At first the footage jolts and quakes, because the invader has arrived on horseback, and upon spotting and smelling the bipedal beast, the horse reared up, chucking its rider. But then the rider finds his feet and poise, and for a few seconds the film settles down.
I recently installed a Nest thermostat in my house with my williamson.
I recently installed a Nest thermostat in my house. Nest has been around for a while, but I’ve been hesitant to get one. I won’t go into the details of why we finally pulled the trigger, but it made sense to have more control of our home environment.
When the box arrived, I was excited. I felt like I was stepping into the future. Once I got it all wired up and began the setup, though, my original hesitation came flooding back.
I almost bailed. This is when Nest stopped feeling like a fun, helpful device and started to feel like an intrusive portal. Yet another keyhole for a company (or whomever else) to peer into my family’s life. It was probably okay, I rationalized. It’s probably just sharing location and temperature data, I thought to myself.
I wouldn’t have had this conversation with myself a decade ago. As the internet grew and the iPhone came on the scene, it was exciting. I felt a reverence, almost gratitude for everything it enabled. Driven by curiosity and optimism, I signed up for any new service just to see what the future might hold. I was on the leading edge of early adopters.
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For years we have chosen to trust corporations with our personal data. Maybe it’s a cultural vestige of the technological optimism of postwar America, or maybe we are so eager to reach the future we’ve been promised that we are operating on blind faith. But there are signs that our enthusiasm is cracking. As we continue to hand over more of ourselves to companies, and as more of them fail to handle that relationship with respect, does there come a point when our goodwill dries up? Will trust always be something we give, or will it become something that must be earned? At what point does the cost of adoption become too high?
We’ve been engaged in this tug-of-war for years, pitting that persistent feeling of concern at the back of our minds against our often burning desire for the new. The coming decade may prove a litmus test for our long-term relationship with technology. What was really concerning to me was this idea that “it’s just a little bit more info you give Google or Amazon, and they already know a lot about you, so how is that bad?” It’s representative of this constant erosion of what privacy means.
Over the past decade, our relationship with new technology has been tenuous. As early as 2012, a Pew Research study found that 54 percent of smartphone users chose not to download certain apps based on privacy concerns. A similar study in Great Britain in 2013 pegged that number at 66 percent. More recently, MusicWatch conducted a study on smart speaker use and found that 48 percent of respondents were concerned about privacy issues. As summarized by Digital Trends: Nearly half of the 5,000 U.S. consumers aged 13 and older who were surveyed by MusicWatch, 48 percent specifically said they were concerned about privacy issues associated with their smart speakers, especially when using on-demand services like streaming music.