If you are one of those 20th-century throwbacks who worry about Big Brother and privacy, worry no more. It’s not Big Brother that’s listening – it’s Facetime. Apple even acknowledges as much, though it calls this latest invasion of your privacy a “bug” that needs to be fixed. Oh, and they’re working on it.
So, here’s the skinny: Let’s say you are calling little Jimmy, your grandson who lives in Texas. You open your Facetime or video-calling app. You swipe up to add a person and enter your own phone number. That action automatically answers the call for person number one and permits others to eavesdrop.
This Tweet demonstrates the problem:
— Benji Mobb™ (@BmManski) January 28, 2019
Dang, who needs the NSA when you’ve got Facetime?
Sometimes it’s helpful to go back to basics:
pri· va· cy | \ ˈprī-və-sē, especially British ˈpri-\
Definition of privacy
1a: the quality or state of being apart from company or observation: SECLUSION
b: freedom from unauthorized intrusion
…you are being observed from every which way but loose.
If we review the definition of privacy, we see that it is a state of being apart from observation. And therein lies the problem. If you are on Facetime, you automatically may be under observation. But let’s not stop with Apple. There are plenty of privacy snatchers to go around. How about Google, which has faced “allegations ranging from improper data mining to political censorship,” according to Liberty Nation’s Laura Valkovic.
Then there’s Facebook, where your privacy is “guaranteed to be compromised,” according to LN’s Kelli Ballard. That was another “oops” that “affected more than 50 million user accounts,” wrote Ballard, “and gave access to personal account information, including email addresses and phone numbers as well as control over a user’s account.”
You don’t have to be a tin foil hat conspiracy theorist to recognize that you are being observed from every which way but loose. Even your automatic Roomba vacuum cleaner is picking up more than just dirt off your floor. As reported by Liberty Nation back in 2017, the Roomba collects data on the floor plan of your home, whether you use it when you are home or away, and many other invasions of the privacy kind. Who cares if someone has a floor plan of your home? How about local thieves or perhaps even the FBI?
Privacy Snatchers Abound
Your privacy is being invaded multiple times every day, and while most of us simply shrug it off as the cost of technology, it’s imperative that the public hold tech giants like Apple accountable for so-called “bugs.”
After all, the American public is dealing with things like spyware, cookies, and constant electronic monitoring: Going through a red light? Nabbed by the traffic cam. Driving through a toll booth? Be sure to wave to the camera. Heading in or out of a large building? Bet your bottom dollar you are being electronically observed. Withdrawing money from an ATM? Smile, you’re on candid camera.
Privacy snatchers abound in our culture today, and for the most part, there isn’t much we can do about it. Apple acts surprised and shocked by this latest revelation that anyone can listen to your Facetime conversation. Is there anyone out there who believes Apple didn’t know about this? If so, there’s this really nice piece of swampland for sale…