This post is to bring to readers’ attention some remarkable facts about how the Big Tech companies are moving to be increasingly intrusive in your digital experiences and to profile and monitor you everywhere in every way possible. I don’t think it is too strong a statement to observe that “internet privacy” is dying. Indeed, as these links document, it may already be a thing of the past.
The first link includes some truly disturbing facts about Big Tech’s desire to monitor and track everything you do. It reports openly that Google’s new smart phone, the Pixel 4, is “aimed at getting people even more dependent on its artificial-intelligence services.” Google Assistant, Google’s counterpart to the Siri and Alexa digital assistants, is powered by Artificial Intelligence (AI) programs and is “now available on more than 1 billion devices.” The link also reveals that “Amazon is getting a shopping assistant into every device it can,” while Google is “collecting more information about user preferences” via AI applications. I cannot help but marvel that the Big Tech companies still crave ever-greater amounts of personal data about everyone. What personal data can there be that they do not already gather and catalog about all users? The link further adds that this new phone will have very rapid facial-recognition technology for “unlocking the phone with a glance.” It will also be able to apply facial recognition software to the people whose photographs you take and whose images are stored on your digital devices. This feature will enable central data bases to determine your social network to form better profiles of users, know with whom you interact, etc. This will also enable law enforcement and intelligence agencies to determine if you interact with known terrorists, criminals, etc. This feature sounds like Big Tech is preparing the technology to create a “citizen rating” score in the Western world akin to what China is imposing on all citizens controlled by Communist China. Rating your social group is one feature that can be incorporated into the Chinese citizenship score. All we need is a global governmental system to develop a global citizenship score based on everyone’s digital “footprint.”
The second link examines the biometric features of the iPhone 8, which reportedly has a fingerprint sensor to identify users. The article mentions that other Apple smartphones use facial recognition technologies and that Samsung devices have “iris and facial scans” technologies built into them. The article reports that some users are resisting such intensively invasive systems, but notes that it is becoming increasing difficult to avoid invasive biometric technologies because they are being installed in such public places as airport checkpoints, sports stadiums and concert halls. It also adds that even more invasive biometric technologies are coming: voice-recognition, heart-rate detection and gait-analysis methodologies to identify and track you. The link shows that the technologies are not yet perfect as errors have occurred, but, no doubt, the Big Tech companies are learning from these glitches to build fool-proof biometric data systems to identify you accurately at all times.
The third link reveals that new invasive technologies are being invented that will track not only you as you go about your digital activities but also will be able to develop individualized profiles of your personal computing devices! This will eliminate the need to try to trace someone from an initial digital starting point. The “data brokers” will be able to identify your personal computing devices’ individual settings whenever you activate them and wherever you travel on the internet. I can see that this overweening obsession with tracking everyone on the planet will have some good applications. It will make it much easier for law enforcement agencies to track criminals of all kinds. Maybe Interpol and national intelligence agencies will be able to use this technology to trace and arrest drug smugglers, human traffickers, money-launderers and terrorists as soon as they activate any digital device. That we can all applaud; however, the criminal and terrorist population will surely try to circumvent the system by using any digital device only once before moving on to a new device for each new digital usage so no device can ever be traceable to those evading law enforcement groups. This may then lead to a drive to “register computers” when they are bought even as some want to “register guns.” Computer stores may even have to install biometric systems to monitor and identity everyone who wishes to buy a digital device and register the device’s settings to a buyer before it is used.
The technological advances and their incredible invasiveness are dizzying to keep track of. The USA has a 4th Amendment in its Constitution that protects vs. “unlawful searches and seizures” but the Constitution was written at a time when a “search” constituted someone knocking on your physical premises to gain entry and search for something. With digital spying on all digital activities, all your data can be “searched” and “seized” without anyone needing to enter your premises at all. Indeed, Alexa and other such personal data assistants can spy on you on a 24/7 basis in your home by listening to everything in your home or office. We may reach the point where “smart” TVs can listen or even watch whatever you do in your home. It does appear that we will eventually reach a point in the future where your digital assistants and devices stop merely monitoring you and, instead, begin to control your daily activities. If you have never seen the movie, I Robot, you should do so as its plot involves a future time when a highly-advanced Artificial Intelligence program hijacks all robotic devices and digital systems and uses them to control and even imprison human beings against their will.
These developments remind me of a prophecy in the Bible that is becoming steadily more true on a literal basis with each new biometric/AI development. The Apostle John wrote the book of Revelation which was a vision about the events and technologies of the end of our age just prior to divine intervention and the return of Jesus Christ to assume rulership over all nations. John was told to write down what he saw in his vision of the latter days (Revelation 1:11,19), and he did so, but he had a huge disadvantage. He was forced to use low-tech vocabulary to describe the very high-tech events and technologies that would come into being at the end of our age. In Revelation 13, John describes a final, global governing system that will occur on the earth and he gives it a name (the “beast”). This final, global “beast” system will unveil new weapons technologies that will amaze the nations (Revelation 13:4), and it will be headed by a political leader allied to a false religious leader who will do miracles to deceive the nations into following and accepting the beast system (Revelation 13:11-18). This final global system will be able to access and control all financial transactions on the earth (verses 16-17), and all financial transactions will be conducted by the use of devices held in peoples’ hands or utilizing information on their hands and/or foreheads (verse 16). I think it is very obvious that John was seeing, in vision, the transaction of all kinds of business and financial transactions via smart phones which are held in people’s hands and which utilize biometric information on either one’s hands or faces/foreheads. Facial-recognition and iris scanning technologies involve aiming a digital device at one’s face/forehead/ocular region, and fingerprint technologies utilize the hands in identifying users.
The three links document that we have, literally, reached the point in our latter-day time where what John saw in his vision is actually already occurring all over the world in billions of transactions and activities. The language of Revelation 13:15-18 clearly indicates there will be a technological device of some kind that you can hold in your hand and aim at your face/eyes to identify you so you can use this device and make transactions or conduct activities. I think it is evident that John was seeing the entire world conducting activities via their ubiquitous smartphones or other digital devices unlocked by biometric technologies. It is clearly evident that this prophecy had to have divine inspiration as no one in the 1st century AD (when the vision occurred) could have foreseen the development of digital technologies that would link the entire world in real time on hand-held devices. What we are witnessing is another proof that the Bible is, indeed, a divinely-inspired book which foretold the modern world with incredible accuracy. For more evidence of that fact, please read my article, Are we Living in the Biblical Latter Days?
It does appear that we have reached the point where internet privacy is, indeed, dead. Given the publicly-available information about the endless, intrusive digital monitoring and identification systems now extant, you should assume that either real people or AI devices built by real people can watch your every keystroke, track every website you visit, monitor every transaction you make, etc. This should motivate everyone to conduct only legal activities on the internet at all times. The beast system, with its global digital control systems, may actually be able to make the world essentially crime-free as it will identify all criminal intent as it is developing on the web before it occurs. If so, it will make the beast system very popular.
If you desire a higher degree of privacy than can be obtained on the internet or any digital platform, I suggest you use an information-transmitting system that is low-tech but still available. It is called writing a letter and using the postal system to deliver it to an addressee. It is slow but completely non-digital and not subject to hacking. Even governments may go back to using human couriers to physically transport sensitive information in a way which is not subject to digital platforms or detection systems.
What a world we live in! It is the world the Apostle John saw in his vision that he described as best he could in the book of Revelation. Since the digital technologies are now in place to implement the prophecy of Revelation 13 on a global basis, it may be wise to expect some dramatic fulfillments of biblical prophecies in the years ahead of us. Are you ready?
My thanks to a reader for sending me the third link.