ARE YOU CRAZY?
Americans are known for sacrificing safety, security, and privacy for convenience and to show they, too, are hip with the latest gadget.
But how many people consider the ramifications of exposing the details of your life to a third-party app provider with a history of aggregating and selling your history to advertisers, researchers, and, yes, government agencies? Even hardware and operating system vendors collect data from their users, usually in the guise of improving their products and services, such as personalizing recommendations in an App Store or improving location-based services.
There should be no doubt that the most significant revenue streams often come from big pharma with their recurrent mega-profitable revenue from ongoing drug therapies. What might they pay to access a profiled audience with specific habits or ailments?
Apple Plans iPhone Journaling App in Expansion of Health Initiatives
Apple Inc. is planning an iPhone app to let users compile their daily activities as part of its efforts in the market for mental and physical health technology, according to documents viewed by The Wall Street Journal.
The software will compete in a category of so-called journaling apps, such as Day One, which lets users track and record their activities and thoughts. The new Apple product underscores the company’s growing interest in mental health.
In one document describing the app, Apple said journaling is shown to improve mental and physical well-being. Much of Apple’s push into healthcare has been centered around the Apple Watch.
The new app follows a pattern in which Apple provides a platform for developers and often competes with them, including by building apps that have similar features to existing software and sometimes offering them free to users. Some software engineers have taken to calling the practice “sherlocking.” Many large companies, particularly in tech, have been accused of launching products that closely resemble those developed by smaller operators. It couldn’t be determined if Apple plans to charge for the app.
[OCS: For those seeking an interesting read or movie, watch “Pirates of Silicon Valley,” which has an interesting take on Apple’s Steve Jobs and Microsoft’s Bill Gates and the Xerox technology rip-offs.]
Apple’s app will have the ability to gather much more user data than Day One, providing access to text messages and phone calls, the documents show. Once the Apple app is launched, it will be preloaded onto every iPhone with the latest operating system.
The Apple journaling app, code-named Jurassic, is designed to help users keep track of their daily lives, according to the documents describing the software. The app will analyze the users’ behavior to determine what a typical day is like, including how much time is spent at home compared with elsewhere, and whether a certain day included something outside the norm, according to the documents.
The app is expected to offer “All Day People Discovery” to detect a user’s physical proximity to other people, and Apple will seek to distinguish between friends outside work and colleagues. <source>
[OCS: This is the look of creepy surveillance!]
Becoming a surveillance nation.
The U.S. government has implemented various surveillance programs and technologies in recent years, which has led to concerns about the country becoming a surveillance state. Many of these programs purchase data from third-party vendors to circumvent data restrictions that prohibit the government from collecting or storing the same data on their own. These programs include the collection of metadata from phone calls and the monitoring of internet communications.
Social media sites are currently producing information that is used to create detailed profiles of individuals and used for targeted advertising or even sold to third parties. While George Orwell's classic dystopian novel "1984" predicted a totalitarian government collecting information on its citizens, the reality of social media dossiers goes beyond even Orwell's expectations.
Then there are the hidden and unregulated data brokers that collect and sell personal data without the knowledge or consent of individuals. They capture personal information from various sources, including social media platforms, websites, mobile apps, and even public records, creating detailed profiles of individuals that include information such as name, age, gender, address, phone number, email address, social media activity, and purchasing habits. Again, this information is sold to third parties, such as marketers, advertisers, and government agencies.
Even worse, the government’s intelligence and law enforcement agencies may use archived data stored over a period of time to establish “intent,” a user’s state of mind or intentions regarding a particular action or decision, which is an element of most local, state, and federal criminal and civil laws, statutes, rules, and regulations.
And worst of all comes the threat of artificial intelligence, data mining, and machine learning techniques that only heightens data-driven risks to individuals as the new data analysis tools can infringe on civil rights by aggregating and summarizing their activities over time. And possibly indicating that an individual may likely commit a crime in the future. Financial institutions seeking to combat embezzlement, corporations seeking to protect against intellectual property theft, and the military seeking to maintain secrets are researching the possibilities of AI-powered pre-detection that can cripple your efforts to obtain employment, housing, healthcare, travel documents, or other benefits.
A constitutional refresher…
Several constitutional amendments in the United States are associated with information and its use. Some of the key amendments include:
First Amendment: The First Amendment protects your right to freedom of speech, press, religion, assembly, and petition. This amendment is associated with the free flow of information and ideas and the right of individuals to express their opinions and beliefs without censorship, restraint, or government molestation.
Fourth Amendment: The Fourth Amendment protects your right to privacy, which includes the right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures of personal information. This amendment often protects personal and confidential information from government surveillance and intrusion.
Fifth Amendment: The Fifth Amendment protects your right to due process of law, which includes the right to be informed of the charges against you and access the evidence used against you. This amendment often protects individuals' rights in legal proceedings to access harvested or compiled information.
Sixth Amendment: The Sixth Amendment protects your right to a fair and speedy trial, which includes the right to confront witnesses and challenge evidence used against you.
Eighth Amendment: The Eighth Amendment prohibits using excessive bail, fines, and cruel and unusual punishment. This amendment is often associated with using specific information in sentencing and punishment.
Fourteenth Amendment: The Fourteenth Amendment guarantees equal protection under the law, which includes the right to be free from discrimination based on race, gender, or other characteristics. This amendment is often associated with using information in employment, housing, and other areas where discrimination may occur.
Think of the consequences before you use that engaging or convenient app.
Realize that most of the mental health benefits arise from old-fashioned journaling, where you think before you write – and the act of writing solidifies the benefits of journaling. Far different from simply recording and summarizing electronic data.
You might consider joining and donating to the Electronic Frontier Foundation, which seeks to reconcile analog practices in a digital world. (www.eff.org). EFF is the leading nonprofit defending digital privacy, free speech, and innovation.
We are so screwed.
“Nullius in verba.”-- take nobody's word for it!
“Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance.”-- George Bernard Shaw
“Progressive, liberal, Socialist, Marxist, Democratic Socialist -- they are all COMMUNISTS.”
“The key to fighting the craziness of the progressives is to hold them responsible for their actions, not their intentions.” – OCS "The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." -- Marcus Aurelius “A people that elect corrupt politicians, imposters, thieves, and traitors are not victims... but accomplices” -- George Orwell “Fere libenter homines id quod volunt credunt." (The people gladly believe what they wish to.) ~Julius Caesar “Describing the problem is quite different from knowing the solution. Except in politics." ~ OCS
“The key to fighting the craziness of the progressives is to hold them responsible for their actions, not their intentions.” – OCS
"The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." -- Marcus Aurelius
“A people that elect corrupt politicians, imposters, thieves, and traitors are not victims... but accomplices” -- George Orwell
“Fere libenter homines id quod volunt credunt." (The people gladly believe what they wish to.) ~Julius Caesar
“Describing the problem is quite different from knowing the solution. Except in politics." ~ OCS