I read an article on my BBC News app this morning which is concerning for us all, I think. A chap asked that rather large company we know so well for a Data Subject Access Request to find out how much data about him had been stored. Granted, he has various electronic gadgets dotted about the house, for example an Alexa listening device, a Fire TV set-top box, Echo speakers, Ring cameras, and a Kindle e-reader.
He discovered the results were ‘mind-bending’. A file contained all 31,082 interactions which had taken place via Alexa and also all the audio clips. Another file contained all the 2,670 product searches he had carried out since he started in 2017, including separate files for which device he had been using and also his location. A third file contained details of all 83, 657 Kindle interactions, including the time of day for each tap. Another file documents all his reading sessions for each e-book, timing each one methodically.
It just goes to show that the company we know so well is collecting as much data as it can on us in order to target us with products we are keen to buy, and indeed to buy from them. I think George Orwell must have had some sort of forewarning, because we’ve now found out who Big Brother is.
We think we are safe in our homes and that what we do or say is private behind closed doors. Well, think again, because it isn’t. One has to wonder whether anybody can see into our rooms whenever there’s a camcorder plugged into a computer that is left switched on.
We don’t have an Alexa, a Fire TV set-top box, Echo speakers or a Ring camera, and we don’t keep camcorders plugged in if they’re not in use. However, we’re still targeted by adverts that are uncannily accurate regarding what we would be interested in buying. Big Brother finds a way to intrude into our homes in one way or another.