Some would argue that the Big Brother state is here, I would be inclined to agree with them. We now live in a time of increasing mistrust, not only with the firms that use our data to sell us commodities, but also with our own governments.
Since 911 and the 7/7 bombings we have lived in a society of increased fear. And to tackle this terrorist threat the world was slapped with 'Anti Terrorism' Acts, which in my mind only seemed to fuel the justification of the spying of innocent civilians. As technology evolves along with the social media I believe this will only get worse.
Social media is now a part of every day life and our new connections and internet movements are only adding to the virtual representation of ones character. We are essentially collecting information for the people that could potentially use our information against us. Could it be used for future blackmail? To silence an individual from their political ideals? Ideals that oppose a future government?. Or are we to believe that its just floating around in cyber space?.
Well a group of Stanford researchers and defence firm Rafael have teamed together to create a smartphone app that alerts the user to potential privacy threats to their phone. Although the app is only currently available on Android phones, the researchers say it will only be a matter of time until the app is available on the Iphone operating system.
The app itself demonstrates how the sensors inside the phone can be used as a 'Hardware Fingerprint'. “We show that the MEMS gyroscopes found on modern smartphones are sufficiently sensitive to measure acoustic signals in the vicinity of the phone. The resulting signals contain only very low-frequency information (< 200 Hz). Nevertheless we show, using signal processing and machine learning, that this information is sufficient to identify speaker information and even parse speech. Since iOS and Android require no special permissions to access the gyro, our results show that apps and active web content that cannot access the microphone can nevertheless eavesdrop on speech in the vicinity of the phone,” stated by the researchers on the Stanford Security Website.
While the app is a great idea, I can't but help get the feeling that society is moving into a new era, where privacy is no longer a given right, but will soon become a commodity that people will have to pay for.
Is this what the next generation will believe to be a part of every day life? An oppression that they are unaware of.