You're Being Followed. Or That's How You Should Behave, Say Privacy Experts.

The data automatically stored on your portable devices can easily be used to uncover your personal secrets, says electronic security expert Bruce Schneier.

The data automatically stored on your portable devices can easily be used to uncover your personal secrets, says electronic security expert Bruce Schneier. And if you think you don't have any secrets, think about whether you'd like your salary published online or your sexual fantasies publicly revealed. Ironically, data collection has become so comprehensive that we have become complacent. But did you know your Kindle tracks how quickly you read? 


That may sound benign, but cross-referencing different data sets can quickly paint an intimate portrait of your personal life. Were taxi passenger and fare data to become de-anonymized, for example, they could easily be combined with location data so your movement throughout the city could be monitored. In fact, says Schneier, there is no guarantee that the mobile phone towers in your area were set up by network carriers rather than governments--foreign and domestic. 

Although it may have happened through apathy, we have chosen surveillance over insecurity. We cannot have both. Or as Schneier says, an electronic system that is penetrable by law enforcement but impenetrable to criminals simple does not exist: "everybody gets to spy, or nobody gets to spy."

In his Big Think interview, Brad Templeton explains that communication networks have been made into channels for surveillance. Even George Orwell couldn't have imagined this:

Read more at BBC Future

Photo credit: Shutterstock

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