An important privacy news was picked up by large publications such as independent. co.uk a few years ago. It revealed that the US tech giant, Google, recorded people’s conversations using the computer’s microphone. We all are aware about the fact that the Internet search activity is well-known by Google but voice recording was something new entirely.
‘Spying’ actually has an explanation, they argue it is a way to offer you better voice search services. Obviously they are indeed legally covered by the terms and conditions you consent when using the services.
I wanted to find out if my voice has been recorded by google and to remember what you did 2 months ago. I was fascinated to see the history of my online activities so well documented.
It appears the spying continues
Experts explains that popular search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing collect a lot of data about you – your IP address, user agent, a unique identifier (stored in browser cookies), and your search terms. This helps these companies to understand your ‘user behaviour’ and serve you targeted ads and even track you. The new Alexa device is another device that records your voice when you voice search and bits of conversations for your online profile.
”I do not mind the fact that the company know what I’m doing’, you may say. But let’s think this through and in perspective.
Your online search history can be a very effective manipulation tool in the hands of an unscrupulous politician with a god complex. Not only he can manipulate your views but certain publishers only or certain search results only, but he can very easily intimidate and silence you as you become a direct political threat to him.
What do public persons do?
First of all, high profile political figures do not use free hosting services for their email or cloud data. They make sure they have a private domain for their email address and the hosting companies are not using Amazon or google servers to host their websites or cloud data.
Second is the search data issues and they solve it via VPN.
“If you’re like 80% of people, you probably used Google the last time you needed to search for something online. Google offers so many apps and services that it has become almost irreplaceable. But with each of those tools tracking your every move, you’re giving up more control of your life than ever before. You can replace Google’s signature search engine with a truly private search engine, and there are plenty of alternatives to choose from.” – nordvpn.com
A VPN service provide different levels of anonymity and should be used together to guard your privacy. It works by routing your traffic through a tertiary server, changes your IP address, encrypts your data, and hides what you do online from websites, ISPs, and hackers. With a VPN, you can also change your IP location and access content that might be blocked where you are—like DuckDuckGo in China.
Most recent example of control and interference of state governments in private calls was the ZOOM ban of some IPs on the request of China.
“In a statement yesterday, the US-based video-conferencing company admitted to shutting down meetings held to commemorate those who died during the 1989 Tiananmen Square crackdown in China, and suspending the accounts of two activists and Humanitarian China, a US-based organization of exiled Chinese activists at the direct request of Beijing, who said the meetings were illegal. There are no Chinese laws stipulating that activities related to the June 4 massacre are illegal, but people in China, except Hong Kong, have been banned from holding any vigils or posting words related to the incident online. The accounts were suspended between late May and early June, according to the activists.”
Well, this is China, I live in a democracy, why should I be worried?
There is an unscrupulous relationship between totalitarian regimes and tech giants especially if the new totalitarian regime is so called progressivist.
The most recent collaboration was in 6 June 2020, when the European democratic country of Romania just passed a law in the House of Parliament (to be adopted in the House of Senate) to incriminate ‘hate speech’ against gender minorities. This sounds to be a law with good intentions but nonetheless evil because it bans all divergent speech on social media, including Christian sermons, that are perceived to be ‘hate’ against a gender minority and will invariably lead to priest and pastors being arrested for their christian views.
It was during the communist regime such things were possible and now with the political support and the willingness assistance of big tech, the freedom of speech is dead in Romania.
Soon to come in your country…