Who Is Watching Us? Not Just Big Brother Anymore -- Security and Surveillance

Dedication

Thank you to Shyron E. Shenko (a fellow writer here on HubPages, and my dear friend) and her husband John for their thoughtful and generous gift of a subscription to Popular Mechanics magazine. Several of the articles in those magazines were the inspiration for this article on personal security.

It is my hope that the information herein will help you, my reader, to realize that there is something you can do to stop businesses and government from snooping in your private affairs, both on and off the computer or telephone. This article is intended to give you the information you need to get started protecting your privacy.

The Mosaic Theory puts all the different ways information is being gathered about us together so that you can hopefully see how these things are interconnected, thus the reason it is called a mosaic. It is a mosaic of all the different ways businesses and government gather information about us through monitoring everything we say and do.

There are of course mosaic theories in many different fields of study and branches of knowledge. Here I will talk about the mosaic of security and surveillance.

Topics Covered In This Article In the Order They Appear

Big Brother Has Access to Everything We Do and Knows All

Some People Say Research Studies and Especially Psychology Are Meaningless Mumbo Jumbo: How That Mumbo Jumbo Is Being Used Against You.

Psychology Is Involved In a Lot of Everyday Things

GPS Tracking On Your Cell Phone (Mobile Phone)

How Cell Phone Tracking Devices Work

Drones Will Soon Be Taking To the Skies

Home and Auto Security Options That Invade Your Privacy

The Bottom Line and What You Can Still Do to Protect Your Privacy

Who Is Watching You Now?

Do you know who all is watching you?  Do you know what they are doing with the data they collect about you?
Do you know who all is watching you? Do you know what they are doing with the data they collect about you? | Source

Surveillance Everywhere

Do you know all the ways you are being watched.  Not all of them are pictured here.
Do you know all the ways you are being watched. Not all of them are pictured here. | Source

Big Brother Has Access to Everything We Do and Knows All

Most of us are aware that there are security cameras and traffic cameras everywhere and that we can be found by tracing the GPS chips in our cell phones.

Many workplaces include security cameras that observe and even videotape and audiotape employees at work and on break. This is true whether you work in a building or in a vehicle. Vehicles often include GPS tracking systems that not only report an employee’s location and where they have been, but also driving habits and any traffic violations and stops in addition to interior video cameras.

We know that Google is watching our every move, tracking us wherever we go on the Internet, and even reading our emails in an effort to target their advertising better – so they say. Google keeps a record of the data they collect about us.

We know that credit card companies (banks) keep a record of our purchases and buying habits and that libraries keep a list of the books we check out and the places we go on the public computers there if we use them.

Home security companies sometimes have cameras both inside and outside our homes to help monitor activity along with the sensors placed around the exterior of our homes and our property that sense movement or vibration.

Motor vehicle security companies place GPS systems in our cars to keep track of where we are so they can send help if we request it, or if our car sends them a message that something is wrong. Many new cars come from the factory equipped with this software already installed, and 2014 models will all have EDR systems (event data recorders similar to the black boxes on airplanes) installed at the factory, as required by law.

Police can, with or without a court order, place a GPS tracker on our vehicles without our knowing it. These GPS systems do not just tell police or security company agents where we are now, but there is also a record of everywhere we have been, recorded in their offices.

We have all heard by now, how our government’s NSA (National Security Agency) monitors our emails, text messages, phone calls, and more. This is sometimes referred to in news stories as “data-mining.”

We are told that no one is actually listening in on our phone calls unless a computer somewhere picks up suspicious words relating to terrorism. Even then a court order to replay the saved conversation/email/text must be obtained in order for a live human being to check out the concern.

The ACLU has done research that shows police departments do not always adhere to the law when it comes to obtaining warrants to place GPS chips on our cars, so how do we know that the NSA always gets a warrant to snoop in our emails/texts/and listen in on our phone calls?

We know that police can run our license plates anytime they want to without our ever knowing it happened, to see if our registration and inspection certificates are up to date, or to check to see if the car is stolen, or just to find out who we are. A story in Popular Mechanics (December/January 2013/14 issue) about that very activity (license plate scanning) is what prompted me to think about all the different ways we are all being tracked and then to report on my findings.

Glenn Harlan Reynolds, in his article Mosaic Theory, How License-Plate Scanners Erode Privacy, in the December/January issue of Popular Mechanics, states, “But if officials add up enough bits of information like that [info garnered from license plates alone], they gradually can construct what the ACLU has termed a ‘”single, high-resolution image of our lives.”’

You might be surprised at what can be determined from just a few bits of information. A lot of people like to pooh-pooh psychology, but social psychology has been very good over the last several decades at predicting, and even manipulating human behavior. The methods of predicting a person’s behavior from their driving habits, places frequented, and buying habits might surprise you in their accuracy.

Psychology Is Involved In a Lot of Everyday Things

Psychologists learn so much from our behaviors and our words. Psychologists are involved in so many of the everyday things in our lives and most people are completely unaware.

Psychologists know what strategies work in advertising, and sales promotion, and they are even involved in crowd control, planning prison environments, and much more, for just a few examples. There is little that is not affected in some way by the thousands of studies psychologists have done since Freud first came on the scene.

Psychologists helped write the program that Target used to determine that the young girl previously mentioned was probably pregnant. No, the program could not say with 100% accuracy in every case that a woman is pregnant, but the program is correct so often that it is used to determine what specific products to successfully advertise to certain people. Businesses (and government) would not invest the high expense for these programs if they did not work.

Some People Say Research Studies and Especially Psychology Are Meaningless Mumbo Jumbo: How That Mumbo Jumbo Is Being Used Against You.

Research studies are a mainstay in most of my articles published here on HubPages, and without fail one or more people will say in their comments that they have no confidence in the findings I quote. Yet our government and big business use the findings of studies just like the ones I quote to successfully manipulate the behavior of people everyday -- or to take advantage of what a person’s behavior indicates according to hundreds of studies on record. Most people do not realize they are sending messages with their words, behavior, buying habits, recreational activities, Internet cruisings, etc.

Reynolds (Popular Mechanics) references just such a situation where a Target Store was sending coupons to a teenaged girl for baby products. The Target Store’s data-mining process had indicated through just 25 recent purchases made by the young girl that she was pregnant.

The girl’s father angrily confronted the manager of the Target Store in question because he felt the coupons were encouraging his daughter to get pregnant and he said as much to the store manager.

The manager explained that their store’s data-mining program determined that there was a strong correlation between the girl’s recent purchases and different stages of pregnancy, and then the manager apologized.

Just a few days after that meeting with the Target Store manager the teenaged girl’s father was himself apologizing to that same store manager. As it turned out, his teenaged daughter was in fact pregnant! The computer program designed to know the buying preferences of most pregnant women had discovered the man’s teenage daughter’s secret.

Cell Phone Towers

Source

GPS Tracking On Your Cell Phone (Mobile Phone)

Government and law enforcement agencies can track the whereabouts of your cell phone without getting a search warrant (ACLU).

Statement by the ACLU (American Civil Liberties Organization)

“What we have learned is disturbing. While virtually all of the roughly 250 police departments that responded to our request said they track cell phones, only a tiny minority reported consistently obtaining a warrant and demonstrating probable cause to do so. While that result is of great concern, it also shows that a warrant requirement is a completely reasonable and workable policy.

The government's location tracking policies should be clear, uniform, and protective of privacy, but instead are in a state of chaos, with agencies in different towns following different rules — or in some cases, having no rules at all. It is time for Americans to take back their privacy. Courts should require a warrant based upon probable cause when law enforcement agencies wish to track cell phones. State legislatures and Congress should update obsolete electronic privacy laws to make clear that law enforcement agents should track cell phones only with a warrant.”

You can track your children or your employees with a GPS chip that is installed in their phones. Regarding employees, the phones would need to be provided by their employer or permission to utilize or install additional GPS tracking on their personal phones would need to be obtained.

I highly recommend that you copy and paste the URL for the ACLU located in the Sources section of this article into your browser and learn how government agencies can track your cell phone without your knowledge, and whenever and as often as they wish. Learn how your privacy may be invaded regularly and at any time without notice to you, and without warrants from any judge.

Keep in mind that in addition to government agencies, other people can monitor your cell phone and learn whom you are talking to, when you are talking, where you are, and even listen to your conversations.

How Your Cell Phone Can Be Bugged Without Your Knowledge

GPS Chip from a Mobile Phone

Photo of a GPS chip that is installed in a cell phone (mobile phone) for the purpose of tracking that phone.  If your phone has a battery  it can be tracked.  The dice on there for size comparison.
Photo of a GPS chip that is installed in a cell phone (mobile phone) for the purpose of tracking that phone. If your phone has a battery it can be tracked. The dice on there for size comparison. | Source

How Cell Phone Tracking Devices Work

Most cell phones and all Smartphones have GPS chips installed in them at the factory. Surveillance Self Defense (a website) states the following: “. . .the government can use information transmitted by your cellular telephone to track its location in real-time, whether based on what cell phone towers your cell phone is communicating with [triangulation], or by using the GPS chip included [installed] in most cell phones.”

In most cases your cell phone can be tracked even if you are not talking on the phone at the time so long as your cell phone is turned on. However some software programs work even if your mobile phone is turned off. To avoid being tracked you would have to remove the battery from your cell phone.

Some law enforcement agencies have invested in their own tracking software making it easier for them to go around the few flimsy laws that exist regarding cell phone tracking.

Drones & Surveillance Planes

Virginia Police use this model drone.
Virginia Police use this model drone. | Source
An actual plane used for surveillance as is plainly painted on the side.
An actual plane used for surveillance as is plainly painted on the side. | Source

Drones Will Soon Be Taking To the Skies

In February 2012 Congress ordered the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) to open the NAS (National Airspace System) to unmanned aircraft (specifically commercial drones) with a deadline of September 2015 for having regulations for these units in place, though the project is said to be a year behind schedule at this time.

