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The Internet of Things: a Surveillance State in Disguise

The Internet of Things: a Surveillance State in Disguise

 

In many EU countries, entire herds of cattle are carefully "micro-chipped" so the animals can be monitored. What if we did the same to people? It would be difficult to become a criminal or (gulp) a terrorist!

Obviously, nobody is going to allow that to happen. For now, we'll just have to track our dogs, though our phones already track us quite a bit.

We can still get closer to 24/7 surveillance of everything we do with the implementation of the Internet of Things. There seems to be no outcry or even a single expression (except for, perhaps, this column) of concern over the fabulous notion that every item that can be given an IP address and monitored over the Internet WILL be given an IP address and monitored over the Internet.

The rationale for this has always been sketchy. So you won't run out of milk?

Nobody recognizes that this is just more of the same surveillance state encroachment that was first enabled by the Internet and was already out of control before the Internet of Things.

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Who is going to benefit from the data accumulated by, for example, the Apple Watch and other tracking devices? Law enforcement? The NSA? The President? None of the above?

In most instances the beneficiaries will be the insurance companies. They are the ones that gobble up big data. But personal data would be better. It would be fantastic for a life insurance company to be able to adjust your policies by knowing how many steps you take a day, your heart rate, or caloric intake.

Most of your personal health information is protected by law. But this sort of information is protected by nothing except your own ability to keep things private. From the looks of it, most people don't care about that because they do not see any of it as a personal threat.

We may as well give up and let the authorities "chip" us all. At least we will know where we stand. Then again, it may work better to sneak up on us all. Sell this as a great future vision for a prosperous new world. The Internet of Things is going to be glorious. Personally, I'd keep a close eye on anyone promoting this future vision.

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