The snoopers are our new best friends? Unbelievable but true when, for the first time in human history, it is the norm for people to volunteer to be spied upon. Folks eagerly pay for the very apps that betray their privacy with a ruthless efficiency unmatched by the most oppressive tyrants of old.
The secret agents of a Hitler or Stalin were limited to monitoring people’s mail, eavesdropping on the telephone or clumsily tailing suspects they wanted to get the goods on. But that’s primitive junk-snooping by the standards of today’s surveillance state. Now people willingly authorize the use of their location and trigger access to every movement, purchase and conversation to any corporation or government agency that cares to “mine” their data, along with information from the rest of the world’s population.
Whereas in the past the files of a dictator’s Gestapo were barely read and almost impossible to collate as they gathered dust under lock and key, today’s data searches are conducted with a speed and thoroughness that defies comprehension. The movie you watched, your thoughts about its content posted on Facebook, the dialogue it provoked among friends—including the most intimate or wildest thought any of them have on any subject from the political to the pornographic—are instantly and permanently revealed to just about anyone curious enough to inquire.