Smartphones are not just phones but measuring devices. Machines evaluate data, and create profiles of each person. Every internet user has its own folder where up to 3000 properties are stored. People do not understand what’s going on.
Yvonne Hofstetter (49) is a German lawyer, businesswoman, and writer. Since 1999, she has worked internationally in software companies dealing with MAGs for arms and automated trading. Since 2009, Teramark Technologies has been General Manager of Artificial Intelligence, industry 4.0 and what is called big data.
He now addresses the social and technical implications of digital transformation. He is interested in the relevant political and social problems in the digital world. Yvonne has published two books on the issue. The first book Sie wissen alles (They know everything: How Big Data penetrate into our lives and why we have to fight for our freedom) has become a bestseller in Germany. Another book Ende der Democracy (The End of Democracy: How Artificial Intelligence Takes Politics and Getting Rid of Us) was published in autumn 2016.
Hofstetter criticizes the large-scale monitoring and mass gathering of easily accessible data and is one of the initiators of the EU’s Digital Rights Charter.
The author and expert on artificial intelligence in an interview with Austrian magazine Thema Vorarlberg said: “Internet giants have created their own documentation for each individual Internet user.”. Yvonne Hofstetter means that the mobile phone is “spy in the pocket of the coat” and wonder the naive ignorance of people.
Are you sending sensitive emails?
Compassionate things, like the handwriting of my new book, are sent only by regular mail. Otherwise, I will encrypt emails. Because absolutely everything we entrust to the Internet will spread further.
Absolutely everything. What you do, how you feel, and what you plan on, by Google, other search engines and social networks. Your data are profiled based on the information you enter into them. And once you get dressed up, you know how to behave in the future.
Make no illusions: Google is much more than just a search engine. Google is an international concern that combines a variety of cutting-edge technologies, including military, under one roof: artificial intelligence, military robots, drones, data glasses. Google has basically launched total surveillance.
It would be good if we took the Silicon Valley statement seriously. This means the abolition of democracy. The central concept of human dignity is self-determination. And if I denied self-determination to people, I do not need democracy – that’s what the technology giants understand. This is exactly what Google and other companies from Silicon Valley are targeting. They want people to take self-determination by manipulating them. These are their ideas, so the world should work!
Can you give an example?
Almost everyone has a smartphone. However, the smartphone is not a regular phone. It is a measuring device. To understand how this works, we can focus on hurricane research in the US where aircraft use sensors that measure everything and collect massive amounts of data. These data are collected and analyzed, making them a weather forecast, how fast, and strong the hurricane is on the east coast of the US. Same technology works for natural phenomena and for human society. In January 2007, Apple introduced sensors by launching the iPhone on the market. Since then, everyone has a spy on their own pockets.
Spy in your coat pocket?
It is well known that the smartphone includes a camera, microphone, phone and sensor that determines the location. The iPhones and other smartphones also feature sensors that you never thought of. In some, for example, a thermometer. They also can record sounds that are below the threshold of human perception. For example, such sounds are broadcast during specific TV ads. When watching TV, your smartphone usually lies somewhere nearby and can listen to what you are watching and immediately link it directly to your profile. It also records when you are calling and with whom. From these call metadata, what is your character is calculated. Are you reliable? Do you have depression? It’s not so much about the conversation content, but about when and with whom you were calling. It is not at all clear what everything was measured and saved by installed applications.
In your book, in a few places, you express an incomprehension over how a mindlessly interconnected world accepts total surveillance.
It is difficult to understand because the damage will be delayed. What I publish today on Facebook or I like will impact the future. It is often said: Everyone who has nothing to hide does not have to worry. This sentence is bad! Everyone should remove it from their vocabulary!
It is not a matter of digging in your past and seeing what you have done before. The past is insignificant. This is the future. Gross data is used to control your destiny! These large data processing concerts, these Internet and technology giants dream about global consumer control. They openly admit that they want to know who you are, what you think, what you feel in order to be able to intervene in your future in a targeted and manipulative way!
The consumer has to be controlled. When you make your data available, you make an unmanaged game. You leave the right to your future and your self-determination to others. You get rid of your rights. The right to act sovereignly on finances, to deal with sovereignty over sexuality, and not to discriminate against algorithms. We put it all into the hands of technological giants who manipulate with masses.
But who, please, would be interested in all this data?
Data is not evaluated by people but by machines. Creates profiles, profiles of each individual person. The corporations that produce these profiles need data, lots of data to achieve their goal of global consumer control.
The more data they get from the people, the better. Trading with international professional data brokers. Data is a raw material of the 21st century. Technological giants with this data want to transform society. They do it completely unregulated, it’s basically anarchy. In this context, information capitalism is talked about. It is a new form of capitalism that comes here as an ideology along with digitization. And here I ask you to really make no illusions…
In what sense?
Three years ago, it was announced that the American data broker Acxiom had in 2013 a documentation of 700 million Internet users. Among them were records of 44 million German users and probably the records of four or five million Austrians. This means that every person who has ever been on the Internet has a record profile. It’s the same as Stasi (a feared East German secret service). Each Internet user has his / her folder and holds up to 3000 individual properties for the person calculated by the algorithm by evaluating gross data. The problem is that people do not even know that this data and information exists. The records go somewhere and are further sold.
Large corporations buy this data for millions of euros or dollars. The data records are all. Whether you are dependable or depressing. Whether you are the owner of the house, how big your family is. How much you consume, whether you have a loan. Whether you are healthy. What sexual orientation do you have if you have a younger or older husband?
One example: If you are a man and Facebook you click on “I like it” on Britney Spears or Desperate Wives, then Facebook’s computer programs and algorithms come to the conclusion that you are highly likely to be homosexual. People on Facebook are clicking on “I like it” and do not know that they gather this information and derive new information from them.
Additionally, there is a tendency for more and more data to be collected cooperatively, that is, involuntarily. The problem already starts with cookies. They provide our computer with a unique identity (ID), a clear identification. Thanks to it, you are searchable throughout the internet. Facebook keeps track of you across the network, and you even do not have to be signed in. This will create a digital twin on the internet. You can not avoid this. You do not even know if these data are correct or wrong! You do not know your own documentation.
Is the technology being used coming from the arms industry?
Correctly. In the arms industry, these technologies have been used in the 1990s, in the form of so-called multisensor data fusion. Information is generated and based on this information control, controlled intervention is created. These methods have put the army into the economy. It improves and expands with huge investments. The Google Group has an annual Research & Development budget of $ 6-7 billion. In addition, there is a close corporal connection between the Pentagon and Google…
Europe is dependent on the United States. As the United States is acting, among other things, Edward Snowden has shown enough. We are utterly dependent on American technology! Most of us have an iPhone or maybe Samsung, but it is Google Android. You are using Whatsapp, Facebook, and Amazon. Everyone is in Silicon Valley, coming from a completely different legal and constitutional understanding, and it is actually implemented into their products.