This idea of privacy in exhange for safety is something I have thought about for a long time. Specifically with COVID-19 contact tracing. The fact that my phone could tell me who I’ve been in contact with or know my exact location is scary. I do believe in letting go of some rights in order to have safety. For example, I fly a lot with my family and because of this we decided to apply for TSA Pre-check. Now, if you don’t know, in order to apply for this airport security perk, you have to do an interview where they ask you a lot of personal questions. I think it’s done to make sure you are not a “threat” to the country. After you have been approved you can easily go through airport security, keep your socks on and computer laptop in your bag. Honestly, being approved for TSA pre-check was one of the best decisions of my life but I can’t help but wonder would this be the same for other people. Where do others draw the line when it comes to what they are willing to give the government.
I have started to make it a habit to read the fine print. When I got the new phone update, I read through the terms and agreements so that I knew exactly what was going to happen with the new update. The small, and what seems like, never ending print reminds me of those medicine commercials that used to come on and say all the side effects extremely fast so that you would think the medicine was 100% good for you. Anyways, the way we blindly press accept and don’t really understand what rights we are giving away is crazy. Another example that comes to mind is the new AI avatar thing that everyone was using on instagram for a while. It took a picture of your face and turned it into different virtual characters. What people didn’t know was that the company had free range to use the picture people took of themselves for their own benefit. I was grateful I decided not to jump on the band waggon.
Can I tell you a secret, deep down, I am waititng for them to have a court case where they call Siri to the stand and ask her/him/they to testify. That will be the day that people finally put down their phones, read the terms and agreements and start caring about the camera(s) that watch(es) them 24/7.