We’re straight out of 1984 and into 2020 with one giant leap. Orwell must be restless as the Internet giants track and share our surveillance data with governments that ask.
The COVID-19 virus, which originated in Wuhan, China after a 6-week cover-up by the Chinese Communist Party, has given world governments an excuse to track users’ location history, giving us an insight to just how much information Silicon Valley stores and knows about us.
“As global communities respond to COVID-19, we’ve heard from public health officials that the same type of aggregated, anonymized insights we use in products such as Google Maps could be helpful as they make critical decisions to combat COVID-19,” Google released, attempting to skew its mountain of intrusive data collection as a positive for the people.
The old saying, “Never let a good crisis go to waste” shows just how much our ‘democratic’ lives are documented for government officials.
Google explains how tracking users’ devices is necessary to officials for the pandemic.
“We hope these reports will help support decisions about how to manage the COVID-19 pandemic,” Google added.
The data released was gleaned from smartphones and devices, showing trips to the pharmacy, supermarkets and even recreation. Trips to the park are monitored, as are those to the transit stations, and leaves one wondering on the lingering effects once this pandemic is over.
Google states there are no breaches in users’ privacy, however. But one advertising executive disagreed when interviewed by MintPress News.
“Your name is only one data point,” they said. “The layers and layers of information you’re giving it,” like your address, interests, and the social media accounts you use, make it “beyond easy” to identify the user.
“It’s you whether you like it or not, even if your name’s not attached to it.”
Couple this capturing of location data with the global introduction of paying with your phone because cash carries the COVID-19 virus—a claim that remains unsubstantiated within the scientific community and even WHO—hints at the dystopian future to come, one that privacy advocate Edward Snowden has warned about for years.
Demonising cash pushes the consumer into carrying a phone and serves Google’s tracking ability. The CCP has used this process for some time now, creating a Social Credit Score around surveillance, documenting its citizens to dictate where they can work, travel and educate their children.
In a post COVID society, will governments roll back this ability?
Google executives Eric Schmidt and fellow Google executive Jared Cohen bragged in a book titled The New Digital Age: Reshaping the Future of People, Nations and Business how “what Lockheed Martin was to the twentieth century … technology and cyber-security companies [like Google] will be to the twenty-first,” Julian Assange reported at the time.
Although governments will have us believe in the COVID crisis and that tracking the enemy (your neighbour) is a plus for a global community, the high-level surveillance tactics are unprecedented.
This means now’s the time to take advantage of the downtime that the lockdown has given you and switch off. Disconnect yourself from Google and more importantly . . . leave your smartphone and smartwatch at home. Insist on paying with cash, and shut anyone down who says surveillance is good.