The digital age and the technological revolution has made it almost impossible for us to escape the hands of big businesses as they control the way we use all of our technological devices, whether it be our smartphones, laptops, e-readers, etc. With that being said, we put a lot of our trust in these companies to keep our private information and data just that, private. Unfortunately, however there have been security breaches and privacy conflicts, and who could forget the highly publicized, national news scandal, celebrity iCloud hack that happened last year?
So if you’re like me and don’t give it a second thought when agreeing to the terms and conditions of every iTunes update, should we be worried they’re going to sneak something in there that could compromise our security and privacy?
In a recent episode of Parks and Recreation the issue of data mining was brought up and provided an eerie glance into the real world and how that as a society we’ve become so device-obsessed that we often don’t realize how much power the companies that control our devices have. In fictional Pawnee, Indiana Leslie Knope got an inside look into the all-powerful, Apple equivalent company, Gryzzl, looking for answers to questions regarding the privacy and security of the people of her city.
“So. Roscoe, how does Gryzzl know all the things that someone wants? Are you guys data-mining?” Leslie asked coyly.
Roscoe, Vice President of Cool New Shizz at Gryzzl, replied, “Hellz, yeah, dawg! Our super-rad algorithm searches all your texts, calls, banking, medical records, blah blah blah, to learn what you really want — from snacks to new books and movies!”
Another Gryzzl executive later went on to say, “As you know,the cameras on your phone are always on whether you’re using them or not! This app uses facial-recognition software to track your expressions. It’s always watching!”
This episode definitely brought to light an issue that most of us don’t think about on a daily basis, but effects us every time we use our devices. Data mining, security, and privacy are all intertwined and it is important for us to remember this before we click our rights away or scroll through the jargon that could give the big businesses even more power over you than they already have.