Newsletter 2022-08-05: big tech is watching you, goodreads giveway, a whole lot of free books and a funky music tip

Newsletter 2022-08-05: big tech is watching you, goodreads giveway, a whole lot of free books and a funky music tip

Title 'Koen's Bi-montly Mailing' against backdrop of white binary digits on blue background

Reflection of garden and street in lensBig tech is watching you!

I was torn between linking news of a dead spider repurposed as a robot arm gripper and the story about Amazon handing over footage from their cloud-connected smart doorbells to law enforcement without warrant or court order and without informing or obtaining consent from the doorbell's owners. The latter won out because it's such a worrying development. In doing so, Amazon did something that is normally the prerogative of a judge — to decide if and when surveillance data can be used by law enforcement.

More and more, for-profit companies are putting themselves above the law or even become the law. It's an age-old theme, explored in sci-fi even before eighties' movie hit Robocop, but it's taking on scary proportions now that citizens willingly put surveillance cameras in their houses and on their doorsteps, spying on their neighbours and streaming everyone's moves and conversations to big tech's central data warehouses. Scary stuff, and exactly the sort of thing I explored in DingDong by Zhumee, where I extrapolate where giving big tech this much power could ultimately lead to.