As we realize that everything we say and do is recorded and correlated to everyone we connect to, I see that I have almost 2,000 people in my address book. I don’t know 2,000 people.
I have made half-hearted attempts in the past to decrease that number to include only people I actually know – but it now occurs to me that everything I do on the phone or Internet affects you as well – and it isn’t my business to do that.
Example: If you have a gmail account, this will tell you a TINY fraction of what Google has retained about you since the day you opened your account: https://immersion.media.mit.edu/ .
EVERY ENTITY you deal with tracks EVERY transaction and provides it, willingly or unwillingly, to the government. So if I have ever communicated with you, it’s logged somewhere – ALL of it, not just the metadata.
EVERY ISP tracks EVERY email; every phone company tracks EVERY phone call; every credit or debit card transaction is entered and correlated. In addition to the GPS in your phone, which is federally mandated, even your car autonomously tracks you.
Everytime you walk, bike or drive by a traffic signal your face is photographed and indexed. Every piece of Postal mail or FEDEX/UPS you send or recieve has been photographed and stuffed into the database. It is then crossed to any picture you have ever had taken for an ID card, drivers license, passport, or have posted on the Internet – and THAT information is crossed to make a map of everyone you know and, by extension, everyone THEY know. It is also crossed to every purchase you make except cash transactions, and even those are typically photographed – ATM machines, for instance.
Twenty years ago this technology wasn’t available but it is now and the effort involved in collecting and indexing it has become trivial and automatic. Such collection is not designed to protect you from the terrorist boogymen, or to keep you safe. It is designed to keep YOU under control and it is working.
I cannot help you escape from the Matrix. We are beyond that. But I can remove you from my contact list. I doubt that doing so will serve any purpose in the grand scheme, but I shall make the offer through the kind offices of MailChimp.