an autonomous vehicle could drive itself to a “more convenient” location to be collected by a tow truck.
I don’t think that I will be buying a Ford any time soon.
Of course it is just a matter of time before all of the auto companies are using similar technologies.
A decade ago, I included several cutting edge surveillance technologies in a novel that I wrote, but since that time the “Big Brother surveillance grid” has gotten exponentially more intrusive.
So why aren’t more people upset about this?
Why aren’t such technologies a major political issue?
They have herded all of us into a giant technological cage, and the vast majority of the population has willingly accepted it.
So they are just going to keep pushing things even further, because at this point they are experiencing very little resistance at all.
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