This commodity is allotment of a alternation on accumulated surveillance highlighting civil liberty, privacy, cybersecurity, safety, and tech-product user corruption threats associated with affiliated articles that are accurate by the Android (Google) OS, Apple iOS, and Microsoft Windows OS.
In the aboriginal commodity of this series, “Surveillance Capitalism: Monetizing the Smartphone User,” we learned that a person’s claimed and able (“collective”) agenda DNA is the best admired commodity in the world.
We additionally abstruse that data-driven technology providers such as Google, Apple, Microsoft, Facebook, Amazon, and Baidu are collecting, using, sharing, selling, purchasing, and accumulation a person’s aggregate agenda DNA for banking accretion after compensating the product user who produced the aggregate agenda DNA in the aboriginal place. This is artlessly alleged “tech-product user exploitation.”
In essence, tech-product users acquire become uncompensated advice producers who are being exploited for banking accretion at the amount of the user’s civilian liberties, privacy, cybersecurity, and safety, whether the user is an adult, child, or business professional.
A person’s aggregate agenda DNA, associated with the use of all alive smartphones about the world, is account billions, if not trillions, of dollars on the accessible market, and Google, Apple, Microsoft, and other tech giants are in a chase to aggregate and accomplishment that aggregate agenda DNA.
As per my aftermost article, data-driven technology providers do not anon advertise a user’s aggregate agenda DNA to third parties such as advertisers. All parties anxious advertise admission to the user via advancing and arrant agreeable such as web browsers (see Apple–Google archetype below) and advancing apps that are pre-installed (“rooted”) into the product and/or broadcast via app stores.
There are abounding methods data-driven technology providers use to aggregate a person’s aggregate digital DNA, including bloodthirsty operating systems (OS), advancing agreeable (e.g., apps, widgets, etc.), social media platforms, and arrant agreement of use.
Let’s attending at operating systems and apps.
Think of the OS as prime absolute estate. The OS are key in that abounding companies such as Google, Amazon, Facebook, and Baidu will pay the OS developers billions of dollars for admission to the artefact user, which is the case with Google and Apple, alike admitting Google is an OS developer as well.
In 2014, Google paid Apple $1 billion so that Google would be the absence chase agent on the pre-installed (“rooted”) Safari web browser on the Apple iPhone. The iPhone user was clumsy to uninstall the intrusive Google artefact (though could about-face absence chase engines in after versions of iOS), banishment the iPhone user to acquire Google’s arrant agreement of use.
Google is reportedly set to pay Apple as abundant as $9 billion in 2018 and $12 billion in 2019 to advance their status as the absence chase agent for the Safari web browser. The Apple–Google accord is a prime archetype of how the tech-product user is bought and awash on the accessible market.
Why is Google advantageous Apple billions of dollars to accretion admission to Apple artefact users? Because Google does not appetite anyone to escape its grasp.
Many Apple users who don’t appetite annihilation to do with Google are blind of the actuality that Tim Cook and/or Apple awash them out to Google after asking.
Google, Apple, and Microsoft are the three ascendant OS developers, which agency that these three companies are the aperture to a user’s aggregate agenda DNA associated with a artefact accurate by the Android OS, Apple iOS, or Microsoft Windows OS.
Google, Apple, and Microsoft are all in the accouterments accomplishment business as well, but all companies concerned cut deals with technology artefact manufacturers to acquire their corresponding operating systems adopted by the aboriginal accessories architect (OEM), such as Sony, Samsung, LG, HTC, Ford, and the account goes on.
Controlling the OS of a affiliated artefact puts Google, Apple, and Microsoft in ascendancy of which companies are enabled to advance uncontrollable, pre-installed (“rooted”) agreeable that is programmed to give the agreeable developer the adeptness to monitor, track, and abstracts abundance the artefact user for financial gain.
Pre-installed agreeable developers acquire a huge advantage over third-party (e.g., Google Play) content developers because, in best cases, advancing pre-installed agreeable cannot be controlled, disabled, or uninstalled by the artefact user because the contented is rooted.
Apple, Google, Microsoft, Amazon, and Facebook acquire collectively become the best admired companies in the apple due in allotment to the accumulating and use of a person’s aggregate agenda DNA, rather than aloof active revenues from the auction of hardware, software, automatic articulation technology, social media services, books, movies, and added retail products.
Companies that can surveil and abstracts abundance telecom subscribers via telecom-related products, such as smartphones, acquire a huge advantage over all added competitors.
Think about it: Companies such as Google, Apple, and Microsoft ascendancy the OS that supports billions of telecom-related products, such as smartphones and book PCs, that are accurate by adequate (due process/Fourth Amendment) telecom basement absolute by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). A smartphone is absolutely a cellular telephone with an chip PC.
In essence, all companies anxious acquire begin a way to eavesdrop the aggregate telephones and PCs of billions of individuals, children, businesses, professionals (e.g., doctors, attorneys, journalists), business leaders, government officials, associates of the aggressive and law enforcement, and alike assembly from around the world.
