The topic of anonymity on the network arose, perhaps, along with the network itself, well, or perhaps a little later, and still haunts everyone involved in one way or another, whether they are ordinary users who think about it, and ending with people in the service of various structures designed to prevent this very anonymity. In the wake of the discussion of new amendments to the law on operational-search activity, which Sergei Potresov spoke about in his article 'Fresh' Spring and Other News', as well as Colin Horgan's reasoning, kindly translated for us by Ilya Subbotin in 'Besedka' aside from this topic and I.
Every year the Internet penetrates deeper and deeper into all areas of human life, which means that the topic is becoming more relevant and acute. Moreover, this very anonymity, or rather, the need for it, is gradually felt even by those who yesterday did not even think about it. A good example of this is contextual advertising, which gradually flooded everything that is possible and accompanies the user on all his electronic devices capable of displaying information from the Internet.
Traffic analysis systems are not only getting smarter, but also gaining access to data that yesterday was closed from analysis and targeting.
Have you ever thought about the fact that your smartphone is listening to you, even when the screen is locked, and the smartphone itself is lying next to the table or in your pocket? It is not difficult to make sure of this – just a few times, in an ordinary conversation, being next to a smartphone, say the keyword 'buy' along with the name of the product, and it is very likely that soon advertising of this group of products will appear in your news feed or on sites you visit .
But, let's move on from conspiracy theory, here is the topic – electronic spies for your money.
At the moment, thanks to the efforts of such giants as Amazon, Google, Apple, etc. you and I now have the opportunity to interact with the network not only using the usual input devices, such as a keyboard, but also by voice – remember Alexa, Google Assistant, Siri, and now Alice, and smart speakers, in which the whole thing was packed – most of these products by themselves do not bring profit to their creators, and sometimes they are sold at a loss.
Corporations are investing millions of dollars to make it easy, convenient, and as natural as communicating with another person.
But since such money is spent, then there is a plan on how to recoup these costs by making a profit? What is the reason for this altruism? This topic has been discussed many times, and the answer is simple – the services tied to these pieces of iron should bring profit, which will work on the basis of the information collected about you. The only question left is to ask yourself – do I need such a spy?
Despite the fact that I am an adherent and even to some extent a fan of new technologies, I decided that I would not buy myself such a 'smart' speaker. The reason is trivial and simple – I am not ready to settle in my house a thing that will listen 24/7 to what is happening around it (in my house) and send the information I hear to the servers of companies that care about everything every day. more comfortable to consume. And the point here, in fact, is not in paranoia based on the fear of the possibility of data leakage, but rather even in the fact that I just became uncomfortable with the fact that some terribly intrusive Yandex.Direct stuffs me with offers about products whose names I once entered into the search bar of a browser that had nothing to do with Yandex. Gradually it became terribly annoying.
On my phones, as well as on the phones of my loved ones, recently I have been trying to clean up and prohibit as much as possible all services that have access to the microphone and camera of the device, if these services do not need such access to perform their direct duties. And the first to be cleaned and banned are Google Play voice services and related ones.
Paranoia? Perhaps, however, in such matters, “it is better to overpower than to be unhappy.”
Now imagine that your electric toothbrush analyzes how often you brush your teeth, how long you do it, and exactly what time it usually happens, and then sends all this information to the 'daddy' server, where the data sent by your kettle is already stored. scales, bracelet, speaker, sneakers, e-cigarette, bedside lamp …
It sounds utopian and even somewhat hysterical, but it is almost a reality today.
Hundreds of electronic devices today analyze your life – habits, interests, tastes, movements, social circle, purchases, your photos and videos.
At the same time, companies declare that all information is collected impersonally, in encrypted form, which, in turn, should not allow using it against a specific person. I would like to believe, but the recent scandal with the Burger King app makes you think that not everything is as simple and reliable as we are told.
The same can be said about huge corporations, whose protection systems should be more reliable and more perfect, which, however, does not guarantee 100% security and does not exclude the possibility of leakage, even if the state does not use administrative resources. A striking example of this is the recent leak of personal documents of users into the public domain through Yandex search algorithms.
The time is not far off when street cameras will compare the information obtained in this way with your appearance, which means they will recognize you in the crowd and receive a full dossier at the same time.
The experience Amazon with a store without sellers and cash registers, in which the cost of goods is debited from your account automatically after you leave the store, says that this is a matter for the near future.
Very soon electronic systems will learn to follow our every step, identifying us in the crowd in real time. In response to this still perceived threat, some artists, such as 31-year-old British designer Adam Harvey, even come up with special protective makeup to confuse facial recognition algorithms.
But whether this will help in the future is unknown. Everything will depend on how advanced such algorithms become. Therefore, it seems reasonable to begin today to profess the principle that the less the network knows about you, the better. Apparently, such thoughts are visited by many – it is not in vain that the trend of exodus from social networks is gaining popularity today.
Tell us in the comments if you see a threat to your privacy in the development of such electronic devices, improving algorithms for analyzing and recognizing data and tightening the nuts in legislation?