Commercial drones and possibly government drones operated by law enforcement will be in the air patrolling highways and congested and high crime areas in some cities. The drones are expected to be useful in a number of situations including searches for people who get lost hiking or camping as well as people with Alzheimer’s who get lost. Of course they will be used to monitor traffic and search for escaped prisoners and to search for criminals that initially get away.

There will be many good uses for these drones, but what about the risk of abuse? Photographs taken by drones will be kept on record for reference and the possibility of collecting data that invades privacy is very real.

Presumably more area will be included in their photos than is included in the currently in use random traffic cameras. (Not just the cameras at intersections that monitor whether driver’s stop at stop signs and traffic lights as required, but traffic cameras that simply videotape traffic generally.)

Drones can take clear photos of objects smaller than candy bar wrappers and could be enlarged, so if you or your vehicle are in a particular photo there will be a record of where you were and at what time. This could be an intrusion of privacy where once privacy was all but assured.

Do You Know?

96% of motor vehicles manufactured in 2013 have what is called an EDR (event data recorder) installed on them. An EDR is essentially the equivalent of a black box, like airplanes have.

The EDR will track your seatbelt use, speed, steering breaking and other bits of information about your vehicle and your driving habits.

Data the EDR collects can be used in accident or other investigations. If you are always a safe driver you may have no problems. Otherwise your own vehicle may be a witness against you in some cases.

New 2014 vehicles will ALL be required by law to have an EDR installed on them.

The information gathered and recorded by the vehicle manufacturer’s services (GM’s OnStar and Ford’s SYNC) send the collected data to the Cloud regularly where it is stored and shared with the vehicle manufacturer, among others, without your knowledge or permission.

Davey Alba included this and much more information in her article “It’s Time To Fight For Your Privacy,” in the February 2014 issue of Popular Mechanics.

Home and Auto Security Options That Invade Your Privacy

Some Options Available from Home Security Companies

Home security companies provide monitoring for fire, smoke, carbon monoxide, power outage, flooding, and even medical emergencies.

Video surveillance is available for both outside and inside your home. Utilizing that option allows you to check on what your kids are doing if they are at home alone or with a babysitter. You can check what is happening at any location at any time of the day or night where you have a video camera installed via your computer or Smartphone.

You can lock and unlock your doors with your Smartphone from anywhere and be notified if anyone goes on your property for any reason. You can also control your thermostat from any location with your Smartphone.

A medical alert button is available that can summon help from inside your home, or even if you are outside several feet away from your home -- even under water in your swimming pool. Company monitors will call for emergency assistance for you.


Some Options Available from Auto Security Companies

Auto security companies with whom you have a membership can help you find your vehicle if you forget where you parked it.

If someone steals your vehicle security company agents will help police locate the vehicle usually within minutes of your reporting your vehicle stolen. Not only can they locate your vehicle quickly, but from their office they can also disconnect the accelerator so that your car will slow down and come to a full stop no matter what the thief driving it attempts to do.

When security company agents are bringing your vehicle to a stop emergency flashers let police know they have the right vehicle and warn other motorists that something is happening and to watch out for your vehicle (driver retains ability to steer and apply brakes).

In addition, your auto security company may be able to determine if something is wrong. Their monitor will contact you and if there is no response of if you respond affirmatively that there is an emergency, they will send help immediately.

You will also have information regarding weather conditions available along with updates to any weather conditions, road construction, or emergency conditions along your route. A map of your route along with turn- by-turn directions to your destination will be available and even diagnostic information regarding your vehicle, and more, will be at your fingertips.

Chevrolet//GM Explains and Demonstrates OnStarr Remote Link

Do You Know?

Google saves all your searches and the search words or terms that you use. The record of those searches could be subpoenaed. It is not always about tracking you for the purpose of learning your interests and buying habits.

A search engine called DuckDuckGo.com doesn’t track you or collect personal information from your computer or your searches. Check it out.

Davey Alba, writing in Popular Mechanics also recommends an “anonymizing browser bundle” called Tor (https://www.torproject.org/). Tor hides your identity as you are cruising around the Internet. Websites will know someone was there, but they will not know who, or anything about you.

Alba has other recommendations for protecting your security and your personal information, and again, I highly recommend you find a February 2014 issue of Popular Mechanics and read her article for yourself.

The base of Davey Alba’s information comes from Matthew Green, a computer security expert at Johns Hopkins University, one of the foremost universities in this country. Take advantage of their expertise and protect yourself.

According to the WireTap Act last amended by our Congress in 1986 through the Electronics Communications Privacy Act (ECPA), the law assumes that your intention is to run a public network if you have made no effort to even attempt to secure your transmissions.

Get informed and do what you can to protect yourself because unless you do the law will not protect you either.

How Do You Feel About Being Watched and Recorded or Videotaped?

Do you care that big business and the government are data-mining you and keeping records of everywhere you go and everything you do?

See results without voting

The Bottom Line and What You Can Still Do to Protect Your Privacy

What it boils down to is that there is very little left of individual privacy of any kind -- not in the workplace, not with your bank account, your medical records, your conversations, and not even in your home or your private automobile.

There are few if any secrets anymore, at least not from law enforcement officials, and as the video about cell phone snooping made clear, other people in your life, including identity thieves whom you may not be aware of being in your life, can monitor your conversations and whereabouts without your even knowing it.

In fact identity thieves and stalkers have access to information in and from your cell phone as well as your personal computer (especially if you use wireless), and your motor vehicle.

Davey Alba writing for Popular Mechanics (It’s Time to Fight for Your Privacy) in the February 2014 issue states that she hopes security measures will become the norm because currently there are many tools available to protect a person’s privacy if they choose to use them.

For people who are interested in protecting their privacy I highly recommend Alba’s suggestions for defeating tracking software, along with all of the other devices that mine a person’s personal data. You might be surprised at all the ways people, including you, my reader, are tracked without their knowledge. Not all government agencies are straightforward in telling you when and how often they are tracking your vehicle or your cell phone, among other things.

If your private and personal information is readily available to the government and business entities, because you have not taken precautions by utilizing security measures that are not only available but often free, then your private and personal information is also easily available to stalkers and identity thieves.

Also, if you are like me, you may not like the idea that some businesses are also using your picture and/or your name to promote their products without your permission. There are ways to prevent that also and they are written in Davey Alba’s article in the February 2014 issue of Popular Mechanics.

Have Your Say

What are your feelings and views about all this snooping and monitoring of practically everyone all of the time? Please share in the comments section below, how the knowledge that you are being monitored most, if not all of the time, affects you.

© 2014 C E Clark

More by this Author


Comments 161 comments

Au fait profile image

Au fait 3 months ago from North Texas Author

Bobby (Diogenes), if there is such a thing I'm sure they will be in use here to detect boot leggers soon if they aren't already. Most likely heavy fines will be attached to them. Our prison system, one of the largest in the world, is already popping at the seams, so no need to install more inmates for a nonviolent crime yet.

I am surviving this awful Texas heat. The humidity usually subsides in mid July, but not this year. To have 90s for the foreseeable future. Thank you for taking time to read and comment. Take care . . . xox


Au fait profile image

Au fait 3 months ago from North Texas Author

Shyron, thank you for sharing this article!


diogenes profile image

diogenes 4 months ago from UK and Mexico

Hi sugarplum: I was amused to see the BBC, some of the planet's most usurious business people, now have a device that can detect us if we are getting any of their programs online! Imagine! You must pay about $200 a year if you have a tv in your house BY LAW! (But so far they only can get ya if they catch you on your PC with a BBC program downloaded) And the establishment will put you in prison for not having a license; no one has ever won an appeal against "The Beeb" I don't think North Americans would put up with that.

Hope you are well...Bob x


Shyron E Shenko profile image

Shyron E Shenko 4 months ago

I am back to share this interesting hub again.

I hope all is well with you.

Blessings and hugs dear friend.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 6 months ago from North Texas Author

Paula, thank you for sharing your way of dealing with this ridiculous thing called a hubber score. Most of the time I never think of it, but when I come here to this site, there it is staring at me! It's good to know you too, Paula. This place wouldn't be the same without you.


fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 6 months ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

Au fait....I had to scroll through your titles until I came upon one that might just relate in some way to something I thought I'd share with you today!

A few days ago, in a comment to me you mentioned being a bit upset over your plummeting hubber score. I took note of it because I've felt that same way for most of my time here................Until I realized that our "hubber score" is the biggest mystery, craziest farce & waste of emotion here on HP. I'm reminded of all the times that veteran hubbers repeated "Hubber score means nothing!" I was unmoved. It remained a thorn in my side and a source of concern.

Recently I broke FREE! LOL. Let me make you very happy about your hubber score at the moment. Less than 24 hours ago, mine was 92......today it is 84!! In fact, when I signed on this morning it was 86......10 min. later, 85.....& 5 minutes later, 84. I simply LAUGHED! What else on earth could I possibly do? HUH??

I'm determined to ignore this crazy mystery and just be happy. I had to humor myself. I envisioned a Hub Team member fumbling around in a huge tech room filled with wall to wall tech devices, wires, lights......tripping, falling & bumping into things....causing the massive destruction to my score. Soon I fear they will completely annihilate me!!! It's been great knowing you Au fait!! LOL... I think I've reached that special point of being "so over" the whole thing! Join me. It's liberating!!!!! Paula


Au fait profile image

Au fait 12 months ago from North Texas Author

Larry Wall, thank you for taking time to comment on this article! Agree that people should have no expectation of privacy when in the public sector. Unfortunately it doesn't stop with cameras. Since the new 2014 vehicles rolled off the assemblyline our government has required them to have little black boxes just like airplanes. Those boxes collect all kinds of information which I have written about in this article, and then that info is sent off for longterm safe keeping to the manufacturer of the vehicle. It could be used against a person in a court of law or for other reasons. That is also just one more cog in the wheel.

