‘They embrace that which they perceived as the way it was — but the way it was, was not that which they perceived, an artifact believed: The Golden Calf.’ ~ Willy Whitten
You can almost hear the ominous narrator’s voice from an old “Twilight Zone” episode saying, “Soon the net will close around all of us. There will be no escape.”
Except it’s no longer science fiction. It’s our barely distant present.
“[W]e estimate that only one percent of things that could have an IP address do have an IP address today, so we like to say that ninety-nine percent of the world is still asleep,” Padmasree Warrior, Cisco’s Chief Technology and Strategy Officer,told the Silicon Valley Summit in December. “It’s up to our imaginations to figure out what will happen when the ninety-nine percent wakes up.”
Yes, imagine it. Welcome to a world where everything you do is collected, stored, analyzed, and, more often than not, packaged and sold to strangers — including government agencies.
Physical sensors connected to the Internet are increasingly everywhere, ready to detect a unique identifier associated with you, usually one generated by your smartphone, then log what you do and leverage the data you generate for insight into your life. For instance, Apple introduced iBeacon last year. It’s a service based on transmitters that employ Bluetooth technology to track where Apple users are in stores and restaurants. (The company conveniently turned onBluetooth by default via a software update it delivered to Apple iPhone owners.) Apps that use iBeacon harvest a user’s data, including his or her location, and sometimes can even turn on a device’s microphone to listen in on what’s going on.
Copyright 2014 Catherine Crump and Matthew Harwood