The voice came from an oblong metal plaque like a dulled mirror which formed part of the surface of the right-hand wall. Winston turned a switch and the voice sank somewhat, though the words were still distinguishable. The instrument (the telescreen, it was called) could be dimmed, but there was no way of shutting it off completely. The telescreen received and transmitted simultaneously. Any sound that Winston made, above the level of a very low whisper, would be picked up by it, moreover, so long as he remained within the field of vision which the metal plaque commanded, he could be seen as well as heard. There was of course no way of knowing whether you were being watched at any given moment. How often, or on what system, the Thought Police plugged in on any individual wire was guesswork. It was even conceivable that they watched everybody all the time. But at any rate they could plug in your wire whenever they wanted to. You had to live — did live, from habit that became instinct — in the assumption that every sound you made was overheard, and, except in darkness, every movement scrutinized. Winston kept his back turned to the telescreen. It was safer, though, as he well knew, even a back can be revealing. A kilometre away the Ministry of Truth, his place of work, towered vast and white above the grimy landscape.
Taken from Orwell’s 1984
MrMary Shakes His Fucking Head
There is a reason why I put this up. Verizon has filed a patent for a DVR that can watch and listen to the goings-on in your living room. The company proposes to use the technology to serve targeted ads appropriate to whatever going on inside your house behind closed doors. Verizon gves two examples of how this can be used:
- Sounds of arguing prompt ads for marriage counseling,
- Sounds of “cuddling” prompts ads for contraceptives. Charming.
Verizon is not the first company to want to spy on you like this. Comcast patented similar monitoring technology in 2008 for recommending content based on people it recognizes in the room. Google proposed yet another patent for Google TV that would use audio and video recorders to figure out how many people in a room are watching the current broadcast.
Privacy is really disappearing. It has been estimated that 20% may sell your data, while a whopping 60 percent won’t delete it (You can read more about that here. August 2012 the FBI announced plans for a nationwide iris-scan database and revealed that it will soon hand out free facial–recognition software.
A team of researchers from Carngeie Mellon have also stated that: “It is possible to identify strangers and gain their personal information — perhaps even their Social Security numbers — by using face recognition software and social media profiles” In their work, the researchers used three technologies: an “off-the-shelf face recognizer” (the PittPatt technology, recently purchased by Google, and one that began in Carnegie Mellon‘s labs), cloud computing and “publicly available information from social network sites” to “identify individuals online and offline in the physical world.”
Since these technologies are also accessible by end-users, the results foreshadow a future when we all may be recognizable on the street — not just by friends or government agencies using sophisticated devices, but by anyone with a smartphone and Internet connection.”
The researchers say “smartphone” because they also created a smartphone app to “demonstrate the ability of making the same sensitive inferences in real-time. In an example of ‘augmented reality,’ the application uses offline and online data to overlay personal and private information over the target’s face on the device’s screen.”
We are all effectively whether we know it or not at most pretending to be anonymous