There really is no such thing as privacy anymore, not even in one's own home, and again, I'm not speaking merely of cameras but also of the collecting of all manner of information about us that we have no control over, how it is used, etc.

Thanks again for commenting. Merry Christmas!


Larry Wall 12 months ago

Taking pictures of individuals in a crowd at a public event is nothing new. Granted, it is more focused because of advancements is old and existing technology, but photographers, investigators have been doing this for years. If they shoot a picture through your window that is an invasion of privacy. If they manage to crop your image out of a larger image and then enlarge it, that is call technology. Television cameras often focus in on celebrities or other people, attending sports events and other activities and prior permission is usually not required. Does anyone really expect privacy in a large crowd?


Au fait profile image

Au fait 12 months ago from North Texas Author

Peggy W., thank you for commenting and sharing this article. Yes, I'm afraid there isn't much privacy left and there's no such thing as going somewhere new and starting over.

Hope your Thanksgiving was great too!


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 12 months ago from Houston, Texas

Just today a friend sent an email showing how powerful government electronic cameras are when surveying a crowd. The example was a crowd of hundreds of thousands of people. By clicking on a minute face in a crowd a couple of times, the person became clearly identifiable. You are correct.....the days of personal privacy have all but vanished! With things like heat sensors......a shape can be identified even if one is in ones own home with drapes closed.

This can all be good if in the right hands and used for good purposes. Of course the opposite is also true if the purpose is nefarious.

All we can do is take what precautions we can to be safe and always be alert and watch out for scams, etc.

Wishing you and your daughter and friends a very Happy Thanksgiving! Will share this again.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 12 months ago from North Texas Author

Glenda, thank you for stopping by. It has definitely gotten to where none of us really has any privacy about anything. Hope all is well with you!


Glenda Jacks - Lewisville 12 months ago

Hey Au fait,

this is really scary, I think the gov knows to much to be good for us.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 14 months ago from North Texas Author

Shyron, thank you for stopping by. I would discourage the electronics from getting too chummy. One of my greatest blessings is your friendship. When ask to count my blessings I always count you twice. Take care . .


Shyron E Shenko profile image

Shyron E Shenko 15 months ago

Good Morning Au fait, I am reminded of this article every time I turn on my computer and if I use my son's or my cell phone. It seems that all the devices want to be connected to each other and linked back to me.

I hope you are well and staying cool. It has been one long hot summer.

Blessings and Hugs my dear friend.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 16 months ago from North Texas Author

Poetryman6969, thank you for sharing your thoughts on this subject. I think a lot of people feel at a loss of what to do about it all. It seems so complicated and overwhelming. Then there are those people who do not realize what they are doing when they post so much personal information and photos of themselves and their families on the Internet on such as FB.

I don't know of any reason our government should fear us. Our government has all the tools to use against us and weapons are the least of it. They use psychology, which a lot of people do not take seriously and which most people do not understand and so many people believe it's not worth bothering about. Not everyone is controlled all the time with psychological methods, but most people are controlled with it most of the time.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 16 months ago from North Texas Author

Peggy W, thank you for stopping by and sharing your thoughts, and for sharing this article!

I don't use WiFi for my phone, or any of the free services different businesses provide. I have T-Mobile service and my daughter pays for it. She already had their service for her Smart Phone, and she added me on with a second line for only $10 a month. So I have unlimited everything just like she does.

I do use the free WiFi for my computer. And I did have it invaded for a while at the library, but haven't seen much of it lately. I don't know if the library has addressed the problem or what, but the intruder seems to have gone.

I never put personal info on my computer anyway. I'm old fashioned and still have an address book, an actual book. Of course someone could steal my passwords for different things, but that's a problem even at home nowadays. I really don't like the wireless connections because I think it's easier to hack into them. I know they're convenient, but what is convenient for us is also convenient for the crooks.

Nearly 2 years ago now, some crooks in England tried to get over a thousand dollars out of my checking account. They debited my account 4 different times. I discovered it on a Saturday and on top of that it was a holiday weekend, so no bank access until the following Tuesday!

I was fit to be tied and the minute they were open the following Tuesday I was sitting across the desk from one of their CS people. I also called them and left a message on the Saturday I discovered it, so the requests wouldn't be paid until I had a chance to make an official complaint/report, or whatever you want to all it.

It was a drug store of some kind trying to bill me for drugs ordered over the Internet through the mail, and I have never done that in my life. I never got to see what drugs they were saying I ordered, but I can just imagine, especially for hundreds of dollars.

Yes, there are getting to be more and more cameras in public areas. Personally, I don't believe anyone has a reasonable expectation of privacy in a public place. Yes, in public bathrooms, but not in the streets or on the sidewalks or in the various businesses, etc. You want privacy, stay home. :)

If you have surveillance cameras in your home that's your choice and your decision, but in public, you never know who's watching or taking a picture, so pretend all the news agencies have sent camera crews to check up on you and maybe you won't do anything that will be embarrassing later on the national evening news. :)


poetryman6969 profile image

poetryman6969 16 months ago

What I have found startling is the number of people who don't seem to care or who seem to encourage all the snooping. It is becoming increasingly unpopular to say tings like: We should not fear our government. Our government should fear us.

More and more politicians feel freer to let us know that we exist to server their aspirations and not the other way around. In fact I would say the modern western politician takes pride in governing against the will of the people.

It is interesting to see the governments of Europe outraged over the US spying on them. And then they turn right around almost immediately and announce draconian, far reaching spying on their own citizens that is breath taking in scope. Time and time again we seem folks indicate that it is not the spying they object to but rather who is dig the spying and for what ostensible purpose.

On another note, no matter who says they don't sell you information, whenever I buy a house a or rent an apartment suddenly all kinds of folks that I did not give information to seem to know where I live and what I might need.


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 16 months ago from Houston, Texas

Hi Au fait,

The fact that you do not keep things of a sensitive nature on your phone is good since you do use the free Wi-fi hookups. At least people with nefarious intents cannot have access to other people's emails, or your bank account, etc.

More private citizens are adding cameras to their security systems and it really helps police catch criminals if and when that time comes when criminal activity has happened.

We are all probably on camera much more than we even know! Sharing this again.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 17 months ago from North Texas Author

Peggy W, thank you for coming by and warning us about the public WiFi systems that are so abundant these days and for the share! I'm afraid I have no choice but to use them and have been doing so for several months. I often charge my phone in the same places that I use the WiFi.

There's nothing of a personal nature on my phone. I don't keep personal info on it like some people do. It's protected with security apps and they run a daily test on it to make sure it's uncorrupted and then report to me.

Stay cool!


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 17 months ago from Houston, Texas

Hi Au fait,

I just wondered if you have watched the television series CSI Cyber? I think that is what it is called. I have watched a couple of episodes and learn something each time. One should NEVER use free WiFi sites or charge their phones at free charging stations such as in airports. One is opening up the possibility of all your information being not only stolen...but it can be reworked to make it look as though you are the one causing problems. I find that interesting and also cautionary. It is getting harder and harder to keep things private. Sharing this again.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 18 months ago from North Texas Author

Shyron, thank you for sharing that information with me and my readers. I agree that there are good things about surveillance as well as bad. I don't think anyone has a reasonable expectation of privacy when out in public. I suppose even the black boxes that are required on all new cars 2014 and later have their good points too.

I really hate the gathering of information about our personal lives. Perhaps the worst example are the disclaimers a person must sign when applying for a job. If you don't sign the paper saying you will allow them to ask anyone they want to about anything they want to know about you, you won't even be considered for the job opening. They could ask your worst enemy and of course they're going to say bad things about you. Anyway, you have to agree to let them make that background check and NOT to hold anyone responsible for anything they say about you, true or not. I'm wondering when somebody will challenge that in court . . .


Au fait profile image

Au fait 18 months ago from North Texas Author

Colorfulone, thank you for coming by! It does get harder and harder to have any privacy nowadays. However, I'm not sure it makes sense to expect much privacy in the public sector, but in our own homes, and our personal information, is another matter.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 18 months ago from North Texas Author

Colorfulone, thank you for coming by! It does get harder and harder to have any privacy nowadays. However, I'm not sure it makes sense to expect much privacy in the public sector, but in our own homes, and our personal information, is another matter.


Shyron E Shenko profile image

Shyron E Shenko 18 months ago

Au fait, I am back to share this again after Jessica, who works at Texas Road House rammed into the back of our car and told the police that we rolled back into her and then told her insurance agent we backed into her. I acquired the footage from the surveillance tape from the 7-11 and sent a copy to her agent and it shows that she rammed us.

Sometimes surveillance is good.

Have a blessed weekend.


colorfulone profile image

colorfulone 18 months ago from Minnesota

Au fait, ... um, gasp! We can not get away from surveillance.

I live next to Voyageurs National Park and there is a mini camera floating around in the air keeping an eye on the area day and night.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 20 months ago from North Texas Author

Ezzly, thank you for reading and commenting on this article! I think the greater threats are Google that keeps track of everywhere you go on their search engine and keeps a record of your cruising that can be subpoenaed in court.

Also, the little black box required by law on all new vehicles manufactured in 2014 and later that will report your driving habits and where you have gone/been. It is also recorded and can be subpoenaed in court.

You totally control what goes on FB. To a large extent you do these other things too, but you can't know if you are cruising down a street where bad things are going down and so you become a person of interest as a result. Crazy things happened even before all this surveillance. It can only get worse by increasing it. Just my opinion . . .


ezzly profile image

ezzly 20 months ago

Very nice article, a huge fan of Orwells 1984, one of our biggest threats to privacy is probably facebook, it's alleged they store the messages we don't write ie that message you you were going to write on someone's page that was criticizing them but thought better of as a good person .... Scary times ! Voted up and sharing


Au fait profile image

Au fait 20 months ago from North Texas Author

Peggy W, thank you for commenting and sharing your concerns about this issue as well as for sharing the article! There is no such thing as privacy on the Internet. Once it's out there, anyone with the know how can find it and view it. If you have good photos there's no telling where they may pop up and what they'll be promoting without your knowledge. My FB is only for promoting HubPages and I don't always use it even for that. Never write anything on a website that you don't want to hear or see broadcast on the international evening news. More likely it will be used and abused and you'll never know.

