You looking at me?

binoculars

“I always feel like somebody’s watching me
And I have no privacy
I always feel like somebody’s watching me
Tell me is it just a dream?”

Thus went the chorus of the 1984 song released by Rockwell on Motown Records titled “Somebody’s Watching Me”

Now – some 35 years later, AGMA can say to Rockwell, “No – it’s not a dream.  Somebody is indeed watching you!”

And all of us.

Hubs and I have resisted the urge to get one of those little eavesdropping devices.  What are they called…Alexa or Siri or Google (so original…) or Gladys (remember her from Bewitched?)   Despite the eyes-rolling-back-in-his-head assurances from tech savvy Son#2 that it would make life sooooo much easier for us and that NOBODY was actually listening, we have no plans to get one.

They creep me out too much.

Just this week Apple issued an apology to Siri users when it came out that they let contractors listen to Siri recordings of users asking questions.  Amazon does the same thing with Alexa unless you opt out (of course the default is to allow it) and Google’s suspended a similar practice in Europe this summer.  You can read about it here.

They all claim that it’s to “enhance” the digital assistant experience.

Sure – and the big Orange Cheeto is a great President….

Even our phones are tracking our every move unless we turn off GPS.  Even then, I’m not so sure they still aren’t tracking us.

And I can’t even imagine the data that is being collected on somebody wearing one of those innocent looking watches that are supposedly your best friend and will save you if you get into an accident.   Yeah – that’s what they want you to believe…

Or the data being collected and passed on from new, technology laden automobiles.  Or social media sites that seem to be so addictive.

Or, or, or…

They really ARE watching and listening and tracking us!

Or is AGMA just being paranoid?

An article on Comparitec by Paul Bischoff titled, “The worlds most surveilled cities” reveals that Atlanta – my current city of residence – is #10 on the list.   #10 for crying out loud!  Right up there with Beijing and Wuhan in China.  Actually 8 out of the top 10 were in China.

And we all know what a champion of human rights China is….

London was the other non-Chinese city on the top 10 list.

What the hell is going on??

I was recently in a home that has a Nest Hub.  Along with the cameras they installed, this allowed them to view and listen to what was going on the the basement and outside at the back of their house.  And they have Nest doorbells that have cameras in them at their front and back door.  They can listen to conversations on the front porch if the Nest doorbell is triggered and you have no idea.  They have little Nests (like Alexas) upstairs and downstairs that can tell you the current temp and play Baby Shark, but are always listening.

ALWAYS.LISTENING

They installed locks on the front and back door that are push button operated.  But the locks are connected with an app that tells them when a lock was locked and unlocked.

There was no sneaking out for a quick toke…

Quite honestly, I felt like I was being eavesdropped on and watched no matter where I was in the house.  Maybe the bathrooms were safe spots, but AGMA wasn’t going to take any chances.  I just did my thing and kept my mouth shut.  Any other “extraneous” noises weren’t under my control…

What George Orwell wrote about in his book 1984  has become a reality.  Big Brother (or Big Sister) is watching and listening and tracking.

Fu*k that AGMA says!

I plan on resisting what appears to be a total invasion of personal privacy for as long as possible.

While we don’t have any stand alone “digital assistants”, our phones and tablets and laptops have those horrendous people like Alexa and Siri on them, ready to pounce if the right button is pressed.  But again, what’s to guarantee they aren’t ALWAYS listening like those nasty Nests?  AGMA’s planning on contacting Apple, Google and Amazon to see if there is a way to fire those noisy people and delete their functions.

I’m going to go back to taping over my laptop camera.  I used to do that, then Son#2 gave me “the look” when I told him why I did it.  It did sound a bit crazy even for AGMA, so I untaped it.

The tape goes back tonight.

I plan on driving my technology bereft 2008 Prius as long as it has life in its engine.

And AGMA will not part with her fingerprints to a cell phone or a padlock.  Or allow my eye to be scanned by anything that isn’t going to buy me dinner or bring me flowers.

Although I use Maps a whole lot to navigate Atlanta traffic, I’m going to go back to turning off GPS when I don’t have to drive.

I’ve pared down my use of social media to pretty much follow cycling, my grandkids and sending nasty tweets to my GOP senator who honestly does think tRump is the Chosen One.

Small gestures that probably won’t protect AGMA from the inevitable, but it’ll make me feel better.

Make me feel as if I am not part of The Matrix quite yet.

Ship me off to Zion, Morpheus!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

9 thoughts on “You looking at me?

  1. I really don’t blame you, AGMA. There’s a line that’s been crossed now several times in technology about privacy. I’m okay when they offer me the chance to tell them about why a certain software crashed; I always like to do my bit in explaining what I was doing, and perhaps this being fixed in future upgrades. But really, I don’t need them watching and listening to me.

    Speaking of watching, I have to laugh when you wrote about covering the camera on your laptop. We recently started working with a financial planner who’s out of state. We have video conferences with him. As I was readying my laptop for the initial conference call, and I could not for the life of me remove the bandaid I had over my camera. It had been there for years! We finally resorted to using my wife’s iMac (and her rolling her eyes at me, similar to perhaps your son’s reaction to you). All in the name of privacy! – Marty

    Liked by 2 people

  2. So I have read and followed and loved your blog for years… when you read your own thoughts written by someone else you feel that kindred pull.
    I even started watching cycling much to my own surprise.
    But This Post GOT ME.
    I’m considered Gen X – the alleged semi- don’t care group.
    However, I have been made fun of due to my “paranoia” of “them” watching me…
    My brother got my mother, who I share a home with, Alexa for Christmas. I was side eyeing it and she finally plugged it in saying I shouldn’t worry. That was until one day we were talking and Alexa joined in our conversation. She has been unplugged unless music is played then unplug her!
    I drive a 2007 Jeep that isn’t smart and I disabled all my location apps on my smart phone – unless driving because let’s get real it’s helpful especially in Atlanta!
    And I randomly yell out “everyone is doing a fine job” just so They are listening.
    I laughed out loud because my line is “time to head to Zion”!
    Cheese Head scares me just as much.
    Please continue to share because I know I’m not the only one who relates so well!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I get it AGMA. Between the spying, the tampering with video and passing it off as real, the constant promotion of unfounded conspiracy theories and so much more going on out there it’s become difficult to identify what the actual benefits to being plugged in are anymore???

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Husband’s best friend works for a well known company who sits on the fringes of social media and ALL their IT bods have taped over their cameras and disabled the microphones which speaks volumes doesn’t it.

    Alexa scares me too, you don’t have to be polite when you ask her a question which dumbs down our social niceities and lets you believe you can bark instructions/questions to anyone with your bidding being done without question – which sorts of reminds me of someone else.,,,

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I like the convenience of using devices to answer questions. I don’t think I have any top secrets that Big Brother couldn’t find out fairly easily regardless of tape over camera lenses.
    There are instances where cameras actually help. Remember the Boston Marathon bombing? Outdoor cameras swiftly identified what happened and who was responsible, preventing more bombings. Inside the home, privacy is important, but outside the home with smarter devices perhaps more lives will be saved.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. You are NOT being paranoid. We trade our personal details for convenience at every turn.
    I try to stay as private as my lifestyle would allow, but I’m not (yet?) willing to give up air travel despite the increasing intrusiveness of surveillance. Of course, I understand the need for video cameras at airports, but now digital images of our faces are being collected at passport control and departure gates??

    Liked by 1 person

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