4 Reasons Why Big Tech Is Hazardous to Our Lives

The ability of major corporations to monitor and manipulate our almost every move is becoming more and more real by the day. No, I am not some Luddite advocating an abandonment of the wonderful advancements of technology we enjoy (like the computer I am typing on right now). I am, however, very concerned about the rapid constriction of liberty in our country, due in part to the almost monopolistic control by the "Big Five" high-tech corporations (Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon, and Microsoft).

Even Hollywood sees a problem here, and recently produced "The Circle" (starring Tom Hanks and Emma Watson), which addresses the very real march of Big Tech erasing our privacy and taking over our lives:

Here are four reasons why we all should be concerned about the awful power amassed by Big Tech:

1. They are spying on us.

Call me naive, but it was always an assumption as I was growing up that it was illegal for our government to spy on us. I do not ever remember thinking that a corporation would spy on us. And of course, it never occurred to us that Americans would willingly use machines that would enable corporations to collect more data on us than the federal government could ever have. But that is exactly what has been happening for the past fifteen years (or more) with the rapid expansion of our usage of the Internet.

If you use Gmail, or if you use Google as your search engine, every click of the keyboard, even if you "delete" it, is permanently recorded by Google. Everything you have ever looked up is stored forever on their search engines. And now we actually purchase spies and set them up in our homes! They are called "Alexa."

One man was even able to listen, through Alexa, to over a thousand recordings of another person's "private" conversations. A link was "accidentally" sent to him, and of course this was "human error" that would "never happen again." Sure. And yet, people buy Alexa (which is nothing more than a data-mining tool) to record every single word and activity that it can possibly record ... and send it back to "headquarters." Feel good about that? (Here's another story about the same kind of thing.)

So even if we don't have something like an Alexa in our home, do our smartphones spy on us? We know they are tracking devices. Facebook tracks every picture or article you click on. It also uses facial recognition. Why would Facebook use facial recognition? If Mark Zuckerberg puts tape over the camera of his computer, maybe he knows something he is not admitting.

2. They are censoring us.