When someone talks about Big Brother from the novel 1984, most people think of an authoritarian government. What few people realize (or ignore) is that the government receives help.
It is a symbiotic relationship that allows the government to effectively circumvent our Constitutional protections. The government gives power in the form of favorable regulations and tax breaks. In exchange, the corporations surveil us and give access to their trove of data to them.
The end result is the same and we need to be diligent of the actions of the corporations along with those of the government.
You may remember that last year, Verizon (which owns Oath, which owns TechCrunch) was punished by the FCC for injecting information into its subscribers’ traffic that allowed them to be tracked without their consent. That practice appears to be alive and well despite being disallowed in a ruling last March: companies appear to be able to request your number, location, and other details from your mobile provider quite easily.
When you want to look back on old photos of Oliver as a puppy or Mr. Whiskers as a kitten, you no longer need to type “dog” or “cat” into search in Google Photos. Rolling out in most countries today, you’ll be able to see photos of the cats and dogs now grouped alongside people, and you can label them by name, search to quickly find photos of them, or even better, photos of you and them. This makes it even easier to create albums, movies, or even a photo book of your pet.
The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday agreed to resolve a major privacy dispute between the Justice Department and Microsoft Corp (MSFT.O) over whether prosecutors should get access to emails stored on company servers overseas.
Axon, the police supplier formerly known as Taser and now a leading maker of police body cameras, has also charged into police software with a service that allows police to manage and eventually analyze increasingly large caches of video, like a Dropbox for cops. Now it wants to add the public’s video to the mix.