Today is cloudy and I'm hoping to get out and enjoy it shortly. The sun is so relentless here in the summer that I often long for a cloudy day just for a change and a little bit cooler temp. Hope all is well at your house . .


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 20 months ago from Houston, Texas

I recently deleted my Facebook account after reading "Get your loved ones off of Facebook." You can do a search and find it. Apparently the privacy no matter what buttons one pushes is almost non-existent with FB. I read some of the references including Wikipedia which confirmed it.

If you notice, I also blurred my face on my profile after reading another post by someone indicating that closeup photos can also be misused. Too bad we have to be concerned about being spied upon especially when it comes to nefarious uses of our images or information.

Sharing this once again. Hope you are having a fine day today and enjoying our nice weather.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 23 months ago from North Texas Author

Paula (fpherj48), thank you for your high praise, votes, pin, tweet, etc. I agree with all you say, however I will say that those few things that we can do for now (those will become obsolete eventually too, no doubt) just take learning a new method and it will become second nature just as our current ways of doing things did.

It's all about manipulation and control by Big Brother and who knows who all. With the current and future technology it is now possible for someone to abuse it as I believe it is being abused already. There is no such thing as starting over or turning over a new leaf, no such thing as privacy, or truly living off the grid.

Thank you again. Hope 2015 will bring you all good things throughout the year!


Au fait profile image

Au fait 23 months ago from North Texas Author

Paul Kuehn, thank you for your high praise that means so much coming from you. Also for the votes and shares. I have corrected the point you mentioned and I appreciate your bringing it to my attention.

Privacy doesn't really exist much anymore. There are a few things one can do and once one gets used to doing them it doesn't seem so bothersome, but when one is thinking of having to do things differently than usual it does seem a nuisance to have to learn new methods. They do become second nature eventually.

There are some things one can't really do much about though. Like the new cars with the little black boxes reporting driving habits and destinations and a record being kept of that info, etc. My car is 20 years old and I'm inclined to make it go as long as possible just for privacy's sake if nothing else.

Happy New Year to you and yours Paul. I hope 2015 will bring you solutions, good health, happiness, and peace.


fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 23 months ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

Ms. Clark....Extremely interesting and educational hub, so well written (as always). Thank you Paul, for sharing this great piece of work and also thank you to Shyron & John for the reason Au fait was inspired to write this.

I am and have been for some time, very uncomfortable with the enormous invasion of privacy. Actually, I find my statement meaningless because the reality is, we have no privacy. The point is, we have to realize that now that it's here, it is not only going to remain, but new & different ways of intrusion will come along.

What little there is we can do to minimize and/or "protect" ourselves from the world-wide eyeballs everywhere, consumes time, money and energy...once we become aware. Sounds rather "crazy"....don't you think? just to take a long hard look at where we've come.......

Superb article, C.E.....Up I & U....tweeted & pinned +++


Paul Kuehn profile image

Paul Kuehn 23 months ago from Udorn City, Thailand

Au fait, once again you have created an awesome, well-researched hub. It is sickening and scary that we have very little privacy left in the world today. The conveniences and pleasure of high tech have all come with a big price affecting our privacy. For your information, the federal government's intelligence organization NSA is an acronym for the National Security Agency. In your article, you referred to it as the National Security Administration. Voted up as interesting, useful, and awesome. I am sharing this on my Facebook account and also with HP followers.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 24 months ago from North Texas Author

Kenneth Avery, thank you for stopping by and for your kind compliments. Glad to see you again and hope you'll get your teeth into another of my articles soon. :) I always respond even if it takes me a couple of days. Thank you also for your good wishes and I send them back to you. Hoping this will be a wonderful Christmas for you and your family!


Au fait profile image

Au fait 24 months ago from North Texas Author

Peggy W, thank you for sharing this article! Yes, it is going to be necessary to work out some of the bugs regarding drones and in the meantime even more surveillance by other means is being put into place . . .


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 24 months ago from Hamilton, Alabama

Au fait,

Hello. Sorry for not coming by as often as I should. I am not making excuses, but I have had some health issues and this kept me from being as punctual as I should have.

I just came by to say that you are one terrific writer and I want you to keep it up and for you and yours . . .

Merry CHRISTmas.


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 2 years ago from Houston, Texas

Sharing this good article of yours once again. There are problems with all of those private drones in the sky especially anywhere around airports. A near incident recently made the news.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 2 years ago from North Texas Author

R2-D2-2, thank you for reading and commenting. I'm glad if this article has been useful. There are things people can do to considerably limit the abuse of their personal info, but so many people just don't want to have figure it out.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 2 years ago from North Texas Author

Kenneth Avery, thank you for commenting. I would caution you regarding anonymity on the Net. You can use a fake name or otherwise disguise yourself, but you can't fake you IP address. That is the reason police are able to go straight to the offending computer, not just the location of the computer, when tracking down people watching kiddie porn, or otherwise breaking the law. Even if you have a thousand computers in your home, each one will have it's own IP address so that it can be identified by authorities and hackers alike. There is no such thing as anonymity on the Net.

Every website you frequent and every person you email can track your activity back to your computer if they want to. Even if you take your lap top to a location outside your home, the library, the park, etc., it is still registered in your name and can be identified as your property.

There are ways to block your person information from going out from your computer as stated in this article, but most people feel unable to understand and follow the directions of how to do that and generally just throw up their hands and go with the flow.

Can't tell you how many people have told me they don't want to have to think, a requirement if you want to block your personal info from going out from your computer. Those people who don't want to think are used and sometimes abused by our government, big business, and others, and they get what they get -- the results of not thinking.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 2 years ago from North Texas Author

DeborahDian, thank you for reading and commenting on this article! Yes, identity theft is at an all time high, and then there are those people who just want to snoop to see how they can use you to promote their own products or agenda . . .


R2-D2-2 profile image

R2-D2-2 2 years ago from USA

A very interesting topic. Privacy and identity theft are becoming more and more of a problem. I detest the way FB uses my name to sponsor advertising for different things. I'm going to see if I can get that back issue of PM and study the solutions Davey Alba recommended. I really don't like the way things seem to be going.


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 2 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

Deborah,

Nice point. I agree with you. In the near future, we may have to start using "ghost" identities when using email or other pubic email and internet services.

I for one believe that we as a whole never know who is listening.


DeborahDian profile image

DeborahDian 2 years ago from Orange County, California

It seems to me that almost every identity in the United States must have been stolen in the past year ... between Target, Home Depot, DSW Shoes, some banks and various other heathcare companies and retailers. My husband and I subscribe to both LifeLock and CreditKarma to monitor our credit but it is still nerve-wracking to know how vulnerable we all are. I'm sharing this, because people need to know what is going on.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 2 years ago from North Texas Author

Lisavanvorst, thank you for reading and commenting on this article. Indeed our every move is being watched much of the time. Identity theft is getting more prevalent and largely because people don't seem to take it seriously and take precautions to protect themselves. People are either lethargic or apathetic and seem not to care or imagine there are things they can do to protect themselves.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 2 years ago from North Texas Author

DealForALiving, thank you for coming by. It's going to get worse, so getting used to be under somebody's eye at all times will help you if you find this situation is stressful. :) Did you read how FB is going to make all your postings and photos from the beginning of your account searchable by anyone who wants to do that? Yes, it's in my first issue of PRUNEDNEWZ.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 2 years ago from North Texas Author

Thank you, Shyron, for coming back to review. Yes, not only can we be tracked, but the info gleaned can and will be used for marketing purposes as well as for other things. There aren't many secrets anymore, privacy is shrinking by the minute, but there are things people can do to minimize it, and I have put that information in this article.

Thank you for votes and the share! Hope you and John will have the best possible weekend!


lisavanvorst profile image

lisavanvorst 2 years ago from New Jersey

You are so right. Big Brother is everywhere. We live in a world were our every move is being watched, tracked and privacy is something of the past. However, that being said there are times when this does help. Cell phones help solve murders, traffic cameras help with solving accidents and reckless drivers. I am sure there are many more benefits. The down side is stealing someone's identity and debit/credit card information. This just recently happened to Home Depot, also Target, Ebay and many more I am sure I didn't read about. So I guess Big Brother has its pros and cons depending on how you look at it. Great Hub.


DealForALiving profile image

DealForALiving 2 years ago from Earth

This hub really got me thinking, and I'm feeling a tad paranoid now!


Shyron E Shenko profile image

Shyron E Shenko 2 years ago

I was just reading how we can be traced/tracked/hacked or our information stolen by most places we do business with.

I had to re read this. Voted up, UAI and shared

I hope you have a good day tomorrow.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 2 years ago from North Texas Author

Thank you for coming by Shyron! Are you saying this guy dropped his cell phone when he dumped his wife's body and somebody called him on it when they found the body? Presumably the police. Yes, one can't be too careful when doing something they should be doing. Never know what you may leave behind. Another reason to travel light . . .

Hope you have a good day today!


Shyron E Shenko profile image

Shyron E Shenko 2 years ago

Au fait, I thought about this last night when on television a man who said he was home when his wife's body was found out in the desert called from his cell phone where he had dumped her body.

I guess technology cut both ways.

Voted up, UABI and shared.

Have a blessed day.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 2 years ago from North Texas Author

Kenneth Avery, thank you again for your kind words and encouragement!


Kenneth Avery 2 years ago

Au fait,

You are always welcome. You do a great job of writing about controversial topics such as this one.

Keep up the great work.

Kenneth


Au fait profile image

Au fait 2 years ago from North Texas Author

Kenneth Avery, thanks for stopping back!


