I went downstairs for an afternoon snack recently to find my father installing a new light switch in the kitchen. Only it wasn’t a regular light switch. It was an Amazon light switch of some sort, so on top of being able to turn on the light, it had an Alexa built-in.
I don’t trust Alexa. And I didn’t think my father did either. Yet here we are. I think it’s very creepy. It’s not even about Amazon, it’s about the fact that there’s this device always listening. It’s in the kitchen, the hub of the house, and I don’t care that now we can listen to the radio from the light switch. This better not be a gateway drug for my father to turn our whole house into an automated ‘smart’ hellscape.
Alexa and Amazon aren’t the only things I don’t trust.
I don’t trust Roombas either. Like Alexa, they’re handy, but I don’t like the fact that they know your floor plan. They know what furniture you have and where. They know your doorways and where you are. The newer versions of Roomba collect this data to better improve the robot’s movements and cleaning capabilities, and I don’t like it. Does the company just have files of house maps saved on some server somewhere? What could they do with that?
I don’t trust mobile banking. I do online banking, but only from my one laptop. I don’t want apps tracking me and my money from my phone. Additionally, I don’t trust Apple Pay or any form of digital credit card. Phones are lost and stolen so often, and though it’s never happened to me, I don’t want to take that risk. Not to mention that I don’t want Apple having that information in the first place. I don’t care that it’s easier to make purchases or e-transfers, I’d rather feel safer when it comes to my literal life savings.
I don’t trust Instagram ads or products (mostly). I don’t know why, but Instagram in particular feels like such a scummy place in terms of shopping and ads, which is unfortunate because a lot of honest businesses and creators use it. I know there are good and honest products and stores on there, but so many that I see just have such bad vibes. I just feel like any product being promoted is some fast-fashion/poorly made literal scam. Luckily, I’m not one for online shopping, so I’m not too concerned about this personally affecting me.
Do I have trust issues? Maybe. But I don’t feel bad about it. Can you blame me for being a bit skeptical about some of the pervasive tech around us? We live in a screwed up world, and I’m trying my best to keep myself safe (Related: this post about online privacy).
Or maybe I’m just being overly paranoid. What are you distrusting of?