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  • Jeff Marker

    husband, dad, teacher, filmmaker, writer, film geek, musician, DIYer, vegetarian, Bulldog, Buckeye, Nighthawk

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Apple Outdoes the NSA

Apple has applied for a patent that would allow them to engage in some of the most invasive consumer surveillance in history.  No kidding, it goes beyond even what the NSA does (as far as we know, at least).  The Electronic Frontier Foundation has an excellent article about it – including a link to the patent itself if you want to verify their source.  Consider this excerpt: “the technology would allow Apple to record the voice of the device’s user, take a photo of the device’s user’s current location or even detect and record the heartbeat of the device’s user. Once an unauthorized user is identified, Apple could wipe the device and remotely store the user’s “sensitive data.””

Which of course reminds me of this:

The end of the ad says that “1984 won’t be like 1984.”  But apparently 2010 will be.

Here’s a link to the article: “Steve Jobs is Watching You: Apple Seeking to Patent Spyware” by Julie Samuels


2 Responses

  1. After all your research into surveillance, how is it that you haven’t yet packed up your family and shacked up in a cabin in the woods? With the little bit that I know, I have to plug my ears and go “lalalalalala” just to get through the day.
    Part of me wants to think that since I know that I’m not doing anything wrong, I shouldn’t mind if I am watched or recorded. But, the other part knows how subjective a recording can be (especially if it is just picture without sound or vice versa) and how easily they can be altered.
    I think of some of the conversations I have with Tom – if you couldn’t see the smiles on our faces you would think that we are about to kill each other. I would hate for the cops to bust down our door thinking they are preventing a domestic dispute just to find out we are trying to out-sarsasm one another.

    • We’re packing the car right now.

      Just kidding. I don’t think it has made me more paranoid as much as more careful. I understand much more clearly – still nowhere near an expert, mind you – how to set up my computer and phone to minimize what can be tracked. So I actually diminish some of the paranoia by feeling a tad more in control. Otherwise, we just have to tolerate a certain amount of it. For instance, what can be done about CCTV cameras? In most cases, nothing. And in many cases, we want those cameras there. Some uses of surveillance, of course, should be resisted. I heard a news story yesterday about Northern Arizona University using scanners outside classrooms to monitor attendance. This is just ripe for abuse, and for another thing, it does not foster a student-centered, learning-friendly environment. The ironic discovery for me is that the government isn’t necessarily as big of a concern as corporations. Why the hell does Google need to know so much about me? It’s all for marketing, sure, but it goes way too far. So yep, let’s fight it when we should. But I find that even when I can’t do anything about it, I’m comforted by just being aware of it. For that reason, too, I’m glad to draw awareness to surveillance practices. I’m hoping people feel more in control rather than more paranoid.

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