“Smart” Devices Are Just Trojan Horses for Surveillance Capitalism
The Internet Of Things is a weapon of mass control
According to Virgil and Homer, the Greeks could not breach the mighty walls of Troy, so Odysseus masterminded a plot to get inside: He built a gift horse, loaded it with elite soldiers, and left it for the enemy as they “sailed” away. The Trojans foolishly brought it into their midst, and when they least expected it, the Greeks took over their lives and destroyed everything.
Silicon Valley’s creepy obsession with “smart” devices is doing the same thing to you, right now.
As if smartphones weren’t bad enough — devices whose primary commercial function is to addict users in order to change their behavior by feeding them ads — tech bros are getting grossly thirsty:
Now your fridge is “smart,” and it’s talking to the corporation that owns your “local” grocery store.
Now your home alarm (not security) system is reporting all movement to Amazon.
Now your music player — which sounds significantly worse than a record player — is reporting all indoor sound to Amazon or Google.
Does the belt on your waist really need to report data to a faceless corporation?
Does a corporation really need to know that your egg tray is running low?
Heaven forbid a Silicon Valley bro doesn’t know your coffee mug is nearly to the dregs.
And why the heck does a baby weigh station need to be “smart”?
The fact that anyone buys this junk strongly suggests humanity is getting soft, weak, and pathetic.
There are currently more than 17 billion devices connected back to corporations, like a giant tentacled octopus slurping data from unsuspecting sheep.
They’re monitoring your toilets.
They’re monitoring your lighting.
They’re monitoring what you watch, read, listen to, and eat.
They’re monitoring your breathing and heart rate.
They’re even monitoring your sex life.
Yes, your sex life.
Hundreds of “smart” sex toys collect intimate data (think: settings, usage stats, video, sound, contact information), and tens of thousands of people have already suffered data breaches. Several victims have even been blackmailed after their devices were hacked.
“Smart” devices are everywhere, and they’re exposing us to stupid amounts of unnecessary loss.
Case in point: Someone even hacked a smart sensor on a casino fish tank to access its network and steal data from its customers.
Humans are so… smart.
Cicero and the ancient Romans asked a question we’d be wise to re-introduce to modern political conversation immediately: Qui bono?
Who profits from adding digital surveillance to physical products?
Certainly not consumers. Everything has a cost-benefit, but are the minor conveniences worth the massive risks? Maintaining privacy, avoiding addiction, steering clear of attention-control, and protecting against the undermining of democracy must surely matter more.
And certainly not the planet that we’re strip-mining to death.
Seriously, who asked for this?
The answer is: literally no one.
Who was sitting around and thought,
“Hey, do you know what I need? I need every corporation that sells stuff to start spying on me, then cross-sell the data to each other until they know more about me than I know about myself. I’m sure they have my best interests at heart and they won’t totally use this godlike power to manipulate my psychology for endless private profit at the subconscious loss of my free will.”
Friends, no one asked for smart devices…
…except the corporatists who invented it and then made a market by advertising it to barely-conscious consumers.
The easiest act of resistance is simply to refuse to buy internet-connected items — the only “smart” device I own is the laptop on which I type these words — but corporations are forcefully adding connected features and buying unsurveilled goods will soon no longer be an option if we don’t create enough financial demand for the sane alternative.
Corporations are the greatest threat to human life, wealth, and freedom, and it’s time we bring the makers of “smart” devices to heel.
I’d be fine to ban all corporate data collection, but at the very least, safeguards should include:
Full disclosure of what data corporations are collecting
Optionality for users to easily and instantly delete stored data at any time
Making it a criminal offense for corporations to sell or share data with other corporations
A statute of limitations that automatically deletes all corporate-stored user data after a brief window of time
At present, the corporatocracy is building a dossier on all 8 billion human beings.
The “gift” of connectivity is just a Trojan horse to create a breach into your life.
Please don’t be so naive as to think this will end well for us.