Au fait profile image

Au fait 2 years ago from North Texas Author

Hezekiah, thank you for your comment. If one just knows where to look they can get everything they need about anyone online for whatever purpose they might have. It may cost $10 or so, but that would be seen as an investment in some cases. Yes, it can be scary if people only knew what sitting ducks they are.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 2 years ago from North Texas Author

Brett Winn, appreciate your taking time to scan my article. I say scan since you accuse me of leaving out important information that in fact is here if only you took the time to read the entire article. According to your comment you focused on only one section and ignored all the others.

Did you see the section: The Bottom Line and What You Can Still Do to Protect Your Privacy? True that I did not copy or write word for word what Davey Alba put in her excellent article in Popular Mechanics magazine, but if I had that would be plagiarism wouldn't it?

I did tell you in the blue box titled "Do You Know?"about a better search engine, DuckDuckGo.com that doesn't track you or keep records of where you've been.

I did tell you about an anonymizing browser and where to get that browser bundle.

I did tell my readers how to find the information they need just like I did, in the February 2014 issue of Popular Mechanics magazine. You say I did not include this information, but it's right here in black and white. Did you not see it or did you not understand it?

Since you seem to imagine it is too much trouble to have to do a search on Google, "Popular Mechanics back issues," which took me all of 30 seconds, I did it for you. Here's what you need and where to get it:

Order Feb. 2014 digital issue Popular Mechanics 3.99.

http://www.magzter.com/US/Hearst-magazines/Popular...

Alba has an entire section full of ways to protect your privacy beyond what I printed in this article, but you'll have to read it carefully. Starts on page 56 and ends on page 63 -- at the bottom of that page. Be sure to read every word so you don't miss anything as you seem prone to do.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 2 years ago from North Texas Author

Thank you Peggy W for sharing this article!


Au fait profile image

Au fait 2 years ago from North Texas Author

rebeccamealey, thank you for reading and commenting on this article! It's not so much hiding things from the government as it is thinking about identity theft and so forth. If the government can do these things, very often the crooks can too. You just never know who's going to utilize your personal information or what they will do with it.


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 2 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

You are most-welcome. Keep up the fine work.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 2 years ago from North Texas Author

ologsinquito, thanks for stopping by!


Kenneth Avery 2 years ago

Au fait,

Just read on a news source, the personal information chip that Obama wants installed in every American with Obamacare is now the newest way for the Neo-Socialist government we are slowly evolving to, is ready to be used on citizens.

Just thought I would give you a heads-up on this touchy area, especially for Christians.

All of your personal information, phone number, home location, everything about YOU will be on this chip which is now disguised as medical information, smooth talk to lure the masses into deceptive government measures.

Take care. Be wise.


Hezekiah profile image

Hezekiah 2 years ago from Japan

Good hub, its frightening to know you are being watched even without physical cameras. A lot of people don't realize how much information people can obtain even just by connecting to a wifi spot.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 2 years ago from North Texas Author

Dolores Monet, thank you for reading and commenting on this article. It has all but reached the point where there is no more privacy, and certainly no more secrets. But it's about to get worse with the black boxes on new 2014 vehicles (required by law), and drones watching and photographing everyone. And that's just the tip of the iceberg.


Brett Winn profile image

Brett Winn 2 years ago from US

Great and important article. However, where you said, " If your private and personal information is readily available to the government and business entities, because you have not taken precautions by utilizing security measures that are not only available but often free, then your private and personal information is also easily available to stalkers and identity thieves." This would have been a MUCH better article had you included suggestions as to what these precautions are and how we can find them! Food for followup article, perhaps?


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 2 years ago from Houston, Texas

I am so glad that they put the Google+ button on our site. Giving this interesting and useful article of yours another share and G+.


Kenneth Avery 2 years ago

Au fait,

You are most-welcome. You have lots of writing talent and I know that you will be very successful with your various topics.

Keep up the great work and keep in touch with me.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 2 years ago from North Texas Author

Thank you again for your continued interest Kenneth Avery.


rebeccamealey profile image

rebeccamealey 2 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

This is interesting.. Kind of worrisome. They would find me quite boring. Thanks for putting this together. Awesome research!


ologsinquito profile image

ologsinquito 2 years ago from USA

Great article. People need to know this.


Dolores Monet profile image

Dolores Monet 2 years ago from East Coast, United States

It's a frightening world out there. The concept of privacy is being lost. I know so many young people who think nothing of it. I read one article where a young man in a state tax office used google maps to look for inground pools in back yards for tax purposes.


Kenneth Avery 2 years ago

Hi, Au fait,

You are definitely welcome. I am interested in this invasion of our Civil Liberties to say nothing about Bill of Rights. If you look closely at the policies of Homeland Security . . . well, you will understand why there is so much paranoia in our country.

If you catch any more news where I could learn more, just hub it.

Kenneth


Au fait profile image

Au fait 2 years ago from North Texas Author

Thank you Kenneth Avery for your continued interest in this issue. You are correct in that we are going to have less and less privacy, nothing is forgotten, no moving across the state or the country and starting over, etc. Much of that is already so.

Yes, someone blew the whistle on the NSA, namely Edward Snowden, and he's still in some pretty hot water.


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 2 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

Au fait,

Amen. We free Americans and other countries as well, had best prepare for a near-future tech-wave of watching us and listening to what we say which I think is already being done by the SSA via Verizon. But someone blew the whistle and they had to quit.

You are welcome for my comments which were the truth. And I want you to keep writing no matter what--for you are very talented.

Keep in touch.

Kenneth


Au fait profile image

Au fait 2 years ago from North Texas Author

Kenneth Avery, thank you for your comments. I couldn't have said it better than you have. So many people are apathetic or uncomfortable with change and dealing with that change and the next thing they are crying because of something they might have nipped in the bud if only they had been paying attention and doing what was possible to do at the time.


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 2 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

You are right, Au fait.

It is similar to the object-lesson of placing a frog into a pan of cold water and slowly turn up the heat over a period of time, the frog will not realize the changes and die.

That is us as a society--even when people like you, warn society with sincerity and intelligence, will just go like lambs to the slaughter, no revolt, no upheaval, and no fight. Just nameless faces in an endless treadmill.

Thank you for the following, my new friend. I appreciate it and you keep up the great writing.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 2 years ago from North Texas Author

Kenneth Avery, thank you for reading and commenting on this article and for all your kind comments and remarks. I'm surprised more people don't take this subject seriously since it is going to seriously affect their lives more and more as time goes on.


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 2 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

Au fait,

Super job. Amazing hub and it is real. I am not going to give away any of my anti-surveillance techniques, but you have listed a few in this hub. Oh, I voted up and away. Check your fan mail. I love your talent. I ask that you read a hub or two that I did and then follow me.

Thank you,

Kenneth Avery, Hamilton, Al.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 2 years ago from North Texas Author

Word55, appreciate your stopping by. It can be unfortunate, but there are things a person can do to protect themselves if only they will make the effort . . . hope you're well. Haven't seen you here for a few days.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 2 years ago from North Texas Author

Faith Reaper, thank you for sharing your thoughts. Agree that complacency and apathy will bring some big surprises for people. If they don't do something now it will probably be too late when they finally realize just how far this will go . . .


Au fait profile image

Au fait 2 years ago from North Texas Author

Vespawoolf, thank you for taking time to read this article and share your thoughts on this important issue. Agree with what you say.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 2 years ago from North Texas Author

Krmission, thank you for commenting! Glad you found this useful.


word55 profile image

word55 2 years ago from Chicago

I totally agree with you Au fait and it is unfortunate for the people, who's privacy is infringed upon by the entities mentioned here.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 2 years ago from North Texas Author

Word55, thank you for stopping by and sharing your thoughts. As I stated in this article, surveillance isn't just about watching to make sure people aren't breaking the law. It's about gleaning information about a person in order to market to him/her, to make it look like a person is endorsing a product when they are not in order to market to their friends and family (FB does this now), and even for hackers to steal a person's identity. If big business knows all about you, hackers do too. There are many facets to surveillance by government and big business.


Faith Reaper profile image

Faith Reaper 2 years ago from southern USA

So, true, the biggest concern is that our privacy is being invaded and freedom taken away, and many are complacent about such or just not aware of just how much ... then when it is too late, they will say, gee, I wish I had known.

That is interesting about our driving habits too!

Again, thank you for bringing awareness to the seriousness of the invasion of our privacy at all levels and our freedom at risk.

Blessings for a lovely Sunday


Au fait profile image

Au fait 2 years ago from North Texas Author

Thank you Faith Reaper, for taking time to read and comment on this article and to share your thoughts and concerns.

No, the article didn't say where police might place a tracker on one's vehicle, but since we can be easily tracked with our cell phones and those tracking chips are quite small, I would expect a GPS tracker on a vehicle would not stand out readily.

I think a bigger issue for many people is the gathering of information about us that is then used without our permission to promote products like advertisers often do on FB.

Also, the black boxes that will be on all the new 2014 vehicles -- these boxes will report our driving habits and the places we visit to the manufacturer where it will be documented for future use and could even be subpoenaed.

I know a lot of people may believe they are safe drivers but I can tell you many do not know that red flashing lights on a school bus mean stop, no exceptions, and that many people do not seem to know what a double white line means, or even that stop signs are not only for other people, but for themselves too.

All these driving habits will be recorded and in the event of an accident, examined to see how a person's driving habits may have contributed. It could also be called into play if one happened to be in an area where something terrible happened; a bombing, an unsolved murder, etc.

There are a lot of considerations that I think many people imagine will not affect them and so they aren't too concerned. Time will tell how it will affect everyone's freedom and privacy.

Thanks for the votes, pin, tweet, and share too! Much appreciated.


vespawoolf profile image

vespawoolf 2 years ago from Peru, South America

This is disturbing information indeed! It's true that there is no real privacy these days. We have to be cautious so our personal information doesn't fall into the wrong hands. Thank you for Alba's information about protecting ourselves.


