1. There have been many privacy issues recently, especially with large companies like Google. Google introduced an application called Google Goggles not too long ago, that allows you to take a picture with a smart phone and search the internet for matches. “The companies executives decided to exclude a facial-recognition feature, which they feared might be used to find personal information on people who did not know that they were being photographed,” read the article “Computers That See You and Keep Watch Over You” by Steve Lohr. Although Google decided against facial-recognition, other companies may come out with something similar and include it. The fact that this is possible, is scary enough. Google’s Street View service can also cause a privacy issue. Some people don’t want their house to be viewed by others. Also, while collecting images for Street View, WiFi signals could be intercepted, getting passwords, bank accounts, and other private information.
Many companies use current technology to manipulate the public’s opinion. Websites such as Facebook, Wikipedia, Twitter, Yahoo, ect. always have advertisements on them to try to persuade the public to buy products, or agree with something. Advertisements also show up in emails, phone calls, mail, and newspapers. An example of this from the article “Advertising Techniques” would be, “A TV commercial or print ad that promises to lower the risk of a heart attack with the drug Lipitor is using “problem / solution” or perhaps “fear” as the chief persuasive technique. In that context, the technique has persuasive energy with older citizens, those who are aware they are at risk of heart disease.” Advertisers can exaggerate the good aspects of a product, or minimize the risks of the same product.
2. From the article “University Attendance Scanner”, Rachel Brackett says that she doesn’t like hos the school could track where she is in a “Big Brother way.” She feels as though college students shouldn’t have to be monitored as if they are still in high school. By scanning an ID before every class, teachers and administrators are similar to Big Brother by knowing where students are at all times, and making sure that they are doing what they are supposed to. Some companies are trying a new program to track facial expressions to see how the public people react to products, movie trailers, and full movies. This is not unlike Big Brother from “1984” who watches everyone’s actions and expressions with telescreens.
3. These topics will have a considerably large impact on me. I wasn’t aware of so many current privacy issues. Before I apply for a job or to colleges, I will make sure that my Facebook and Twitter profiles are both private. I will also be more careful in what I post on the internet, such as phone numbers, addresses, places of work, or where I go to school.
So, to answer the question ‘Was Orwell right about the future?’, I would say that, in a way, he was right. Our society is basically being watched all the time, and persuaded by propaganda, by multiple companies and agencies.