Stop Letting The Connected World Beat You Down
A massive survey of hundreds of thousands of consumers in the U.S., France, Canada, Australia, the U.K. and Japan finds that the majority (65%) are concerned with the way connected devices (toys, smart meters, fitness monitors, home assistants, gaming consoles, etc.) collect data. Over half don’t trust their smart devices to protect their privacy, nor trust the devices to handle their information responsibly.
I don’t see the problem. I mean, just because a woman in Portland (where else?) reported that her Amazon Echo had recorded a conversation, then shared it with one of her husband’s employees in Seattle? Serves her right for not heading to the attic storage room to have that conversation.
And just because researchers in China and the U.S. have sent hidden commands (undetectable to the human ear) to Apple’s Siri, Amazon’s Alexa and Google’s Assistant making them dial phone numbers or open websites? (The same tech could be used to unlock doors, wire money or buy stuff online — simply with music playing over the radio.) Small price to pay for being able to get the weather forecast or launch a Michael Bublé playlist with a simple voice command, right?
Besides, connected devices are mere pimples on the Facebook of internet problems. It is a forgone conclusion that when you take a shower or have sex in an Airbnb rental, you are being recorded by a hidden camera — and if you give this TED talk a close listen, you’ll be ready to delete all the social media on your phone.
Come on. You knew there would be tradeoffs for having 12 million pages of porn at your fingertips and a way to search for recipes with the only ingredients you have at 3 a.m. on a Saturday night: sardines, peanut butter and three-day-old Chinese takeout.
Look on the bright side. All the ads you see now have been served at the right place, at the right time, to the right person. Isn’t it kinda cool that you get to see those red sneakers you decided not to buy a month ago over and over and over again? Reinforces that you made the right decision, huh! And who among us doesn’t need to lose a few pounds? Always good to be reminded.
And how about that social media? How else are you going to find out your best friend from ninth grade got married and didn’t invite you? Or that the neighbors whom you loaned $3K to because they didn’t have medical insurance just spent the weekend in Jamaica? Yeah, mon!! Or that somebody’s mother died, or that you forgot to send a graduation present to the kid who used to babysit your kids three years ago? Kind of works like an electronic version of Gary Walsh, who walks behind “Veep”‘s Selina Meyer and whispers reminders and advice in her ear.
Just because most websites, all social platforms and your phone know more about you than your spouse is not the end of the world. I mean, it MIGHT be if someone loots your bank account or posts those Airbnb pix online, but who wants to give up their alerts when the Red Sox win?