by Shawn A. Means
For an easy laugh at a party, pull out a Nokia candy-bar phone. “What is that…a phone?” “Does it actually work?” “Oh! Do you have to hit buttons three times and stuff?” “Can you get Facebook on it?” And so forth. Then, follow up with examples of the pitfalls of smartphone ‘privacy.’ Reliably observe nods of agreement and disturbed faces. Generally, people know how their lives are invasively monitored, their most intimate details packaged and sold as a commodity on markets they have little to no control over. Fatalistic shrugs of ‘what can you do’ and declarations of ‘I can’t live without my phone’ ensue.
Perhaps it is a fair trade. Detailed personal profiles are exchanged for handheld convenience along with dogged artificial intelligence analyzing what product or service will successfully secure our money — or even our loyalty. Brand loyalty is a highly-prized substance as franchise owners around the world attest. Other forms of allegiance are also highly-prized. Consider if your private personal details, even intimate psychological profiles, are instead exploited for coercion to an ideology.