Krmission profile image

Krmission 2 years ago from Indiana

Very interesting. I knew some of the info here, other things were a surprise. Thanks for the realization.


word55 profile image

word55 2 years ago from Chicago

Hey Au fait, this was very good work. I wouldn't be surprised if you were paid big bucks just for the research that you do, let alone summarize it like this. You are an expert, no doubt and I admire you for your diligence but I'll be honest too. I know that All Mighty God is everywhere. He is connected to all of us whether we believe it or not and whether we want Him to be or not. He watches me for Himself and eventually will for my future wife. So, I won't be caught, in any wrong doing. I live and strive to keep my nose clean, now. It would behoove me to be where and do what I should, at all times. It shouldn't be hard to do since I've been there, done that. Enough is no more of the old way if you can understand what I mean. Again, you are on it. Keep up the good work my sister. Keep the faith too! -:)


Faith Reaper profile image

Faith Reaper 2 years ago from southern USA

Important article to bring much awareness as to guarding our privacy, as it seems that is getting harder and harder to do, as you say ... we are being watched at every turn! Scary thought. I am careful with my privacy, but most likely not enough. There are those tricky ones out there who will attempt to trick you into giving them your personal information. It is creepy to know you are being watched. I saw this terrible thing once on a documentary or somewhere of this poor woman who worked at some terrible place, where they had cameras in the restroom!

Did the magazine say where on vehicles is law enforcement most likely to put a tracking device and what would it look like?

I certainly would not want anyone to be able to read my personal emails or listen in on my personal phone calls on my personal phone! That is going too far.

Up and more, tweeting, pinning and sharing

Great hub!


Au fait profile image

Au fait 2 years ago from North Texas Author

Manatita44, thank you for stopping by!


manatita44 profile image

manatita44 2 years ago from london

Thanks Au fait.

I knew much of this way back in the seventies. We are all weak and will find ways to appease our weaknesses, sometimes to our benefit and sometimes to the detriment of others.

You will go on pointing this out and others will benefit. The fraudster will also continue. Consciousness eventually blossoms.

A well thought out and interesting Hub. My take is that The Source is always the answer. May it continue to nourish us, guide us and grant us peace.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 2 years ago from North Texas Author

Thank you Deborah-Diane for sharing your thoughts. There are indeed cameras and other recording devices everywhere and more on the way.


Deborah-Diane profile image

Deborah-Diane 2 years ago from Orange County, California

This is such a fascinating topic. I'm always amazed when I see crimes reported on the news and they have video coverage of the crime taking place. It shocks me that so many people do not realize, yet, that there are cameras EVERYWHERE ... in stores, in parking lots, on the outside of businesses, inside and outside ordinary homes, in police cars, in ordinary cars, in street lights and in so many other places. On top of that, anyone can now own a drone and fly it over and around our homes ... and some of the drones are not much larger than a hummingbird. I tell my grandchildren to live their lives as though everything they do is being recorded by a camera ... because it is!


Au fait profile image

Au fait 2 years ago from North Texas Author

Sujaya Venkatesh, thank you for stopping by!


Au fait profile image

Au fait 2 years ago from North Texas Author

Larry Wall, thank you for raising the important issue of privacy in regard to how employees of various organizations/companies/and websites handle personal information.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 2 years ago from North Texas Author

Thank you for commenting Shyron. Agree that a person's own time not on the clock should not be snooped into by employers. My employer likes to keep track of everyone on FB, and that's no easy task because there are a lot of employees, close to 300 or so. Thanks for the vote and the share too! Hope your day has gone well and you're looking forward to a good rest as I am.


Larry Wall 2 years ago

Many trade secrets and confidential data has been distributed improperly on off hours. Those who hold positions of responsibility in a company know there is no such thing as not being on company time. That does not mean everything a person puts online should be subject to review, but it does mean that an employee does not have the right to reveal trade secretes, marketing strategies, or personnel information to other people when he is on his own time. Setting and enforcing the boundaries that you and I both seek is the difficult task.


sujaya venkatesh profile image

sujaya venkatesh 2 years ago

man is a social animal au


Shyron E Shenko profile image

Shyron E Shenko 2 years ago

There is so much good information in here. Even if a person does not care if they are being watched or data collected about them, they should be aware of that fact, so they could do something about it if they wanted to.

I think it is wrong for employers to track their employee(s) in any way shape or form, once the employee is not longer on company time.

This is such a wonderful hub, voted up, UAI and shared.

I hope you have a wonderful day.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 2 years ago from North Texas Author

Thank you Peggy W for tweeting this article!


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 2 years ago from Houston, Texas

I just tweeted this good hub of yours.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 2 years ago from North Texas Author

Thank you for stopping by Shyron! That was a cute rhyme you wrote. It is indeed getting to where no one has any privacy anymore anywhere. We still have some options for protecting our privacy, and that is what I was trying to impress on people here. Does anyone care enough about their own privacy to do those things? That is the question.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 2 years ago from North Texas Author

Thank you for reading and commenting on this article Hackslap. Indeed, who knows who may be monitoring these comments? They are published on an international venue after all . . .


Au fait profile image

Au fait 2 years ago from North Texas Author

KenDeanAgudo, thank you for commenting and sharing your experience with surveillance cameras. Cameras are going to be located in the public sector more and more. As with so many things, they are a double edged sword, useful and helpful on the one hand but sometimes abused and intrusive on the other.


Hackslap profile image

Hackslap 2 years ago from Sydney, Australia

This is an eye opener Au Fait ... nearly everything you do today at every minute (especially within the OECD countries like ours is visible to someone at a position of authority for the sake of protecting 'national security') .... who knows at this very moment ..someone at NSA is monitoring this very comment ....who knows..


Shyron E Shenko profile image

Shyron E Shenko 2 years ago

Au fait, this can really make you think

Someone can see each time you blink

And it really has begun to stink

So...Lets all rock the boat

Cause I don't think the eyes will float

Until next time Jesus comes then He'll fill them up with smoke!


KenDeanAgudo profile image

KenDeanAgudo 2 years ago from Tiwi, Philippines

I got interested of your title for I am a big fan of the reality show "Big Brother". All you have stated are true and real, even in our school , surveillance cam is everywhere. good job!


Au fait profile image

Au fait 2 years ago from North Texas Author

Larry Wall, thank you for taking time to comment on this article. There are ways, as you point out, to avoid being taken advantage of. One only has to do them.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 2 years ago from North Texas Author

Thank you Deborah-Diane for stopping back and sharing your information and for sharing this article. I keep my camera's eye covered at all times. Generally a person would know if their camera was active because there would be a light on, but I just feel better having it covered.


Larry Wall 2 years ago

I have a camera on my computer. It is turned off and not plugged into the computer and seldom use Yahoo. If somebody wants my picture, they can get it here on HB. My mugshot is only six years old.


Deborah-Diane profile image

Deborah-Diane 2 years ago from Orange County, California

I heard on ABC's "Good Morning America" this morning that the NSA has been secretly using the computer cameras of Yahoo users and taking photos of them, without their knowledge, even when they were not suspected of a crime! Yahoo released a statement speaking out against this. That's outrageous! I thought I would share this again for anyone who missed it.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 2 years ago from North Texas Author

Thank you for stopping back Shyron. Yes, people don't seem to realize the problems with this data-mining and I'm afraid when they finally wake up it will be too late. The horse will already have left the barn and there will be no getting it back.

Live goes on . . .


Shyron E Shenko profile image

Shyron E Shenko 2 years ago

You are welcome Au fait. I forgot to mention the other day. It seems that everyone has forgotten who started this data-mining.

Hope all is well with you, my dear friend.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 2 years ago from North Texas Author

Thank you Shyron, for the comments, vote, and sharing. Very true that there are a lot of data-miners out there all wanting to make money off everything they can learn about each of us. Usually a person is given several choices for signing in as we are here on HP.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 2 years ago from North Texas Author

Thank you Shyron, for the comments, vote, and sharing. Very true that there are a lot of data-miners out there all wanting to make money off everything they can learn about each of us. Usually a person is given several choices for signing in as we are here on HP.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 2 years ago from North Texas Author

Peggy W, thank you for pinning this article!


Shyron E Shenko profile image

Shyron E Shenko 2 years ago

Au fait, it seems where you go, everyone want information about you and will trick you if they can, to learn about your information that is none of their business.

I was working on my family tree and the website I went to wanted me to sign in through Facebook, that just got me angry and I got off that site real fast.

Voted this up again, and shared.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 2 years ago from North Texas Author

Moonlake, thank you for reading, commenting, and pinning this hub! The movie you're referring to sounds like it may have been the film '1984.'


Au fait profile image

Au fait 2 years ago from North Texas Author

Thank you for stopping by WriterJanis. There are things a person can do to protect their identity and privacy as explained in this hub. Our government takes people more seriously when they make the effort to protect their own privacy, but if they make no effort to do that, the government assumes they don't care if their personal info is being spread around or sold and so the gov. will do nothing about it either.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 2 years ago from North Texas Author

Rasta1, thank you for stopping by.

The 'Mosaic' can refer to may things, but in this case it refers to the many different ways we are all data-mined and watched and how they all work or fit together.

The base of Davey Alba’s information comes from Matthew Green, a computer security expert at Johns Hopkins University, one of the foremost universities in this country. Green says there are things we can do to protect our privacy and I am inclined to believe him since he is considered an expert and an authority in his field.

I know there is no GPS built into my vehicle because it is 19 years old and there was no such thing at that time. I can turn off my cell phone (not a Smart phone) and it will no longer be possible to track my whereabouts. If I refuse to place personal information on my FB account, FB cannot mine my account and sell that info for profit or any other reason without my permission because they do not have that info in the first place.

True that one must be vigilant, and most people do not want to learn the technology and methods for protecting themselves, but it is possible to have more privacy and to make stealing one's identity extremely difficult. Just checking with the major credit reporting agencies, there are only 3, will tell a person if a new loan or credit card, etc., has been opened in their name. This is a free service, yet most people don't take advantage of it.

