Google admits to snooping… How Big Tech is selling your freedoms away… These apps can track your location every six seconds… In the mailbag: “For every law passed, a freedom is lost”…
Our goal here at The Daily Cut is to keep you up to date with the latest insights and ideas from Bill Bonner, Doug Casey, Teeka Tiwari, Jeff Clark, and their analysts.
But our wider mission – the reason we write to you every weekday – is to help you achieve financial freedom.
And you can’t have financial freedom without personal freedom.
Put another way, there’s no point in having money to spend if you live in a society that doesn’t let you spend it freely.
Most of us have never had to worry about the second part of that statement… until now.
As we’ve been warning, you can only have personal freedom if you have the right to privacy. And that’s becoming increasingly difficult thanks to the rise of Big Tech.
The House Judiciary Committee summoned Pichai to Capitol Hill to field questions about some of the tech giant’s digital snooping.
Pichai admitted under oath that Google actively stores your name… your address… your age… your email correspondence… your phone’s serial number… your wi-fi network information… your phone conversations… your voice… and your search history.
Given that he freely admitted to all this snooping… one of the exchanges that came midway through the hearing was telling.
Holding up his iPhone, Texas Republican Ted Poe asked Pichai to answer yes or no to whether Google could track his movements from one side of the room to the other.
The Google boss didn’t give a straight answer. “I wouldn’t be able to answer without knowing more details, sir,” was all he could muster.
It’s no wonder he was so evasive. Pichai knows folks are starting to grasp just how invasive the collection of location data is.
Big Tech is infringing on our liberties to earn a buck.
Google – along with thousands of other app makers, including The Weather Channel and AccuWeather – harvests location data on smartphone users.
This data then ends up in the hands of “monetizers.” They collect location data from different apps. Then they package it up and sell it to advertisers who micro target you with ads.
You probably know that already.
What you may not be aware of is how extensive this tracking is… and how fast it’s spreading.
That’s the phrase reporters from The New York Times used after an investigation they published this week.
That’s because this kind of surveillance is spreading, like a virus, to anyone who uses a smartphone.
The Times got its hands on one database that had location data – accurate to within a few yards – of over 200 million Americans.
From your home… to your favorite coffee shop… to your office… to your favorite lunch spot… back to the office… back home… out to Little League… off on vacation… apps on your smartphone are tracking you all day, every day… and then broadcasting this data to various third parties and vendors.
In some cases, your location information is updated more than 14,000 times a day – or about once every six seconds.
But reporters at the Times were able to identify one “anonymous” smartphone user – a 46-year-old math teacher – based only off the location data collected from her cell phone.
It wasn’t hard.
This smartphone user left a home in upstate New York at 7 a.m. and traveled to a middle school 14 miles away. She then stayed until late afternoon each school day.
Since there’s only one person who lives at the address AND spends a full day at that school every weekday, you don’t have to be Sherlock Holmes to figure out who it is.
And if you use a smartphone… you can be identified, too.
That makes us easy to find… and identify.
The same reporters were also able to track the path of another smartphone user from their home in Newark, New Jersey, to a nearby Planned Parenthood clinic.
They were also able to pinpoint a smartphone user who travels with the mayor of New York City during the day – including trips to his favorite gym – and then back to a home on Long Island. They were even able to get this person’s home address.
Can you imagine what a criminal – or a terrorist – could do with that kind of detailed information?
Do you see a shrink you haven’t told anyone about? Do you attend regular AA meetings? Are you going fishing when you’re supposed to be at work?
If the answer is yes… and you have your smartphone with you… chances are an app company has digitally recorded, stored, packaged, and sold your precise movements to the highest bidder.
And if you think the eavesdropping arm of the Deep State doesn’t also have this data on hand… we have a bridge to sell you.
As Legacy Research cofounder Doug Casey likes to remind readers… large corporations such as Google are totally amoral. You can count on them to be direct conduits to the government spooks.
The level of digital surveillance today is nothing compared to what’s coming down the pike.
Here’s more from Doug, who’s been keeping a close eye on the growing Surveillance Society we’ve been telling you about…
The world has become totally digitized over the last couple of decades. Thanks to the Internet of Things [IoT], there are sensors everywhere. They’re not just on every street and in every store. They’re in your television, your car, your refrigerator, and God knows where else.
If you buy a new appliance today, it’s extremely hard not to end up with something that will monitor you. Of course, the argument is made: “Well, if you don’t do anything wrong, you have nothing to worry about.” I suppose that’s true. Here’s a tip: You definitely shouldn’t commit a murder within purview of one of these devices.
It’s a radical step. But Doug reckons you should also get rid of your smartphone and any other Big Tech devices in your home…
I now have a cell phone. But I only use it when I’m traveling; pay phones have ceased to exist. Cell phones are the most dangerous monitoring device because they’re ubiquitous. You may think you’re safe when your cell phone is turned off. But the things can be hacked.
In Sweden people are getting chips implanted in their hands to save themselves the inconvenience of having to swipe their cell phone to pay for things, use a card to gain admission to buildings, or whatnot. I’m not a Bible person, but this is really the modern incarnation of the Mark of the Beast.
We’ve said this before… But we’re going to keep saying it, as long as this kind of stuff is going on. If you want to shore up your privacy online, consider “going dark.”
As we covered here, there are four simple steps you can take today to shield yourself from the all-seeing eye of Big Tech. It’s not too late to take back your digital privacy.
And remember – we want this to be a two-way conversation. Are we overreacting to what’s going on? Are we missing something? Send your thoughts and ideas to [email protected].
We’ll leave the last word on the Surveillance Society to your fellow readers…
We lost the last visages of privacy when the Patriot Act was passed. The truth is that surveillance of our life actions had been going on for a long time before that, but now it is legal. What is disturbing about commercial surveillance is that there is no control over what is gathered or how it is used.
The government surveillance is supposed to be kept secret and used by the government to “protect” us. If my data is to be sold, I want a share of the money that is collected. A class action suit to collect our share is in order. Any brave lawyers out there?
– Dean G.
My thoughts on a U.S. surveillance society like the one being rolled out in China are that it’s far worse than terrorism. And one can make the argument that a surveillance society is an act of terrorism itself. Would ordinary people invite the idea of Germany’s Stasi into their lives?
A close friend of mine whose father grew up in France, prior to his passing, exclaimed, “Frankly, the U.S. has become the 21st-century Nazis!” This was more than 10 years ago when we had a conversation on the changes taking place around the world. And who would know better than someone as he, having fought and lived through World War II?
As far as I’m concerned, the writing is on the wall, and people pay little “thought” to the repercussions that lie ahead! It both saddens me and frightens me.
– Peter P.
December 12, 2018