Staring Into The Black Mirror

14

JANUARY, 2017

The Chimera of Truth

“The sound of my buzzing alarm woke me up. Drowsy, and still half sleep I wake to complete a pattern I am required to, to switch off the alarm. I wake up and get ready listening to tunes from a new music streaming app that I downloaded yesterday. As I get ready, I am reminded that I need a tiepin. I quickly open up Flipkart and conveniently order one, without the need of making any inputs about my personal details. I use Google Maps, to find an authentic restaurant in the old side of town, without thinking even once before agreeing to share my location. While on the way, I receive a call from an unknown number, but thanks to TrueCaller, I instantly know that it is an insurance company, and I decline the call. My time at the restaurant is spent Snapchat-ing the place, and conveniently, now, I have no difficulty finding such restaurants thanks to Google, always displaying my preferred options as the first links.’’

The above could be the story of any our lives, on any given day. Since the dot com boom and the Technology Revolution, our lives have been convoluted with technology. Decisions and actions, more often than not are results of technological facilities which are available to persons. We, as a civilization, have always pursued deftness and dexterity. In fact, every major breakthrough in our collective history has been a result of ambition which has its roots in this pursuit. Technology enables us to do things that were previously unimaginable, and has certainly made many tasks far easier than they were before. But, it has also made it easier for parties to violate one of the most fundamental human right, the right to privacy.  The threat to our right to privacy has never been greater as in the current digital age where the internet of things, projects our digital footprints to every umbrageous lurker.

Made by Asheeza Baig

Our social media activity, our interests, how we spend or shop online and each line we write online is monitored and used by the same companies who provide us with these facilities to generate profit. I would like to cite Uber’s example to demonstrate the magnitude of the security risk we are facing currently. Uber has a mapping tool named ‘God View’ which reveals the location of vehicles and customers. While corporate employees have access to this tool, the cab drivers have restricted access. Peter Sims, a venture capitalist, went on record saying that he was horrified when his location was revealed at a screen at one of Uber’s launch parties. That means, that the millions of Uber users around the globe can be pin pointed by just the press of a button. There are many such examples such as Airbnb services, Amazon Go!, or the numerous Facebook Apps which analyses and store personal data in real time, giving these organizations convenient access to the lives of its customers.

Recent whistleblowers and their activities have resulted in the inception of a new wave of technological activism, ardent supporters of which are struggling to protect our privacy rights. But its not just our self aware actions which can make us victims. Government States as well as State controlled companies like NSO, have made this debauchery a legitimate industry, which is often defined under vague terms such as security analysis or cyber security.

Everything is connected. Connectivity has moved beyond the corridors of the Silicon Valley, has now granted governments and organizations the ability to spy on us. With modern technologies becoming a part and parcel of human life, the possibility that privacy may be non existent in the future is very real. The direction we have adopted for ourselves has transformed privacy from a fundamental right into a non-existent social norm.

Siddhant Mishra

Siddhant Mishra

The Chimera of Truth

 

Siddhant Mishra truly is a man of his own making. His ability to convince not just one person, but a room full of people about any given subject is what marks him apart of a mob. Not only is he a man of razor sharp wits, but also excels at humor. His hatred for pretense and toffees root down to the same reason; both come in plastics. That been said, his puns are as hilarious as they are tricky. Hanging out with him is fun, to say the least. If he does talk to you; he either does it so he can marvel upon the infinite capacity of human stupidity, or because he deems you intellectual enough to be of good company to him. Good luck finding out which.

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2 Comments

  1. ashmit Pandey

    Quite frightening but excellent piece of information ?

    Reply
  2. ashmit Pandey

    Marvellous piece of information,The Uber part was shocking!

    Reply

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