But as Henry Ford, inventor of the assembly line for the purpose of manufacturing Ford automobiles once said, "Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t – you’re right." If you have already decided that you can't do something, your attitude will almost certainly prevent you from succeeding even if nothing else does.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 2 years ago from North Texas Author

Writer Fox, thank you for reading and voting on this article! As you know there are surveillance cameras in the parking lots of many businesses and many factories and companies too. Then there are traffic cameras.

The traffic cameras and drones aren't pervasive -- yet, but plans are in place to make them so. Cameras are cheaper than, and safer for, cops. Cops will likely be available as needed, but not patrolling so much as in the past. They will be more focused where the problem is identified on camera.


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 2 years ago from Houston, Texas

I will also pin this to the Awesome HubPages board. You are getting some nice comments on this hub!


moonlake profile image

moonlake 2 years ago from America

Came back to pin this hub. I remember years ago watching a movie about big brother and how scary it was. It was a long time ago because it was black and white. There was a camera on every corner in the movie, as if that would ever happen. HAHA


WriterJanis profile image

WriterJanis 2 years ago from California

So, it's against the law to open up another person's piece of mail, but it seems like anything else is a go. Seems we have no privacy anymore. It's a scary thought.


rasta1 profile image

rasta1 2 years ago from Jamaica

There is nothing you can do to protect your identity. The mosaic is the matrix.


Writer Fox profile image

Writer Fox 2 years ago from the wadi near the little river

Wow, this is scary information. 'Big Brother' really is watching. I still wonder why there is so much crime if everyone's actions are monitored. Wonderful information and voted up!


Au fait profile image

Au fait 2 years ago from North Texas Author

pstraubie48, thank you for reading and sharing your thoughts on this issue. Next time you go to duckduckgo.com notice that underneath the name of the site it says "Search anonymously." Click on that and it will tell you all kinds of interesting things about how the site operates as opposed to Google. I think you will find it enlightening.

Most of the things people can do to protect their own privacy are listed in the Popular Mechanics article I referenced, so that is pretty much the limit of the research anyone would need to do to prevent businesses/websites and even our government from collecting data on them.

Blessings to you and your family . . .


Au fait profile image

Au fait 2 years ago from North Texas Author

Glenda Jackson, good to see you here. Thank you for reading and commenting on this article. It can be scary, but there are still a few things people can do to protect their privacy. Unfortunately a lot of people aren't interested in doing that and FB is the proof. I don't think a lot of people realize the magnitude of what they are doing and tolerating from big business, etc.

Hope everything is well with you. Thanks for stopping!


Au fait profile image

Au fait 2 years ago from North Texas Author

Levertis Steele, thank you for reading this article and sharing your thoughts on this important issue. There are still some ways to protect your privacy as I've mentioned here and there are more ways listed in the Popular Mechanics article I referenced.

While the government could abuse the information they collect on any one of us, the bigger threat is identity thieves and stalkers.

Thank you also for sharing this article with your followers!


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 2 years ago from sunny Florida

It is really up to us, the private citizen to be proactive and aware. As you point out we can do so if we follow suggestions you have mentioned and research others.

It is alarming when we actually stop and think how many ways our behaviors are tracked I have used duckduck.com and will use it more now. I did not know they do not collect like google does. Thanks. And,

Thanks for the heads up to all who did not realize....

Angels are on the way to you this morning. ps


Au fait profile image

Au fait 2 years ago from North Texas Author

WhiteMuse, thank you for reading and commenting on this article! Sadly it goes far beyond Google data-mining in order to tailor their advertisements for us. In fact identity thieves and stalkers and other criminals can find all kinds of information about us to make us easy targets if we do nothing to protect ourselves. It isn't just cruising the Internet that can be a problem, but even using our cell phones and more.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 2 years ago from North Texas Author

tsadjatko, thank you for reading and commenting on this article! Yes, I'm sure there is plenty of abuse of mined data all around, whether it's our government or Google. Of course no one complained when the Patriot Act was passed, so 'their' foot was in the door at that point . . .

There are still ways people can protect their privacy if they wish to do so and government is taking into consideration whether or not a person has made that effort when weighing complaints. I've mentioned a few of the ways one can protect oneself here in this article, and pointed people in the direction where more ways are explained.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 2 years ago from North Texas Author

Thank you moonlake, for checking this article out and for the vote and share! Yes, it should be scary because it isn't only Big Brother and Google who are snooping on us. Sometimes it's fraudsters, stalkers, and the like. The technology is available to criminals and it's not against the law to snoop. What people do with the information they glean about you may be against the law, but the snooping (data-mining) itself is not -- unless a person has made an effort to protect their own privacy, which most people do not. I have given a few suggestions how people can protect themselves here.

Thanks again for taking the time to stop by. I hope things are progressing there as best possible and that your husband is improving.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 2 years ago from North Texas Author

Colleen Swan, thank you for reading and sharing your thoughts on this issue and for the vote! Yes, there are some things that are helpful in the way of surveillance, but then there are all the others that aren't so much. I hope people who value their privacy will take the time to learn about the ways available to protect themselves.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 2 years ago from North Texas Author

Deborah-Diane, thank you for your thoughts and for sharing this article!

If you think talking to your grandchildren about all the surveillance everywhere is creepy, how creepy is it that it is in fact going on? I think it's good that you're preparing them for the reality of cameras everywhere because I have known a lot of people who just couldn't wrap their minds around the extent to which they were being monitored. Several ended up fired because they just couldn't seem to realize they had no secrets and our employer knew what they (and all of us) were doing all of the time.

Even without cameras, you never know who may be able to see you or hear you. Never assume you aren't being watched just because You can't see anyone. Think of the little animals that hide their heads and imagine no one can see them . . . ;)


Au fait profile image

Au fait 2 years ago from North Texas Author

Thank you Shyron for the votes and the share, etc. Yes, FB and Google and other websites and social networks have many different ways they mine our data and utilize it for their own gain. The article in Popular Mechanics suggests ways to prevent them from doing that.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 2 years ago from North Texas Author

Thank you for your continued interest in this issue Larry Wall. I appreciate very much your taking the time to share with everyone.

Without a doubt there are good aspects to some of these surveillance programs and I listed a few of them in this article. The trouble is that much of the information gleaned about us is available to the public. Anyone who wants to snoop into our private affairs or obtain our personal information can do it.

It's hard to sympathize with people who post so much information on FB that really should be kept private. I don't even object entirely to the black boxes that will be in all newly manufactured cars beginning this year because if someone doesn't want to be recorded driving like a fool, then they shouldn't drive that way.

On the other hand, I resent Google putting me in a filter bubble where a computer decides what to show me when I put something in the search box. As a writer who reports on a variety of things and tries to bring all the relevant information together in one place, I want and need to see and read everything on my subject whether I like it or agree with it or not. I don't want Google deciding what I would prefer to see. How can I write an objective article is the only thing Google will show me is stuff they think I want to see? (Based on my previous searches and search patterns.)

I think the data-mining goes too far and actually impedes our ability to have a balanced view of our environment.

I'm glad your wife's situation had a good ending. My bank also refused the charges from what appeared to be (but who knows for sure?) an online pharmacy in Britain. I've never purchased drugs over the Net and it's been months since I used my debit card for anything at all.

The main thing is that we need to keep certain things private so that criminals and people who mean us harm do not have easy access. There are ways to do that and I've mentioned a few in this article. There are lots more in the Popular Mechanics article I referenced and I hope people will read that article and do what they can to protect their own privacy.

Even though a lot of people feel comfortable sharing everything about themselves, not all of us do. I don't think those of us who want to keep our private lives private should have to go along with the crown and bare all. Nor should Google or anyone else decide what we should see or read if we are legally adults of sound mind.

Thank you again Larry, for sharing your thoughts. I truly appreciate it.


Larry Wall 2 years ago

I will say one thing in support of the collection of data regarding our credit cards. My wife had her bank debit card stolen. She was at school, where she was a teacher, and called me knowing I was on my way home. I was planning to call the card company as soon as I walked in the house. They were calling me and questioned three purchases that did not fit our normal spending patterns. The card was immediately canceled. The next day, we got new cards, filled out a form, and the money improperly charged to us was refunded. I will admit such data can be used, but it can have some useful effects. My wife 's card was stolen because the person working at the entrance desk of the school and did not insist on seeing the person's school ID. She was a former employee. Thus she had free run of the school. My wife was helping a teacher in another class. The thief found her purse in a desk drawer, found her wallet and removed the one card. She put everything back in place, but my wife can recognized instantly if something has been moved.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 2 years ago from North Texas Author

Thank you DonnaCaprio for reading and commenting on this article! You are correct in that it is possible for someone in another location to turn the camera on your computer on, but usually you would see the light on that indicates the camera is working. There is a lot of technology for spying available nowadays and it is not illegal. That's right, if you make no effort to protect your own privacy, our laws make little if any effort to protect your privacy either.

I keep my camera's eye covered up with a sticky note cut to fit. ;)


Au fait profile image

Au fait 2 years ago from North Texas Author

Larry Wall, thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts on this subject with us all. I really appreciate it very much, and to some degree I agree with your. Lots of people do post things on FB that IMHO they should not, but that's their choice. Government surveillance goes well beyond FB, and our government has been known to abuse its own citizens in the past.

The biggest threat, I would say, is stalkers and identity thieves, or just plain thieves. There are ways to protect our privacy to a larger extent than you might think, but we do have to make the effort. Most people don't understand the technology and therefore don't make the effort.

Just last week, thanks to our technology, thieves in Britain tried to steal more than $700 from my checking account. What information they may have had on me is unknown. It may have been just a random running of debit and credit card numbers looking for numbers that were active.

It's true that we have never had 100% privacy, but before our current modern technology people had a lot more privacy than they have now. It used to be possible to move a few hundred miles and start over and no one knew your background except you. Not possible anymore. No one gets a second chance nowadays because of the technology and the ease of getting information.

