‘Protecting our privacy is a losing game today — and this is why’

May 20, 2020
The CovidSafe app is the least of our worries when it comes to protecting privacy, says Barbara. Source: Getty Images

Privacy? What! You think you have privacy? Read on, oh carefree reader.

I’ll start with money. My bank knows exactly where I buy a coffee every day — tap and go (regular $4) — and where I shop and how much I spend. It keeps track of every bit of money going in and out of my accounts. My tax person would be a fount of knowledge money-wise too.

My phone knows every person I’ve contacted and for how long. It also knows where I go and how much petrol I’ve used.

My car knows how many kilometres I’ve travelled and tells me if something is amiss. That E-tag on the front windscreen keeps track of the highways I’ve been on and makes sure I’m charged accordingly. My Opal card knows where I’ve travelled on public transport. (That card is the only good thing about growing old, but you have to be fit enough to use it.)

The street cameras know what time I was wandering around and what I wore. Lord, why didn’t I dress with more care?

Pre-coronavirus, the local picture theatre knew what I’d seen and how old I am. Various theatres knew what shows I’d seen and what operas I’d been lucky enough to attend.

My doctor knows all the strange things about my insides and the chemist knows what medication I take for said insides. I’m so glad we’re covered in a layer of skin and can’t see in there.

My smart TV knows what I watch and for how long. Every now and then it tells me how many hours I’ve sat watching the darn thing. Lately it’s taken to suggesting things I may like. “You’ve watched ‘Unorthodox,'” it says. “Now you may like to watch …”. I’ve forgotten the suggestion already.

My gas/electricity supplier now tells me percentages of power I’ve used on what household appliances. It’s shocking to see that cooking can be as low as 2 per cent! Well, I’m a bit over cooking.

The local library knows what books I’ve borrowed and sends an email if I’m tardy returning them …

With all this access to our personal information, I’d hope the police have a much easier job these days solving crimes. Add in all the information the DNA has allowed and many more crimes can be solved. I’m quite surprised criminals do anything naughty at all.

Are you getting the hang of the concept of ‘privacy’? May as well microchip us at birth. It works for dogs and cats.

Since I turned my bedroom into a sort of bed sitting room and put the TV in there, my privacy is decreasing. Why put it there, you might wonder. Because that’s the room with the heating and cooling and a nice view. I figure out we all end up in bedsitters and I may as well have a go at it now.

My previous bedroom was too close to the people next door. So very close I swear I could hear the bloke change his mind.

I moved rooms, but now I suspect the smart TV is smarter than I am. And more watchful.

My son talked me into the smart TV. He says it is much easier and there is so much more to see and do and you just may want to stay home a bit seeing as winter is approaching. Stay home? What for?

Why not invest in Netflix as well, he suggests? I don’t think I get my money’s worth and yes I know its only $10 a month but still … I’m convinced it watches and listens in on my conversations.

Still concerned about losing your privacy to the CovidSafe app? Too late!

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Have you downloaded the CovidSafe app? If not, why not?

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