I’d like to ask you a personal question if I may. When was the last time you had a little “alone time?” Like, wife and kids are out of over at Aunt Cheryl’s and you have the entire place to yourself. What did you do? That question was rhetorical. I already know. You grabbed the hand moisturizer, went incognito mode on the family computer, pulled up 6 to 9 tabs, and beat it like a battery-drained remote control.
After, you cleared the internet history, flushed the Kleenex down the toilet, cleaned the residue off your earlobe, and went on with your day. I bet you thought you were real stealthy. Well. How does it feel to know that your alone time is forever archived in a government hard drive or big corporate database somewhere? For what? That’s not for simple civilians like you or I to know.
Ok, maybe I exaggerated a bit, but that’s where we’re heading. Some Big Brother type shit.
Case in point: the plethora of information about you that Google derives from your Android phone. Quartz tracked all the data that leaves your phone (namely namely the Google Pixel 2, Samsung Galaxy S8 and Moto Z Droid) to reach Google’s servers. There is a lot of it.
- A list of types of movements that your phone thinks you could be doing, by likelihood. (e.g. walking: 51 percent, on bicycle: 4 percent, in rail vehicle: 3 percent)
- The barometric pressure
- Whether or not you’re connected to Wi-Fi
- The MAC address — which is a unique identifier — of the Wi-Fi access point you’re connected to
- The MAC address, signal strength and frequency of every nearby Wi-Fi access point
- The MAC address, identifier, type and two measures of signal strength of every nearby Bluetooth beacon
- The charge level of your phone battery and whether or not your phone is charging
- The voltage of your battery
- The GPS coordinates of your phone and the accuracy of those coordinates
- The GPS elevation and the accuracy of that
Hey Donnie, what kind of undies do I have on right now, huh? Trick question: I’m not wearing any.