|Melissa 17 December 2017
||Susanna 23 December 2017
Wednesday 20 December 2017, Amsterdam #4
Tomorrow it will be work as well so I already planned on not going to the Aquarelle club evening tomorrow.
My head is right now in two modes, kind of. Either I am thinking about portraits or electronics. Next week it was planned that I would give a class about portraiture at Aquarelmere. It is a really interesting subject and I know a lot about it so that would be nice. Now the thing is that most people could not come on 28th of December so we decided to schedule my portrait class another time. Then I was thinking that I would write up a small page about it and distribute it to the club. So that is what I am thinking about. What to say and why and how people will receive it etc.
Then there is the electronics side. I finished the coaster project. At first, I thought it would be nice to make a YouTube movie about it but then I was thinking that it is not easy to put together suitable film material about the coaster project so I decided on creating a post about it on the Arduino.cc forum. That was well received, I got two likes. For a newbie that is ok. That implied that my list of places on the Internet grew with one item.
While I was working on the coaster project I contemplated about the production of PCBs. It would be nice to be able to create PCBs at home but preferably without the nasty chemicals. There are no cheap solutions to this as it looks like right now.
In a moment I enter Amsterdam with the train. I go by tram to PCH. There I passed the Tesla showroom. I wonder how they get the car in there. Cannot see any doors? At least not any doors where they can drive in the cars straight?
Now I finished a working day at the office in Amsterdam. I am on my way home. My train leaves 7 minutes past 18 and I am sitting in the hall of the train station in Amsterdam. It is a lot of people here. There are pillars with benches in the hall. The bench is made of steel. It is winter so you need to have a very isolated bottom to not bother about this bench. I have a cushion so I am sitting comfortably!
When do I see all these people around me I am wondering: How is the world going? Should we be bothered about what happens around us? Wait, I need to get on my train… Ok, now I am on my train. My own seat and a tray in front of me!
Where were we? Is there a secret that all these people are unaware of?
Are we at all worried about how information about us is collected by huge companies such as Google, Microsoft, and Facebook? What is done with the information? How is the information monetized? You just need a little bit of imagination to figure out that it is possible to collect a vast amount of data of every person's life.
Suppose there is a register of every search you have done ever in Google. The entire history. Everything neatly stored in a table with your name on it. Not only the things you searched for at work but all the searches you did at home from your home computer and mobile phone. All neatly stored with your name and the date and time and the search query. Now suppose for every search query there is a list of the pages you visited as a result of the search. Then if you ordered something from a company it is also stored what you ordered and for how much.
Then when you receive the package or go on that trip you ordered all the details as for when you leave, what flight you take or when you receive the package. Then all the emails to customer support or hotels as well as GPS location of your trip to and from the hotel. If you went to the airport by car and your car has a tracking system then that is also stored somewhere, not necessarily at Google but it is stored, be sure of that.
Then if you ordered something like an internet of things product all the usage information of that product is also known. On top of these things, you upload photos with GPS information and you WhatsApp to friends and family so all your network is fully registered. When you make a call with your mobile it is registered to whom you called. Then you have customer benefit cards in your valet that you use and when you use these your purchases are also monitored. Then you travel by car and the license number is registered at toll roads and car parks. You use public transport with a personal card that store location for check-in and check-out. You go to the doctor to get medicine and all your medical information is stored in a database that you can hope is not stored in the cloud. You log in to hundreds of company portals, local transport, clubs etc. and you are sloppy with your passwords and use the same passwords for all of them. Or do you have a unique password for every service you ever used online?
You enter a shop and you use one of these self-service terminals that you bring with you around in the shop and register the purchases yourself. Every step you take is registered. Are you hesitating in front of the shelf with wines? How was your path around the shop?
Now you decided on an anonymous shop benefits card but you pay with your regular bank card. Do you think that the anonymous card is still anonymous when you pay with your full identity?
Also, persons not actively making part of modern society are monitored. Let us call him uncle Harry. He got no mobile phone. But all his relatives got one. They take photos of family dinners with Harry and tag his face and upload these photos with GPS information and face tag to Facebook.
Do you think that information stays within Facebook? Everything got a price also uncle Harrys face. Every surveillance camera in the city where Harry lives can easily recognize the face of Harry and create a map of the movements of Harry.
When you figured out that everything you do in your spare time is monitored that is the perfect moment to realize that everything you do at work is also available. When you entered a car park. All the company information is stored in the cloud. Your search behavior at work is connectable to your private personality.
Should we be worried? The experts are saying we should be worried. As long that all of us are on the same side there are not many problems. When we are on different sides then this information can be used.
Is it possible to manipulate democracies with this information?
The thing is that the experts on this, do you think they are willing to step out from the shadows and inform us about this? No.
They day after I also worked in Amsterdam but I did not blog anything about it but I uploaded a couple of the images I took, here on this page.
I was born 1967 in Stockholm, Sweden. I grew up in the small village Vågdalen in north Sweden. 1989 I moved to Umeå to study Computer Science at University of Umeå. 1995 I moved to the Netherlands where I live in Almere not far from Amsterdam.
Here on this site I let you see my creations.
I create, that is my hobby.