You are correct that there is a company that snoops all over HubPages and other similar sites collecting information. That company is Google. Google keeps track of everywhere we go online, every search we do including the search words we use, and even reads our emails. Records of these things are kept for future use and can be subpoenaed if desired. There are ways to prevent Google from data-mining us all, but it requires a little effort. I plan to follow through now that I know what it is. I gave a lot of information on how to foil Google in this article, but there is much more in the Popular Mechanics article I referenced.

Thanks again for coming by, Larry. Have a great day!


Glenda Jackson 2 years ago

this is both comforting and scary.

very good information.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 2 years ago from North Texas Author

PegCole17, thank you for stopping by and leaving a comment. There are still a lot of things people can do to protect their privacy, some of which I listed in this article. Davey Alba lists many more in the article in Popular Mechanics which I referenced.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 2 years ago from North Texas Author

DDE, thank you for stopping by and sharing your thoughts.


Levertis Steele profile image

Levertis Steele 2 years ago from Southern Clime

After I completed the reading of your article, the next thing I saw was an ad, "Stop Your Cheater Spouse," Spokeo.com/cheating-spouse-Search. This technology is an invasion of privacy, also. How many angry wives, husbands, and intimate friends will click on this link? Many. The people will use all of the snooping technology that lands on the market. What fed up wife can resist tracking her husband straight to his mistresses' house! How else was the show, "Caught In The Act" born?

I hear people talking about scanners that pick up cell phone signals to listen to conversations. Some say that they can be purchased over the Internet. I would think that such transaction is illegal. I witnessed a police officer using a device that I would call a scanner. She listened to a phone conversation in progress and reprimanded the drunk caller for lying about calling his son to drive him home. So, I know that such devices exist and can possibly be bought by anyone who knows how to track leads.

Our intelligence agencies have technology most citizens know not of. Also, I have always thought that a system that could show me live events could see me as well, if desired. We have televisions and computers that have secrets behind them. They can be designed to have two-way traffic. Even children can talk over computers and see each other no matter where they are located. This is old.

When my neighbors and friends were experimenting with their new CamCorder 23 years ago, they taped me and my family, without our knowledge, and showed it to us after a dinner at their house. The husband was recording us in his back yard. We were in our front yard a half block away. He picked up our conversation very clearly. Was I to believe that there was no technology that could listen to conversations in the privacy of one's home or car? No! 23 years later, that technology has been updated and more has sprung from it. My aunt said 40 years ago that we had no privacy. She was referring to the telephone that I thought was private.

I do not think that we can ever get the privacy back that we want. Too much has happened, and the technology is very useful for solving crime and other problems. Of course, some will abuse the technology, but how can that alone be solved? We can demand privacy, but how can we be sure that we have it?. Remember Watergate? We're talking about the top office in America spying. A lot can be learned from spying, and I do not think that it will end. Even the children of Israel spied out the Promised Land before invading it. I am sure that the Caananites did not approve.

What information you have here! I will share.


WhiteMuse profile image

WhiteMuse 2 years ago from San Francisco

I keep meaning to use the safe browsing programs that are out there. It seems that would help somewhat. I try not to get paranoid about it. I do get irritated with the notices that try to figure out what I want. I dislike the junk mail.


tsadjatko profile image

tsadjatko 2 years ago from maybe (the guy or girl) next door

Wow, you really have laid it all out there. Maybe you should make a TV series about this - you could call it Person of Interest? Why does that sound familiar?

Good job, an easy reading hub page. Glad you mentioned the NSA. I often wonder why anyone believes no one abuses the NSA data. It's the government, if the government wanted to abuse it's own safeguards we would never find out about it. Give me a break. If the IRS which is supposed to be neutral and not a top secret national security institution can be used to target political enemies don't think for a second that all this secret stuff is safe from misuse. If anyone knows how to cover their tracks in any agency run by the government it is the government and stuff has gone on and likely is going on we will never know about.


moonlake profile image

moonlake 2 years ago from America

It is very scary everything that is known about us. Voted up on your hub and shared it with followers.


Larry Wall 2 years ago

In the 1960s the group, Buffalo Springfield had a hit song called Something Happening -- the catch line was "paranoia strikes deep, into your mind it can creep.

I think the paranoia is striking deep. It is beginning to sound like Sen. Joe McCarthy claiming there was a "commie in every closet."

The John Birch Society was a reactionary group that found a conspiracy everywhere. J. Edgar Hoover, FBI director allegedly had files on all sorts of people.

If any government official bases any decision on Facebook likes...he is just wasting his time because the data is meaningless.


Colleen Swan profile image

Colleen Swan 2 years ago from County Durham

There was the day that I believed we were being protected; now I believe I should fear the real motives of those watching over us. Voted up. Useful article.


Shyron E Shenko profile image

Shyron E Shenko 2 years ago

Au fait, I just read about another way of tracking people, it is called like-farming. On fb when you click on like, you can be tracked with that.

Voted this up, UAI and shared again for anyone who may have missed it.


DonnaCaprio profile image

DonnaCaprio 2 years ago from Newburyport, MA

I have recently heard that we can be watched from inside of our homes as well, from the camera's in our laptops and tablet computers. I didn't think that it was possible, but it seems as if it is. That is really scary!


Deborah-Diane profile image

Deborah-Diane 2 years ago from Orange County, California

This was a fascinating article. I tell my grandchildren all the time that they should be aware that there is almost always a camera watching them when they are outside their home. There are cameras in stoplights, in stores, in store parking lots and outside homes in their neighborhood. I warn them that they should not do anything that they would not want someone to see because someone could be watching, no matter where they are. That's a creepy thing to tell your grandkids, but it is true! Definitely sharing this!


DonnaCaprio profile image

DonnaCaprio 2 years ago from Newburyport, MA

This article was very informative. I am learning more each day about how we are being watched. There is some good to come out of it, as others have stated, but for me my privacy takes priority.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 2 years ago from North Texas Author

Thank you Peggy W for reading and commenting on this article. Appreciate the votes and the pin also. I hope people will read about the ways I have listed to combat the invasion of privacy and also read the magazine for additional advice for protecting themselves. The law will not protect people who make no effort to protect themselves.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 2 years ago from North Texas Author

Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this subject, Shyron. Also, for the votes and the share and the pin! I think the important thing is to be aware that we are being data-mined daily and that there are things we can do to protect our privacy. For the sake of preventing identity theft, it would be good to use all the protections applicable and available lest you find your photo and your name endorsing the next Cialis advertisement (or something worse) on FB or somewhere else and without your permission.


Larry Wall 2 years ago

Everyone wants privacy, well not exactly. How many people post their lives on Facebook. Ever since the Internet became a reality and cell phones went into use, everyone knew, or should had known all the data was out there. The phone company, in order to bill you, has been keeping track of your phone calls for decades. The IRS has a tremendous amount about you, as do the credit card companies. We enjoy the convenience of e-mail and texting, having a phone at our sides always, using credit cards, being able to get cash from an ATM machine and paying your bills directly from your checking account by using your computer. There is an expectation of some level of privacy, but the lifestyles we have chosen to follow has diminish that right. So, I do not do online surveys, or leave review about products I purchase on line. All transactions can be trace the the IP address on my internet modem. If we did not have the internet we could not have Hub pages. Some agency is probably monitoring Hub Pages and other similar sites. I do not have to tell you the value of my assets. I do have to tell the IRS. Insurance companies get medical information from hospitals and other sources.

Back in colonial days, if I remember my college history class correctly, there was no systematic system for delivering the mail. Often mail was carry by freight wagon or other means and deliver to the local tavern. Allegedly, someone saw a letter addressed to someone he knew, grabbed the letter, and ran out of the tavern saying "I have to know what is in here." Ben Franklin was in the tavern and that inspired the creation of the postal system. However, do not worry, FedEx and UPS probably have more information about you than the Post Office. The level of privacy that people think they have or think they are losing, never really existed.


PegCole17 profile image

PegCole17 2 years ago from Dallas, Texas

Very interesting article. Thanks for the information. The age of privacy is soon coming to a close. There used to be anonymity, even with air travel, but that is totally over.


diogenes profile image

diogenes 2 years ago from UK and Mexico

These nosey asses should remind themselves that as they look into the abyss, the abyss is also looking into them. A lot of crap governments got away with 20 years ago is prevented in 2013 by them being exposed by nerds and hackers who are also skilled. They then end up on Twitter or face, etc.,

An eye opener of an article. I don't really care who looks into my life unless they use it to steal. My worst offence is using youporn a coupla times a week during a relaxing wank. So these wankers can't do much to me, I'm only interested in healthy adult sex.

I can even remember having some.

g'night dear

Bob xo


DDE profile image

DDE 2 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

Who Is Watching Us? Not Just Big Brother Anymore -- Mosaic Theory of Security & Surveillance is informative, and interesting. You have enlightened us on many great points.


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 2 years ago from Houston, Texas

I knew some of this but not everything. This hub should be a boon for sales of the February issue of Popular Mechanics! As Shyron stated, some of this is good but some of it is also scary if the data falls into the wrong hands. Up votes and pinning to my Do you know this? board. I do not see a share button.


Shyron E Shenko profile image

Shyron E Shenko 2 years ago

Au fait, everyone should be aware of the information in this article. I read the article you refer to in Popular Mechanics, in ways I find it comforting (i.e. if I were kidnapped and had my cell phone, I could be found quickly.) any other time it is no one's business where I go.

When a man backed into our car in the Kroger parking lot, his insurance company paid for the repairs. We had to take the car to Progressive Insurance. The mechanics took our car on the 121 toll way and did not pay a the toll fee. In the mail several weeks after the repairs, we received a bill for the toll fee with interest and a picture of our license was inclosed with that bill. I can't fault the Tollway Autohority. That is just the way it is. I don't like being under the microscope, but on the other hand there are some good points (can't think of any at the moment.)

Wonderful hub, voted up UAI, shared and pinned to Amazing HubPages.

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.


    Click to Rate This Article
    working