This is a pun on words that came to my mind after I learnt about Yanzi Zhu's efforts to tell the world about a new technology that was and is being used to unknowingly scan the area around a smartphone, laptop, home router, or anything with the right sensors to track this data. The pun comes from the word "zoeker", which means "seacher" or "seeker" in Dutch.
This technology allows its user to see literally through walls, and with millimeter precision if using 5g. I've been subject to its tests on 3 and 4g and have asked to be exempted from this type of scanning, as it is extremely invasive to one's privacy. Just think about what a hacker could do to you when they combine this with what they know about you online, and you too will start wondering what happened to legislation.
If parties tell you they are unable to stop their Adversarial WiFi Sensing practice, make sure that they use a Diffuse Field so as not to target points with their waves, as the overlapping waves create something we call Constructive Interference. Read more about it here, here and here.
Adversarial WiFi sensing is dangerous for many reasons, but let me name a few:
- Someone else may know your entire private space,
- They could infer what you write or type, including passwords,
- If you are sensitive to it, you may feel stressed or altered because of it.
I, for one, have asked to turn off all such invasive practices because, well, I don't like my passwords getting stolen nor do I like the way I change because of this constant involuntary connectedness. I miss having real people around me.
Just like it is sometimes hard to get used to changing habits, it could be refreshing to stop this endless data stream about your personal life. If you've gotten used to it, chances are that the companies doing it have thought up bonuses for you when you stay with them and their ways of doing it. "Why are they doing this?", you might ask. Currently, the method they use brings in money for them. Sometimes, this is a major source of income for them, and often it is their partners who earn shocking amounts from this gig.
The thing is, companies that facilitate this technology have absolutely no obligation to help you out with your problems because of it, because you never consented to it and should preferably not know about how they know everything about you. Why? Then they can't sell your data underground anymore. Think about it, can such a technology be legal, if the subject never consented to its practice? What if people start doing experiments who haven't learnt enough about statistics? Or worse, when the people who can access this information the most easily, start playing games with the people under them?
This is why I decided to let go of all systems that depend on a continuous stream of invasive data. This is such big business now, that it became stupid for people not to join in. Next thing you know, cookies are starting up as small OSes that can run all sorts of things on your device. It is important to keep track of tech for this reason. Many tech bosses think of you as a money-supplying puppet, ignorant of what is really happening. And they're so good at it they've made most of their consumers just that.
What tech companies should do, is bring a product worth paying for. If stealing data is involved, it is mostly because the company is unable to get enough revenue by itself. This data can easily be sold to account for enough funds to keep the company running. Why are many platforms free, you ask. Think of it as taking a break from Facebook to see what the world is really like. This might mean losing some of your protection, so be careful. But at least you will understand how the world works a bit better.