WASHINGTON, August 28, 2013 — Your privacy is all but gone. From the time you enter a womb, leave your home and after you return, you are monitored one way or another. In many cases, you don’t even know it. The average American is spied on about 20 times daily and in different formats.
When you go to work, a traffic light camera sees you. At the ATM, your picture with time and date captures you. If you get in a traffic accident, an on-board ‘black box’ keeps track of where you went for a six month period, how fast you were traveling when you had the accident, when and how hard you braked and swerved.
Maryland was the first to use information from on-board tracking when a man killed a child on his bicycle in Montgomery County. He man claimed he was traveling at 35 MH and braked hard. The on-board ‘black box’ showed he was hitting 90 MPH and did not brake until after he hit the child. The driver was sentenced for vehicular manslaughter based on the black box information.
Police electronically run your license plate while you are driving and get immediate information of you regardless if you are committing a traffic infraction. They store this information for future access.
Your cell phone is a GPS beast. Wherever you go, you are tracked. When you shop, electronic devices in the store track you via cell phone signal to see which isle you are in, what you are buying and passing up, and even track those who go past the store without stopping in.
At work, when you are on the computer, what you are doing on it is tracked. Your boss can listen in on your phone calls via ‘executive override’ buttons on their phones.
What you purchase, where, how much and when is all on databases within minutes. Stores now use facial recognition via cameras in the ceiling (and elsewhere-mannequin eyes for example) which are not just for shoplifting purposes.
The cameras track frequent customers and pair the facial recognition with purchases. Facial recognition cameras also track known shoplifters who have resorted to using fake noses and facile hair to avoid them. The cameras are used to determine the age of shoppers, shopping habits and compared to previously recorded images.
Your computer is looking back at you. There is one person who decries computers by stating “When you look at a computer, it is looking right back atcha’. This statement comes from none other than Charles Manson. Of course, he is unconcerned as he has never operated a computer.
If one decides to become a bank robber, here is what he/she is up against:
The robber is tracked to the bank, in the bank and a GPS is inserted into a money pack. The robber is tracked via traffic cameras, shopping center cameras, cell phone tracking, and vehicular black box and upon returning to a so-called ‘safe house’ to count the loot, the inserted GPS has alerted law enforcement where the money is. If the robber calls a friend to tell them of the heist, NSA may know it. Crime no longer pays- even a little bit.
If you desire a private Jacuzzi style bath in your home, the tub has a device that tells the manufacturer when you ran the water, what temperature, how long you stayed in, if you used bath oil and if you sang in the tub, what tune you sang so a record company knows what you are listening to.
The last paragraph is made up. However, you never know. The faucet may be watching.
Paul Mountjoy is a Virginia based writer and psychotherapist.