The constant surveillance of your online life / by kevin murray

Currently, about the only people that do not conduct some or most of their lives online are those senior citizens that have never opted into that world, as well as recluses that pretty much live off the grid, for even little babies are having their photos and videos posted on Facebook, or YouTube, and so on and so forth, and pretty much we find that even those that have very little material wealth, have ready access to the internet in one form or another, and typically through their smart phones.


The internet provides a wealth of information to its users, which has its value and even its necessity in conducting not only business and school transactions, but also as the way that people readily communicate with one another, of which, never has it been easier to stay in touch with people as well as to stay current on events of import than today.  In fact, the positives of the internet are quite clear and obvious, and if the internet was essentially just the conduit for information, directions, communication, and so on, the internet would be absolutely wonderful.


However, the internet as it is currently constructed, permits, encourages, and allows those that open up those internet highways  of apps, devices, and websites to essentially record, cogitate, analyze, and store all sorts of information, particular to those individuals and their individual identity.     That is to say, things that most people might consider to be private and in their control, such as their pictures posted, their emails written, their purchases made, and their social postings, are actually not only being recorded by those websites and devices, but specifically are being done so as to "know" that individual. 


If, in the knowing of a given person, the purpose was to benefit that person, and was germane to just that person, as in a doctor-patient relationship, that would be one thing, but that isn’t the way that the internet works, but rather, these websites and devices want this information so that, by knowing who and what a given individual is, that they consequently have actionable information that can be sold and exploited in one form or another.  Additionally, actionable information is absolutely a form of power, and that power, in the wrong hands, can be utilized to compromise individuals, of which the defense against such is often rather weak.


The way that the internet works today is that the entity that controls a given person's information is not that specific individual, but rather instead it is those websites and those smart devices, that record and know everything, and never do they rest in that recording, which is not the way it should be.  Each individual in a free nation, should have the right to be the captain of their own identity, so that, in effect, all internet activity, and all smart device activity, should have a "kill switch" associated with it, in which, the user by selecting that kill switch is able to have everything, without exception, to be erased from their file, and to thereby either begin again, or to simply walk away.  At least, then with a real choice, people could protect their privacy and thereby be the master of their own lives, as opposed to the reams and reams on information being stored in the skeins of time, by corporations and government entities, that often do not have the best interests in mind of those individuals, whatsoever.