It does not take much effort these days to find security cameras spying on us. Cameras are everywhere. In some metropolitan areas in China, authorities use security cameras for surveillance. No surprise, right? Except those cameras are tied to a central database for facial recognition and criminals have been caught by the system.
This is the dawn of smart surveillance cameras. With apologies to Norman Jewison’s great movie from yesteryear, “The Russians Are Coming, The Russians Are Coming,” facial recognition surveillance cameras are already here and their numbers are growing.
Humanity is being monitored, tracked, surveilled, and stalked. This is not a trend that is likely to go away. At least, not go away until the humans rise up and revolt against our AI robot overlords In The Year 2525.
Monitoring our behavior, work habits, shopping habits, leisure habits, reading habits, and co-habitation habits is out of control. Who is monitoring the monitors? Who monitors the likes of Google and Facebook? Who monitors authorities as they monitor citizen phone calls and jaywalking?
Apple should monitor the monitors. How? By giving us the tools to help thwart such capabilities, track where such surveillance takes place, and wherever possible, be the defender of personal liberties. We need a monitor for the monitors. Who else is there besides Apple?
As personal liberties decline and the surveillance state grows, my fear is that Apple may be paying lip service to authorities and governments. Here’s an example.
The highly secure messaging app Telegram was banned in Russia because the developer– a Russian oligarch of sorts– refused to hand over the keys to authorities. Since iPhone’s Messages app is an end-to-end encryption app, why wasn’t it banned in Russia?
As much as Apple likes to tout privacy and herald that the company does not track customers the way Google and Facebook track their users, Apple remains somewhat complicit by taking money from Google to keep the search engine giant as the default choice in Safari. That’s worth billions of dollars to Apple, but it also means most of Apple’s customers continue to be surveilled by Google.
As much as I want Apple to help monitor the monitors it appears as if our favorite Mac maker is in cahoots with them. After all, isn’t Facebook pre-installed on iPhone?
Just remember that we need someone to monitor the monitors and it cannot be Google and Facebook and their ilk. And, apparently, such monitoring won’t come from members of congress. They seem to like donations to their campaigns from rich benefactors who run rich technology companies that made their riches by stalking their users.