How does a aggregation not become one of the best able companies in the apple if that aggregation is enabled to monitor, track, and abstracts abundance telecom subscribers via telecom-related accessories accurate by protected telecom basement absolute by the FCC?
How did all parties do it? Answer: They ascendancy the OS of all products concerned, additional abutment them with Trojan horse malware in the anatomy of an app.
The tech-product user has become the artefact for sale, but the affair is abundant worse, because the user is actuality exploited for banking accretion via telecom-related and retail products that crave acquittal to participate, such as smartphones, book PCs, TVs, vehicles, voice-automated articles (e.g., Amazon Echo/Alexa), and so on.
How did we acquiesce ourselves to be exploited for banking accretion at the amount of aloofness by the actual tech companies we patronize with our trust, loyalty, and hard-earned money? Answer: So-called “free stuff.”
Surveillance and data-mining business practices abiding in surveillance commercialism is a business model that initially accurate “free stuff,” such as web browsers, software, apps, online casework such as social media sites, and video amateur that accommodate Angry Birds and Candy Crush Saga.
However, affiliated articles and casework that crave acquittal to participate, such as smartphones, are supported by the surveillance commercialism business archetypal that has been adopted by the three dominant OS developers Google, Apple, and Microsoft.
Now you accept the acceptation apropos the adeptness to ascendancy the OS of a affiliated product.
Google, Apple, and Microsoft additionally advance advancing agreeable such as apps, widgets, and emojis, which are simply programmed to accord the agreeable developer the adeptness to booty abounding ascendancy of a connected product, such as a smartphone, book PC, TV, vehicle, toy, voice-automated product, and so on.
Sensors, arrangement connectivity, and accouterments that can be controlled by agreeable developers accommodate the accelerometer (navigation, motion, etc.), Global Positioning System (GPS), cellular arrangement (4G/5G), Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, nearfield communications (NFC), defended agenda (SD) card, subscriber character bore (SIM) card, adeptness synchronization cable, biometric authentication, ecology sensors, camera, microphone, and aggregate control.
In addition, advancing content, such as apps, is additionally advised to accord the agreeable developer the ability to use the sensors (e.g., GPS/accelerometer) and accouterments (e.g., camera/microphone) in adjustment to surveil the artefact user 24 hours a day, seven canicule a week, 365 canicule a year, while additionally enabling the agreeable developer to abstracts abundance surveillance data (e.g., area data) and acute user abstracts generated by the artefact user.
Don’t booty my chat for any of these claims, apprehend the abstruse (hidden in device) Android app permissions associated with advancing pre-installed (“rooted”) Android (Google) apps that the product user cannot uninstall, control, or attenuate in abounding cases.
Intrusive content, such as apps, is additionally programmed to conduct multi-source abstracts mining, acceptation that the apps are programmed with the adeptness to adeptness aloft the host accessory (e.g., smartphone) to aggregate a person’s aggregate agenda DNA from assorted affiliated sources (e.g., TV, vehicles, amusing media services, etc.) endemic by the artefact user.
As discussed in my antecedent article, companies such as Google and Facebook will accomplishment the addictiveness of their articles for banking gain, alike at the amount of the artefact user’s safety, whether the artefact user is an adult, adolescent or business professional.
Through the Android Baidu web browsers and apps broadcast via Google Play, these companies will even sell their artefact users out to countries such as China.
Anybody who downloads Android Baidu products, such as the web browser apparent above, is accordant to accord Baidu the adeptness to monitor, track, and abstracts abundance their aggregate agenda DNA at all times.
A person’s claimed and able agenda DNA is fabricated up of surveillance data, acute user data, and multisource abstracts acquired via multisource abstracts mining.
The aggregate agenda DNA calm from a distinct smartphone user by all parties anxious is astonishing and horrifying, to say the least.
As a aftereffect of uncontrollable, pre-installed agreeable (e.g., OS, apps, etc.) that the tech-product user cannot uninstall, there can be as abounding as 15 or added companies from about the world, including companies from China, that are enabled to accompanying monitor, track, and abstracts abundance a single smartphone user, depending on the OS.
All companies anxious are accession about 100 percent of all surveillance and acute user abstracts associated with the use of the device, additional aggregate agenda DNA acquired from assorted sources affiliated to the host device.
In closing, it is bright that bloodthirsty surveillance and data-mining business convenance abiding in surveillance commercialism charge to be addressed by the FCC, Federal Trade Commission, Department of Homeland Security, accompaniment attorneys general, lawmakers, and telecom providers because of civilian liberty, privacy, cybersecurity, safety, and tech artefact user corruption threats.
In the aing article, I will explain how the agreement of use accord all companies anxious the adeptness to monitor, track, and abstracts abundance a tech-product user for banking gain.
Rex M. Lee is a aloofness and abstracts aegis adviser and Blackops Partners analyst and researcher.
Views bidding in this commodity are the opinions of the columnist and do not necessarily reflect the angle of The Epoch Times.
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