“Smile Mommy,” screamed Little Princess as she struck a pose and gave her best smile, expecting me to follow suit. I did manage a weak smile hoping that the bored officer, who spends his day watching surveillance feeds, might have a reason to smile at this mother-daughter duo attempting to strike a pose for the surveillance camera at the aisle of a crowded metro station. Luckily, my daughter’s little eyes only spotted one of the several surveillance units installed across the station.
The American biographical political thriller movie, Snowden, and reports on Wikileaks in the newspapers had the husband securing cameras on laptops and tablets with duct tape, but we both wondered what could be done about the smart TV or the smart phones or our e-mails and Facebook accounts. When it came to light that the director of CIA had difficulty maintaining his privacy on the internet, we decided that we could rather sit back and enjoy the boon and bane of technology.
Did you know that Facebook correlates your online behavior with your purchasing habits offline?
Or the fact that the dark circular globe installed in your neighborhood park has the ability to monitor every individual via facial recognition?
You could play smart in the smart world and delete your Facebook account, turn off your location on cell phone or use cash for all transactions but that would only take you as far as disappearing from your close circle of friends. The internet is a surveillance state and its efficiency is beyond the wildest dreams of George Orwell, says Bruce Schneider in his article for the CNN.
Welcome to the world where Google knows you better than your spouse, where cell phone companies know that you are indulging your taste buds to a delicious lunch at your favorite restaurant on a busy workday afternoon and not that urgent client meeting you insisted you had to make, where leaving a digital footprint is easier than learning to make pasta, and where Facebook can come in handy to track your maid’s whereabouts.
So the next time you click that bizarre selfie meant for your own eyes only, beware, you are being watched!