Your Surveillance Fortune . . .

Post April 19, 2017 10:56 pm

As part of the MIT Day of Action, Michelle Spektor and I came up with some facts, tips, and “fortunes” about surveillance and privacy to give out to passers by. The fortunes are, I think, the most interesting and thought provoking, so I am putting those up here. They range from the anodyne to the genuinely disturbing, but I think do a good job to capture some of the potential problems of a culture of pervasive surveillance by a wide variety of private, as well as governmental, actors.

If you have your own idea for a surveillance fortune, add it to the comments!


 

Surveillance Fortune
In 2018, another hack of a television company’s Internet-connected “smart” screens exposes millions of Americas’ data. You learn that your television has been affected, and that attackers have been listening to your conversations for months.

Surveillance Fortune
In summer 2024, your “smart” toaster, oven, and water heater will overheat and cost you thousands of dollars of property damage, because you were affected by malware attacks against internet connected appliances that disabled their safety features.

Surveillance Fortune
In ten years, you’ll find yourself battling incorrect water and gas bills. That’s because hackers breached your smart water and gas meters. If you’re lucky, you won’t have one of the vulnerable models – hackers will shut those down in the middle of February.

Surveillance Fortune
Five years from now your dog will run away. But fortunately, you installed a surveillance chip containing your contact information in your dog’s front leg. After extracting information from the chip, a helpful stranger will contact you and return her.

Surveillance Fortune
In 20 years, you’ll find yourself mysteriously locked out of your car, even though you have the keys. That’s because hackers breached your smart car’s automated controls. They’ll keep you locked out until you pay them $20,000.

Surveillance Fortune
Congratulations! In ten years you’ll start saving money and reducing your carbon footprint after you invest in a smart home that automatically reduces your home’s power, gas, and water usage whenever you’re not in the house.

Surveillance Fortune
As a plastic surgeon, you’ll build your career on redesigning fingerprints. New fingerprints will be in high demand after thieves start using silicon gloves with forged fingerprints to access peoples’ phones, bank accounts, cars, and other personal property.

Surveillance Fortune
You’ll become a judge, and you’ll adjudicate a case against algorithmic predictive policing technologies on the grounds of racial discrimination. Supporters of the technologies will claim that they’re objective tools that reduce crime. How will you rule?

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