Okay Google, Facebook & Alexa, Cover Your Ears, Because This Isn’t For You To Hear: We Are Not For-sale.

I recently read this article: “Yes, You Should Delete Facebook” by Nate Eliason, and realized that I’m not alone in my thinking. Ten years ago if I had mentioned that front-facing cameras on your laptops are watching you or your text messages are being data-mined by your government, or your phone is periodically reporting its location back to its corporate master, I may have been labeled as one of those nutty conspiracy theorists. Now, I would be willing to wager that we all feel similar to how much of this shiny, “free” technology is starting to come with a price; to not only our privacy but our individuality as well.

Nate has some compelling and familiar insights into to why I may just leave Facebook, keep an eye on Alexa and unplug my Google home. It wasn’t until I read about Nate’s templated experience did I think it may be time to change my Internet ways.

I am ax champion for technology and deep learning AI but not when it is being built to consume with an intention to learn how to extort my interests, my friends, and my habits by parsing what I type, listening to the room while waiting for me to say “Okay Google”, “Alexa”, or “Hey Siri” and then using such data to benefit people willing to pay for such personal information for whatever reasons they please whether to direct-sell me something I have written about or even mentioned in my home or worse target propaganda including yes, fake or manipulated news, at me.

This deeper level of integrated, neural learning technology has changed the definition of personal information from when some of these social services first began. The Internet is no longer the geek in the basement’s blog anymore. It’s more like one of those rebellious teenagers sneaking out, or maybe the burglar sneaking in through the window at 3 am.

It’s time to update our knowledge and our Terms of Use for these companies. The definition of personal information has changed and we shouldn’t let companies, like Facebook, Google, Amazon or Apple write it for us. Our privacy belongs to us and should not be sold.

It’s time to dial it back and just say no. Say No until our privacy, including our thoughts, whether are written or spoken are respected by the companies we implicitly trust as a customer.

I’m a person, not a product, and So. Are. You.