Digital emissions is the term given to the data extracted about our lives from Smart Homes. Roomba maps out your floor plan, or in other words, Alexa is spying on you.
This is not a new scandal by any means. The goal of Amazon and all Smart Home companies powered by Google and other tech companies is to create a home that knows its customer.
In the future, campaign ads will read, “Never run out of beer again,” and, “Our fridge comes with built in Blue Apron.” We’ve joked about this through the entire rehearsal process for Marjorie Prime.
“Walter is listening,” became our rallying cry for existential crisis of information; however, if you are ready to put on your tinfoil hat then here we go.Police have asked for Dropcam, a company designed to watch over kids, for home footage in cases, and Fitbit data has already been used in court.
In testimony given by the director of national intelligence, James Clapper, smart gadgets provide ample opportunity for the government, any government, to spy on you. To read a full article on this click here.
Clapper said the “internet of things” is providing identification, surveillance, monitoring, location and tracking, as well as allowing access to networks and user credentials. This is not a far cry from the NSA proclaiming Facebook the great gift of surveillance in 2010.
Much like the marketers tracking your buying preferences, and the data companies keeping track of your viewing habits, teh NSA and the FBI are collecting Facebook chats, private photos, IP addresses, and creating a profile on you.How far we have come from, “Big Brother is watching you.”
We willingly welcome these gadgets into our homes. We swap data for convenience. We accept that an app is free, but we don’t ask why. Cliches may be trite, but my father told me a long time ago there is no such thing as a free lunch. So how did we willingly become so Orwellian so fast? How did we become data?
All the devices we install need to learn about you, just like Walter Prime, and collect information about your habits in order to better serve you. In theory, what is wrong with this? Rosie learns about you so she knows what she needs to do without you asking; a perfect creation; however, the problem lies in the fact that the parent company makes money by selling your information.
The most accessible example is Alexa and Siri, they’re always on and they’re always listening. Theoretically it is only activated with a keyword, but, even when she’s asleep she is collecting data, from what TV shows you are watching to the music you request and so much more.
It’s pointless to say, “As our lives become more digitized,” because they are already digitized. We carry around a super computer in our pockets, and our subscription services automatically fulfill basic needs. It isn’t a matter of when the smarthome of the future gets here, or when A.I. exists because it already does. We know that technology is going to keep bounding forward, which also means that data mining is going to keep bounding forward. So where do we draw the line?