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Welcome to 'uber-veillance' says Australian Privacy Foundation


'In the future, she said, “you won't be able to hide: you will get hit with fees for not disclosing.”'

Already happening. Sure, they call it a 'discount' for those that do but the effect is the same. Health insurers are doing this right now.

The big problem, however, is that this kind of data gathering becomes the norm and so it is an implied consent and, moreover, the world shifts to where it is just considered normal. When that happens, there is less choice for those of us who don't want to fall in line.

Have a look at something like Uber. Not quite the same, I know, but it's something for which you actually need a smart phone or else you can't use it. Admittedly, I am not inconvenience as a result of this but what happens when we have several such services and they have the effect of reducing the number of 'real' taxis due to them being forced out of the market? What happens then, when you need a smart phone to take a taxi?!

It's not a strong connection but remember that Uber can and does track you - where you go and when. So perhaps one day, because people accept that about Uber, even those of us who don't won't have much of an alternative. Perhaps the normal taxis switch to that service too?

Or look at supermarket checkouts with the decreased number of normal check outs and the roll-out of the 'self service' units. They're fine - whatever - but now I am seeing places where fully half the machines are card only. Even without a foil hat, it's pretty clear that your options for purchasing anonymously with cash have just decreased.

Yes, my foil hat is probably on a bit too tight but people have to understand what the future will hold and once EVERYTHING is recorded we are screwed because all it takes is a bit of hacking or some some unethical business misusing that data and you are fucked.

It's the correlation of dozens of sets of data that really does it. Sure, maybe it's no so bad that Uber know where you travel and when. But what about combining that with your public transport history via the various electronic ticketing systems, such as Opal in Sydney or Myki in Melbourne? And then add that to your fitness tracker and your shopping records and so on.

Each thing might not be a big deal and people will say that they don't care if their health insurer knows when they go to sleep but each such bit of data gets added to to the ever-increasing pile.

You say: "I don't care if company A knows my birthday" and then "I don't care if company B knows when and where I take taxis" and then "I don't care if company C knows when I buy bread and milk and whether I buy medium black t-shirts at $20 or small white t-shirts 3-for-$10". But what happens is that now companies D, E and F know all that too. and you have no idea who they are.

My hat really is too tight.

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