We went from the atomic age to the space age and we comfortably sit in the information age today. With refrigerators that can browse the internet and smart handheld devices being the Plat du jour we can access almost any piece of written information available throughout history. Unfortunately, this goes both ways. Information is gathered on us from companies, social media websites and even governments. Sure your quad-core 10 inch tablet lets you watch cat videos in full 1080p resolution but are the cats maybe watching you too? With 64% of U.S. households having smartphones those cats are hawking us like some sort of flying animal with great eyesight. Screw on your foil caps people because this is how awesome technology is being used against us.
The simple and skinny
Say you find yourself in Alabama driving down the highway when all of the sudden you’re pulled over. You’re dressed as a clergyman (which is illegal in Alabama) because of your new startup “Chic Priest” line of fashion forward vestments. The police officer asks you if he can search your car and because you have nothing illegal (or so you thought) you say go ahead. As he scours your boxes of merchandise he finds your phone with a video of you laughing it up with a potential priest client. He gasps at your unlawfulness when you put on a mustache and make the priest and organ player laugh boisterously. “Did you know sir that it’s illegal in the state of Alabama to wear a fake mustache in church that causes laughter?” he says as he puts you in the back of his patrol car.
Firstly, it is both illegal to impersonate a person of the cloth or wear a mustache that results in laughter in a church in Alabama. Also bear wrestling matches are prohibited. You have been warned. Secondly, there have been multiple controversial cases where a police officer has cloned an entire smartphone to prove something as simple as a traffic infringement using GPS locations off said device.
No Sleep Blue
No, I am not trying to pitch a new crayon color here, it has been proven that blue light disrupts the production of melatonin which is a hormone that helps us sleep. If you haven’t been keeping up guess what kind of color light your smart device emits, I’ll give you a second, very good! It’s blue.
Further, if you’re using it late at night it will keep you mentally engaged which also disrupts sleep patterns. All signs ultimately point towards smart devices having separation anxiety; they just want to be with you all the time, the poor things.
The smart, connected and leering trifecta
Like a creepy neighbor spying on you through the curtain slit as you marathon watch Orange is the New Black, your media box or console might be watching you too. Google’s media-box currently in development will include motion-sensors and a camera. Don’t get excited, it’s not so you can browse videos Minority Report style by waving your hands in the air, it’s so it can tailor ads to what it sees. If it sees a chubby middle-aged guy sitting on the couch, it might show a pizza commercial. If it sees a couple it will promote the latest rom-com in theatres.
The WiFi toaster Capper
OK, this may seemed farfetched but this is from the mouth of former CIA director David Petraeus. Many new appliances are internet enabled to allow users to remotely activate them. It also assists manufacturers in logging data regarding power consumption and inefficiencies of their products. It can also be used to keep track of your schedule. All they have to do is track the activity of the devices and sooner or later a pattern will immerge regarding what time you’re home, when you wake up and your preferred skivvy cleansing time.
This also goes for WiFi enabled lighting, baby monitors and even A/C Heating controls. You’re rethinking the foil cap now aren’t you?
The worse for last
This threat exposes 3.3 Million people that have internal pacemakers or insulin pumps to potential harm or even death. A pacemaker is a device that regulates heart arrhythmia with electricity and an insulin pump delivers doses of insulin when needed by a diabetic person. A hacker named Barnaby Jack proved that he could hack an insulin pump from 300 feet away and cause it to kill its carrier with a lethal dose of insulin.
You remember the WiFi enabled lighting above? Yeah, well tech savvy deviants can switch them off during a heist or kidnapping to facilitate their wrong-doings. The Smart Home of the future is a terrible horrifying place to live.
Do you know any other terrifyingly vulnerable devices we use in our day to day lives? Have you ever been exploited using these? Well then let us know in the comment section below.
See also: My Story About Tech Withdrawal