The traitor on your skin (Android OS for wearables)

“You ask why we give our Ships’
Computers normal Emotions?
Do you really want a Warship
Incapable of Loyalty?
Or of Love?”
The Unshattered Allegiance, High Guard Frigate,
Artificial Intelligence Rights Activist, C.Y. 7309
Andromeda

Recently I read that Android is working on an operating system for wearable technology.

On the one hand, I am really looking forward to it. Whether it’s smartwatches or smart clothes, just having technology available … yeah, I like it. I even use an old iPod nano on a wristband to listen to Podcasts. The huge advantage is that the iPod-nano-watch is quickly accessible. When I met someone in the streets or reach the cashier in a store, I can just double click the on-button and the Podcast stops. Much more convenient than using an iPhone, getting it out of my pocket or fighting with the earphones cable.

But on the other hand, their advertisement for it makes me squeamish. They advertise it by stating that the information is there, right away, without even having to ask for it. This might sound extremely comfortable, but it gets scary when you look at what this entails. To give you the information right away without having to ask you, this operating system has to know you really well. And with a complete log of your movements, your activity on the device, on the net, etc. pp. it will know you extremely well. So it can predict where you are going. It might even one day make terribly astute observations.

It could really assist you, but more likely, it will sell you out.

An operating system that knows you so well to give you the information right away, without having to ask you, also knows you well enough to be of incredible value for companies. It can predict your needs and behaviors perfectly. It can tell them what you interests you and what you want. It can tell them what works on you, e.g., which stimuli catch and hold your interest. And much, much more.

If you think that “recommendations” based on the eMails you write and read in Google Mail are scary, well, then you have seen nothing yet. With wearable technology, technology gets really intimate.

And frankly, I don’t want Google, and the advertisers it caters to, to be that close.

Not unless I can ensure that this piece of software shows an undying loyalty to me, and not to its creators.

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