I’m not one to harp on how life imitates art, but the Panopticon is here

by wfgodbold

The villain’s in John Twelve Hawks’ mediocre Fourth Realm Trilogy are intent on creating a what they call a “virtual panopticon,” through the use of CCTV and various and sundry tracking technologies.

The recent news that Apple stores at least six months of location data from your iDevices spooked me, though. Worrying about the encroaching panopticon is kind of pointless; it seems it’s arrived, and no one even noticed.

Bad enough that the police think they can go through your phone whenever they want (Fourth amendment? What fourth amendment?); if they do that, they can only get whatever data is on your phone.

But if your phone stores a record of everywhere you’ve been for months, that’s an even more egregious invasion of privacy than it already was.

Apple has no reason to care where my phone is or what I’m doing with it. Google’s record on privacy is hardly better:

On December 2009, Google’s CEO, Eric Schmidt, declared after privacy concerns: “If you have something that you don’t want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn’t be doing it in the first place. If you really need that kind of privacy, the reality is that search engines — including Google — do retain this information for some time and it’s important, for example, that we are all subject in the United States to the Patriot Act and it is possible that all that information could be made available to the authorities.”

If you’re going to have a smart phone, I guess, you just have to choose which Big Sibling will watch you; opting out is no longer an option.

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2 Comments to “I’m not one to harp on how life imitates art, but the Panopticon is here”

  1. Not to be pedantic, but the panopticon is now life imitating art imitating life.

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