5 Crazy Ways The Government Watches You
Do you remember 1984 by George Orwell? Yes, the Big Brother is watching you. Of course the situation is not so critical, but what could the government really do?
Probably each of us at least once thought that the government may spy after us. Considering the fact that an average person in the US spends more than 5 hours online and spends even more time using the smartphone, spying becomes as simple as possible.
Public Space Cameras
Cameras in public places are working both for you and against you. After the emergency or criminal event the first thing you will do is to watch the webcam records. In most cases these small hidden tools help solve a lot of crimes.
On the other hand, public webcams are collecting the information 24/7. The cameras are spying on you on roads, in the underground, on the streets and in trade centers. Just imagine how many cameras are installed by Google worldwide. Furthermore, you may don’t even know that Google is snapping you, you may find it out later while visiting your street in Google Street View.
Unfortunately, this is out of your control, and you cannot hide from being recorded. But the good news is that all the videos and photos are being stored locally and require permission for access. For example, records from camera that is located in the store cannot be used without permission of the store. Just remember the recent controversy between the Apple and the FBI.
When You Are Using the iPhone
As for the battle between the Apple and the FBI, it was a lesson for all of us. The result speaks for itself: if the government needs something, they will take it even if they have to hack the phone. Of course the FBI had to crack that iPhone, but the fact remains.
The National Security Agency is allowed to collect phone call metadata in the US (i.e. time, date, location, phone numbers of each party) and has been doing so since 2001. At the same time, the government is not allowed to listen cell phone conversations of the US citizens until they are speaking with someone who is abroad.
While You Are Surfing the Internet
It’s not a secret that it is possible to track your activity in the Internet if your Internet connection is not protected by VPN or alternative security tools. But not a lot of people know that the number of Internet-connected devices is growing. So-called Internet of Things is staying out of protection and is connected directly to the Internet, whereas your Mac or iPhone may be protected by the antivirus software. At the present moment the IoT is an attractive gate for amateurs and the government. The well-known searching tool Shodan finds thousands of unprotected devices online such as web cams, thermostats, and even baby monitor devices.
While You Are Watching TV
All your activity is tracked for many reasons. For example, cable TV could track what you watch, when you watch it, and how much you pay, and then based on this data it can target the ads to you. Today a big number of streaming service providers such as Netflix are collecting all your activity, so you can simply find the history of what you watched.
When You Are Using Credit Cards
Whether you pay with your credit card or use the loyalty card, you may be sure that your tracking details are being collected in the bank or by an organization that owns the card. Moreover, almost all ATMs include the web cam, so your photo will be stored your photo besides the date, time, and location. In most cases this data is regularly sold and bundled with your online browsing data, so an advertiser on Facebook can target only people they need.