Cyber security

Harvard professor Shoshana Zuboff in her book “The Age of Surveillance Capitalism, The Fight for a Human Future at the Frontier of Power”, presents a powerful overview of the situation regarding security.  Please see her documentary at the bottom of the page.

We are all now aware of the fact that any privacy in our lives is a thing of the past. This is not a matter of choice, it is a matter of functional necessity. Obviously this offers some advantages, but it also comes with some big disadvantages. Cars cannot be parked in many places without an app, nor bills paid or information accessed without providing full details of our identity. This is familiar to all of us.

Surveillance Capitalism is the business model of the entire IT industry, the profits come from selling our data.

Learning, or rather knowing, who we are and our habits: likes, dislikes, diet, exercise regimes, friends, opinions, body size, health issues, financial status, where we are, why we are there and what we might do next, is a rich and financially rewarding harvest for the big players in IT.

Our lives are known and increasingly determined by an algorithm.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson is aware of the dangers. In his speech to the UN in September 2019 he said:

“You may keep secrets from your friends, from your parents, your children, your doctor – even your personal trainer – but it takes real effort to conceal your thoughts from Google. And if that is true today, in future there may be nowhere to hide…This technology could [..] be used to keep every citizen under round the clock surveillance. A future Alexa will pretend to take orders. But this Alexa will be watching you…And every day that we tap on our phones or work on our iPads [..] we not only leave our indelible spoor in the ether but we are ourselves becoming a resource, click by click, tap by tap…”

Human rights

The UK Government, in wanting blanket coverage for all with no not-spots using wireless, is in danger of violating our fundamental human rights. Article 3 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that we have the right to live in ‘freedom and safety’; a right that was incorporated into UK law in the 1998 Human Rights Act.

The 2017 Digital Economy Act and the 2019 National Planning and Policy Framework do not acknowledge our right to operate in society without constant surveillance and monitoring using technology, (facial recognition and other biometrics); that has a place in a dictatorship but not in a free and democratic society.