When George Orwell wrote 1984, he envisioned a society which spied on its own citizens to control every aspect of their lives. What he did not envision was that the citizens would conspire in being spied on. Yet that is precisely what is happening with the introduction of so-called “smart” technology, 5G an the Internet of Things (IoT).
Some people say, “I have nothing to hide, so why should I care if others know what I do, where I go, and what I say? The implication is that if you do care, there’s something shady about you: what are you trying to conceal? The truth is, we all have secrets. More importantly, why should anyone know more about you than you want to tell them? Is it anyone else’s business where you go, what you do in the privacy of your own home, or what you think?
Some people don’t seem to care, or else are unaware that Google tracks every move they make via their smartphone. Some people are getting microchips implanted in their skins so that they don’t have to bother carrying documents which identify them. Many people store the intimate details of their lives on smartphones and laptops, unaware or uncaring that every time they go online, they’re bring data mined. What happens to all that data? It’s apparently a hugely valuable commodity. That’s the reason so much of the Internet is “free” –because the real price you pay is all the information that companies collect about you, which then gets sold on. This information is used in all sorts of ways, from personalizing advertisements to predicting the outcomes of elections. When a product is free, you are the product.
All this is before we get to the IoT, which doesn’t exist yet, Imagine a society where every time you pass under a lamp-post it registers your presence. In a home full of “smart” appliances. every move can be monitored: when and where you turn on lights, open the fridge door, sleep, wake, go to the bathroom, take or forget to take a medication…Yes, drug companies are starting to make certain medications containing tracking devices so that someone can monitor whether the patient has swallowed them.
All this is being marketed under the guise of making your life more convenient, relieving you of the mundane chores of life such as shopping and laundry. That’s if you can remember which app is which, since you will have so many it will be an even bigger chore to remember which app does what. Me, I’d rather just go to the grocery store. Also, the “smart” life fails to take into account that life is in the details. You might meet the love of your life in the supermarket, but only if you (and he or she) physically goes shopping,
The really creepy thing about the IoT, though, is what governments and big corporations can do with your data. Remember that the main purpose of the IoT is to run everything through one portal, the Internet, and to store all information about everybody and everything in the cloud. And this in turn means that if your Internet access is shut off, you instantly become a non-person. If you voice dissent, the government can shut you down: close off access to your bank accounts (they will all be digital), strip you of voting rights, cut off your credit, turn off your water or electricity–all this with the push of a button.
Alternatively, governments may develop systems of reward and punishment similar to the Chinese “social credit” system, with privileges awarded for “good” behaviour and punishments meted out for “bad” or antisocial behaviour. Sound Orwellian? What they can do in China they can do anywhere. Corporations have already learned how to manipulate the public through analyzing data, and increasingly besieged governments are actively looking for ways to subdue an increasingly angry and impoverished citizenry.
The simple fact is, the more of yourself (your data) you give away, the more you hand others the levels to control your life. No wonder Big Brother wants the IoT. And he needs 5G to get it.
For the products pictured above, and others protesting wireless technologies and the IoT, visit the Anti-Wireless Shop on Zazzle. Links on the Home Page of this blog.