Do you think you’re safe? Take a look at this article from Tyler Elliot Bettilyon. We’re living through a decade that might have compelled George Orwell to lie in his famous 1984, which was published in…1949. The major difference is that today, we pay for the pleasure of allowing Big Brother into our lives.

I know, I know, the topic isn’t new—and it doesn’t stop at surveillance states like China, or the United States with its surveillance program, PRISM, which was denounced by Snowden. Similar surveillance policies are being unrolled in all of Europe (see: the 2017 Freedom on the Net report which condemned the rise of online censorship). And even if we start to squirm at the possibility of the militarization of data, the worst vulnerabilities are largely invisible (and the worst abuses are yet to come); each one of us is implicated, as is how we use the Internet and whether or not we understand anything that’s happening under the surface

Even if you think you’re not abusing anything, the modern world takes care of it for you (Social Security, banking transactions, impulse buys, smart refrigerators…). And according to Bettilyon, the Big Data revolution is only just starting to heat up.

So, are we all paranoid? Not really. Google employees threatened to quit en masse (and they’ve got skills that everyone is looking for!) if their company continued to collaborate with the Orlando police force on its facial recognition project. #goodjobteam Because even if technology is going to take over more and more of our private lives, accepting our new interconnected reality will be a process, and in no way a destination. The more we talk about data and the problems that can stem from it, the more that this general awareness will force us to solve them.

Learn more: “Paranoia is now a best practice” by Tyler Elliot Bettilyon, (Medium, September 2018)