Surveillance Capitalism, 14

But the worst thing Zuboff described is the so-called Internet of Things. That shit is creepy, folks.

Did you know that the Sleep Numbers bed’s app records everything you do in the blasted bed, including the audio of your activities in it? The Roomba vacuum not only maps your house and sells the maps to everybody in sight but also now comes with a camera to record everything in your house. And puts it on sale. And the Nest, God, that’s a Frankenstein-level creep show.

The creators of these products have recognized that consumers (or who we think consumers are, namely, us) have no desire for these products. They openly say that the Internet of Things has to be pushed on consumers. The profits don’t come from selling these products to us. The profits come from selling information about us to somebody we don’t know about and from placing bets on our future behavior.

3 thoughts on “Surveillance Capitalism, 14

    1. Wi-fi on a gun is profoundly stupid by itself, but at least guns aren’t everywhere.

      There’s a joke in my country – what’s the resemblance between a dog and an engineer? They both have intelligent eyes but can’t express themselves. Some of us have been complaining about how bad all this stuff is for more than a decade, to little effect. After a while you just get tired of people telling you you’re paranoid, or realize that the stuff you’re flying off the rails over (non-chronological activity feeds, centralization of social graph, linkage of online identity to real life one, location data) isn’t stuff that you personally can manage to make people care about. It’s a good thing you guys from the humanities are picking it up, maybe you’ll be better at it than we were.


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