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Save and Punish

Society in Data Prison

by Lobe, Adrian

The smartphone counts our steps, the smart watch measures our heart rate, the smart home detects cigarette smoke and swear words. Finally, it would seem, helpful machines surround us to take care of us and make our lives easier. Not quite – instead, they lead us into a data prison of our own making.

The snazzy gadgets of big tech companies constantly document our movements, what we say, write and think. Everywhere we install microphones, cameras and sensors that observe us 24/7 – penitentiary style. In a sense, every time we hit save, every time we are biometrically identified, we are put under arrest. Technology puts us into a prison that does not require walls, with Siri, Alexa and Cortana as history’s friendliest wardens. Adrian lobe, on the basis of many examples from our technologized everyday life, draws the portrait of the real dystopia that is society in data prison.

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