If you never heard the term Survphobia, don't worry, it is a term I created! Survphobia is the fear of surveillance through data collected from your phone, laptop, IoT device or any electronic device you own.
Surveillance has been around for a long time and it's mainly used for good. Governments use it for intelligence gathering, prevention of crime, the protection of a process, person, group or object, or the investigation of crime.
It is also used by criminal organizations to plan and commit crimes, and by businesses to gather intelligence on their competitors, suppliers or customers.
Good or Bad, it didn't affect ordinary people. That was until the mobile phone came along, and now, more recently IoT devices.
It's mainly not used for evil. It's used to profile you and sell goods to you through marketing, or at least that's what they tell us.
The truth is:
If a company is tracking your location, purchases and websites and cataloguing your emails and photos, you are under surveillance.
Not focused monitoring but surveillance none the less. And we don't mind.
We don't read terms and conditions; we don't read privacy policies, and we accept paying for corporations services with our data.
As the saying goes:
If you are not paying for the service, you are the product
Yes, you can use VPN's and Brave Browser
and all the 3rd party applications in the world. But your phones OS can intercept everything before it gets to those applications, and most services are not open-source. We hope they are honest, even though we know about the Facebook scandal, zero-day android hacks, Google saying iPhone has security flaws, etc.
In the end, we use these services because they are good, and the data they are collecting is not visible to us.
Don't see, don't know and don't care.
The moment you allow people to see what they are selling, who is buying and at what price, that's when Survphobia creeps in.
I experienced Survphobia with Sweatcoin.
Sweatcoin is an app that needs your GPS location to count your steps. Steps are converted into StepCoin which can be used to redeem some promotions.
One day I close the app by mistake and get this message.
I read before starting to use the app that they don't sell data, but I decided to learn more.
On a blog, they state:
Easy. Our brand partners pay us to be featured in our marketplace. Why? Because they want to connect with people like you. We select brands, products, and experiences with you in mind, that we think you’ll love.
provide the Services (using our own systems and those of appropriate third party service providers);
From time to time we may transfer the data we store and use to locations outside the European Economic Area, some of which may have different data protection laws to the UK or the EU, or no data protection laws. In all such cases, we transmit such information only to entities that comply with this policy and applicable law.
collect or harvest any information or data from the Sweatcoin App or SweatCo Website(s) for any commercial purpose, save as otherwise agreed in writing by us.
I could go on.
Why is this turned into bashing Sweatcoin
Sweatcoin is actively tracking me, and I know what it's tracking, so I felt Survphobic.
Am I alone?
No, people I know have also expressed the same feeling with SweatCoin, and it's something new.
Never before, as users, have we been given this option and active position relative to our data. It has always been not clearly disclosed ultimatum by big corporations.
Everyone knows we take data; you can trust us OR you can't use our service.
I believe Survphobia will be an obstacle for user data marketplaces to be successful because it's an entirely new beautiful situation. We have the power to say NO.
Do you think Survphobia could be a thing, let me know your thoughts on Twitter @mikhaelsantos, and feel free to Tip this page with BAT.
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