By Bill Maher
Is there such a thing as privacy anymore? The DNC, America’s biggest companies and what seems like half of US government agencies have all been hacked by China, Russia and apparently a 400-pound guy in a bed. Being notified by a company you do business with that their security has been breached and you have to create a new account or a new password or get new credit cards has become commonplace.
Your phone, your computer, your tablet and the chip in your car constantly record where you are, what you’re doing – even what you say – and law enforcement can get access to it all.
The Russians know what John Podesta said privately about Hillary and used it to sway our election and there are allegations, rumors – “I’m hearing” – that they have a video of our President engaging in golden-shower sex with prostitutes.
Consumerist reports that interactive toys called My Friend Cayla and i-Que Intelligent Robot, which connect to the Internet via Bluetooth, record what your kid says, their location and their IP address and send the information to a company called Nuance Communications, which, among other things, is “a defense contractor that sells products, including ‘voice biometric solutions,’ to military, intelligence, and law enforcement agencies.”
Now people are buying voice-activated smart speakers like Google Home or Amazon Echo, which are basically Internet-connected gadgets sitting in your home that can “listen” to you and respond. You’ve seen the commercials where the guy says, “Alexa, play music” or “Alexa, turn on the sprinklers.” In Arkansas, the police have issued a warrant for data that Alexa may have “heard” and recorded during a suspected murder.
The question is do we have a basic right to privacy, to be the sole arbiters of what facts, habits and/or behaviors of ours become public knowledge? Do we have the right (as we have throughout time) to both a public face and a private face? Or do all of us have to live now as if everything we say, do, write or think is being recorded as future evidence to be used against us?