Randolph Lewis on Surveillance Culture


The most insidious thing about surveillance
culture now is that it’s–they call it ubiquitous surveillance–it’s like everywhere, all the
time. And so, we can never really be aware of how
often we are being watched. I mean, it starts from the skies with predator
drones that can from 20,000 ft. read a license plate. And so even if you’re driving in west Texas
all by yourself, you’re not by yourself necessarily. And then there are things where we invite
it in to our homes. Samsung had a smart TV two or three years
ago that came out. If you read the instruction manual somewhere
on page 44 or something, in small, legal jargon, it said something that no one really realized,
which was that every conversation that the smart TV could pick up–mostly in order to
turn on the TV and for gaming purposes and all this sort of interactive stuff–those
conversations could be sold to a third party marketer. So, everything being said in your home within
earshot of the TV was being broadcast to Samsung and then relayed to a marketing company that
we don’t even know who they are, multiple companies. So that’s a perfect example of the ways in
which, you know, even in our own home, in this moment of the ‘internet of things’ where
our devices are smart devices and they can record and interact with us. All kinds of information about us is being
scooped up and sold.

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