I was skiing with a group of friends in January of 1984 at Mammoth Mountain, and on that Sunday we quit early to go back to the rented condo to watch Super Bowl XVIII, it was January 22, 1984. While I could look up who played that year it was lost on us because, all of us being new engineers and budding scientists, we saw the famous Apple Launch Commercial – Apple 1984 . You could hear a pin drop as we watched this and then tried to analyze it. Six single guys in their 20’s do not often have such moments of silence and deep thought when drinking beer after skiing while watching a Super Bowl.
From a recent article in the Los Angeles Times “As we reported in 2014, on its 30th anniversary, the “1984” ad aired on national television in its full 60-second form only once, during Super Bowl XVIII on Jan. 22, 1984. It became a legend almost immediately.”
So what does this have to do with preparedness and prepping? Everything.
I was long a fan of George Orwell and of Ann Ryan. I considered them visionaries in the truest sense of the word. The latter I find often dismissed as “some fiction writer of the 1950’s” by progressive college professors I still know – the flack is always heaviest over the target. I get a similar attitude whenever I ask how requiring an ID to vote is racist – a discussion for another day.
We have all been seeing the move of late to get some control over “big tech” which seems to run open-loop with few if any controls with respect to privacy, management of peoples personal data and corporate responsibility. The laughable part of all of this is it is our government in Washington D.C. that is looking into this, proving once again that the foxes monitoring the security of the hen house is at our peril. Can you think of a more corrupt, less capability entity to address this problem? Yeah, I know, that is governments job, but do we really thing our current government can make this better? Does anyone expect the donor-owned to stand up to the donor class?
And our dependence on these tech giants can’t be denied. In one way or another we all use them to stay connected to friends and business associates, shop for essentials as well as nice to have things, provide us instant answers to questions, seldom looking behind the results presented, or the over-all sources of the data presented. I have complained often that any Google search of political topics gives me the first page standards – Vox, Salon, CNN, the NY Times and of course, the Amazon owned Washington Post. All media outlets slanted to the standards of Google.
So in today’s news comes this – Apple’s Orwellian Technology – did you know that you are surveilled by Apple’s facial recognition technology when entering their stores? In an extension to (or perhaps as the original intent of) the A11 chip and the neural engine behind the face-detection system, FACE ID of the iPhoneX became an advertised feature – Apple’s “use of facial recognition software in its stores to track individuals suspected of theft is the type of Orwellian surveillance that consumers fear, particularly as it can be assumed that the majority of consumers are not aware that their faces are secretly being analyzed,” the lawsuit states.
As preppers we are planners and we like to keep our plans to ourselves, our families and our trusted friends and associates. I have had iPods since their introduction and I use my iPad every day – all bought in their stores. I have given both as gifts, again bought in their stores. I have not been in one of their stores since the iPhoneX release and I may make that a rule going forward, but this is just one outlet.
Who among you has Siri, Alexa or Cortana operating in their homes or on their work computers? They can make things easy, but at what costs to your privacy?
After admittedly falling behind Siri and Alexa in market penetration (a repeat of the Zoom vs the iPod from decades ago) Microsoft see a more omnipresent future for Cortana, being a part of the Microsoft 365 Operating environment. As such it will be omnipresent in computers. I have it on this one, disabled – as far as I can tell. I did do a quick survey of six (6) people I know who are IT professionals and none of them has any of these assistants in their homes.
We have posted on data security and reducing ones digital fingerprint in the past here on The Prepper Journal, How to Wipe Yourself off the Grid for example, as well as How to Remain Anonymous On Line and these addressed your actions. However, with this latest advance in the invasion of your privacy, other than becoming a Luddite and hermit, you are under the ever-growing eye of Big Brother. Is it really a big leap forward if your were to be arrested for a crime like defending yourself or you family for the interrogator to now enter the room with armfuls of evidence of your every move over the past 6 months?
Always be situation aware is a good mantra for our movements and something we stress often at The Prepper Journal, but is it enough anymore? The Apple security up-tick was news to me, in fact while shopping in a mall last week for some Easter basket gifts I stopped in front of the Apple store and looked in to see how busy they were, see the associates were wearing green and white. I gazed in that window for a couple of moments, just as one would who was planning a break in would. Not to worry, I am sure I am in countless other databases I am unaware of already, we all are.
BTW, WalMart uses similar technology in their security system. Does this indicate a run on Guy Fawkes masks in the near future or has he become passe?
A former rocket scientist (really) who has traveled the world, father, freedom lover, hates to stay indoors, and loves wild places, people and things. PC challenged, irreverent but always relevant and always looking to learn new things.