19 Shocking Truths About the Ever-Present Surveillance State

Explore 19 shocking truths about the surveillance society we live in. These revelations will make you rethink your privacy and the extent of governmental oversight.

“A Chinese public toilet has started using facial recognition to make sure that the same person does not take more than his share of toilet paper. The dispenser remembers the user’s face, only giving more paper to the same person once every 9 minutes.”

A Taiwanese start-up Bistro has created facial recognition software for cats. “A cat doesn’t speak for themselves, that’s why we need Bistro to speak for them,” founder Mu-Chi Sung explained. “With Bistro you get notified [via the app] if a change in feeding occurs.”

“Target’s tracking algorithms figured out a teen girl was pregnant before her father did. Using intimate details about consumption patterns, target has figured out how to data-mine its way into the womb and figure out whether a baby is on the way long before you need to start buying diapers.”

“Kroger uses infrared sensors to track customers in their stores; an algorithm then decides how many checkout lines need to be open to reduce wait times.”

“Some malls in Canada are using facial recognition technology in their directories to track and identify shoppers without notification.”

“Facial recognition algorithms in use by Facebook outperforms those in use by the FBI.”

“When Mark Zuckerberg created Facebook in 2004, he bragged about people trusting his site with personal information. He called the users ‘dumb f—s’ for trusting him.”

“Certain patterns and correlations in eye-tracking data may reveal the user’s [gender], age, ethnicity, personality traits, drug-consumption habits, emotions, fears, skills, interests, s—l preferences, and physical and mental health.”

“The US National Security Agency built 15-20 spy rooms at AT&T. Former NSA analysts report calls ‘sucked up by the millions’ and ‘massive’ internet data mining.”

When asked about privacy, Google CEO Eric Schmidt once told CNBC that “If you have something that you don’t want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn’t be doing it in the first place.”

“Spies can eavesdrop on a conversation from hundreds of feet away, just by watching a light bulb’s vibrations through a telescope.”

“London is one of the most surveilled cities on the planet, with 51,000 CCTV cameras. On average, a Londoner is captured on camera 300 times a day. The other cities with the most cameras are Beijing, Chicago, New York and Chongqing, China.”

“Most states allow security cameras in dressing rooms, some behind two way mirrors.”

“In 2013-16, data of around 3 Billion Yahoo! users was leaked, making it the largest data breach in history. Even if the most significant breach occurred in 2013, the company announced it in late 2016.”

“The inventor of the pop-up ad later admitted he was sorry for creating it, and believes its creation started a path that lead to the mass surveillance of the internet.”

“Marketing firm Exactis leaked over 340 million records of personal information on public unprotected servers (data including but not limited to age and gender of children, addresses, pets, smoking habits, etc) and this breach affects nearly every single American.”

“A casino’s database was hacked through a smart fish tank thermometer.”

According to Harvard University, “face recognition technologies that are inherently biased in their accuracy can misidentify suspects, incarcerating innocent Black Americans” when used in the context of criminal justice.

“PRISM is a code name for a program under which the United States National Security Agency (NSA) collects internet communications from various U.S. internet companies.”

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