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!