Turning

Subject:
Re: Privacy issues - with a phone? Really?!!

David Walser
Barry -- I have a similar device as your friend. Mine is a loop-recorder. Basically, it performs an continuous EKG and uploads the summarized data each night. It's a marvel what technology can do for us. Of course, as was pointed out, it is also scary what technology can do to us (or, more accurately, allow others to do to us).

Each of us needs to decide how much access to grant what can be invasive technologies. I'm not a fan of the 'internet-of-things', where ordinary appliances are connected to the cloud. We replaced our garage door opener a few years ago. It came with an option allowing me to connect it to our home network and through that network to connect with the manufacturer's website. This would allow me to check the status of our garage door while travelling and to close it if we'd left it open. It also would allow the manufacturer to track the opener's sensors and, perhaps, warn us of necessary maintenance before something broke. Unadvertised is the ability someone else would have to open our garage door without our permission -- by simply hacking the system. Our opener is NOT connected to our home network.

With regard to the Apple Watch, I'm intrigued by its growing health functions. There are several recorded cases where the Watch detected an irregular heart beat and alerted the user and/or his or her doctor in time for necessary care to be delivered. I didn't know it had the ability to determine if I'd fallen. Had this been around a few years ago, I would have insisted my mother wear one. She might even be alive today. On the day she died, she fell and hit her head. It took her a few hours to crawl to her phone to call me for help. Help then arrived within minutes. By then, a clot had formed in her lungs. It proved fatal.

So, again, there are plusses and minuses to all these new technologies. All the technologies have abused their access to our data. Others, through the courts, have gained access to information that traditionally would have been unattainable. We need better laws and we need to reward companies who safeguard our data. In this regard, of big tech, Apple (currently) seems to be doing a much better job than Google, Facebook, and Microsoft.

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