Were you the kind of kid that hated it when your mother went snooping around in your things? Do you think it is fair when someone reads the messages stored on your phone? If those things disturb you, you better re-evaluate how you feel about them because your tech usage creates a virtual profile about you that knows more about you than your mother or your significant other will probably ever know.
Wired interviewed two technology philosophers Tristan Harris and Yuval Noah Harari, about how technology is hacking human beings and transforming us, even when we may not be aware of it. Hacking humans is essentially a way to understand what individuals are feeling and predict what humans are going to do. This gives the technology the power to control humans as well. For example, Harris says that 70 percent of what people watch on YouTube are the recommendations made by the YouTube system, not choices that they made independently.
We Volunteer Our Data
We are co-conspirators in the violation of our own privacy. By simply having a smartphone, even if it is not turned on, we are volunteering our physical location to those who are able to track it. This includes the authorities and anyone else with a legal, or illegal, reason that has the necessary equipment to triangulate the signals bouncing back and forth from the cell phone towers.
My DNA Wants to Know Your DNA
DNA testing is so advanced now that not only does it show a person’s ancestry, it can give them information about the probability of getting certain diseases in the future. DNS-matching for a compatible mate is already possible. If you do not like your DNA, no worries, DNA modification is also very easy to do with a new technology called CRISPR.
Searching is Revealing
Tracking the results of searches made using search engines creates a very clear online profile of the person. For example, search-result algorithms can predict a person’s sexuality with great accuracy, even if the person has not yet come to terms with their own identity.
The Internet of Things is Like Having a Spy in Every Toaster
Your digital keys know exactly what time you got home. Amazon might use a drone to send over a package of replacement light bulbs along with the bread because the artificial intelligence software connecting through the Internet of Things (IoT) knows that the light bulbs are about to burn out. Is this far in the future? No, it is already happening.
Everywhere we turn, through exponentially increasing inter-connectivity, there is a supercomputer always pointed at our brains and your tech really does know you better than you know yourself.