Lovely blog post by Maria Farrell:
A couple of weeks ago, I gave a talk in Austria on smartphones and cybersecurity.
“Put up your hand if you like or maybe even love your smartphone,” I asked the audience of policymakers, industrialists and students.
Nearly every hand in the room shot up.
“Now, please put up your hand if you trust your smartphone.”
One young guy at the back put his hand in the air, then faltered as it became obvious he was alone. I thanked him for his honesty and paused before saying,“We love our phones, but we do not trust them. And love without trust is the definition of an abusive relationship.”
We are right not to trust our phones. They serve several masters, the least of whom is us. They constantly collect data about us that is not strictly necessary to do their job. They send data to the phone company, to the manufacturer, to the operating system owner, to the app platform, and to all the apps we use. And then those companies sell or rent that data to thousands of other companies we will never see. Our phones lie to us about what they are doing, they conceal their true intentions, they monitor and manipulate our emotions, social interaction and even our movements. We tell ourselves ‘it’s okay, I chose this’ when we know it really, really isn’t okay, and we can’t conceive of a way out, or even of a world in which our most intimate device isn’t also a spy.
Let’s face the truth. We are in an abusive relationship with our phones.