Technology: Are Our Electronic Devices Spying On Us?

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I can’t help but think that there was a time, just a few years ago, when I lived without a smartphone and I was perfectly fine. Now, if I’m seated somewhere for an hour without my phone next to me I almost feel sick. How paradoxical is it, that the need to feel connected to the world virtually has disconnected us from the real world now more than ever? Welcome to the era of technology.

I was having a conversation with a friend the other day, and he pointed to my laptop camera in dismay, wondering why I haven’t covered it with tape. He went ahead to explain how companies have apparently been spying on people through the lenses of their laptop camera. Spyware is the name given to the software or hardware device that is used by programmers to access private data without consent. It has the ability to keep track of every keystroke, chats sent, software application, website visited, documents opened and printed.

Have you ever had a conversation on the phone and the next time you checked your Youtube the very same topic popped as a suggestion? Something outside of your normal conversation? Well, maybe this explains it.

According to The Washington Times, in 2019 a couple of federal lawsuits were filed against Amazon alleging the company’s voice assistant Alexa has routinely, secretly and unlawfully recorded millions of children’s voices and stored that data. The problem with this information is that it does not expose what this information was used for and by who, meaning we don’t exactly know the extent of damage that was done. We can only hope that the situation was contained in time.

Reading through this, I can’t help but think of the dangers that we are exposing our children to at such a young age in the name of enabling them to communicate with us efficiently. If you think that things are getting any better, I’m here to drop a bombshell. I did a small survey among a group of ten friends who have younger siblings aged below ten years old and among them, seven of them admitted that their siblings are using smartphones. Children are growing up in an era where games are played on electronics, rather than the regular mud games that kept us outside our homes for hours. I can’t help but think that our children are being exposed to such dangers at such a young age. Check out this article – Parenting: Smartphones Shown To Cause Mental Issues To Children As Young As Two

Aside from this being a problem for the children, we are also in danger of the same problem. Google and Amazon have been accused of retaining a link between the speaker and what has been said. They can easily access our private conversations.

This is more than just a violation of privacy. Somebody somewhere is literally studying our conversations, and worst of all, we don’t know what they’re doing with that information.

Again, Google and other search engines retain all the typed in web queries and worst of all, this information is not that hard to access. The protection of secretive information is seemingly a foreign concept in mind.

With all this information, what solution are we left with? To throw away our expensive devices so as to avoid being spied on, or to find ways to work around them such as covering the laptop camera?

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