Thanks to my friend Jim Calloway for sending me this post from Wired and suggesting that I blog about it.
When Apple announced its new phones, Apple Watch and Apple Pay, it was really the beginning of introducing you not only to products, but to the Apple ecosystem. Apple (and others) want to touch every aspect of your life - you will (if they have their way) live your entire life interacting with computers.
I can't describe it any better than the author of the post who narrated the beginning of your day:
"Imagine it is the morning, six months from now. You wake up as your Hue lights come alive, thanks to a setting in Apple’s HomeKit which also tells your Honeywell thermostat to turn on the heat. You want a quick breakfast, and head out for a run. Your Apple Watch tracks how far and fast you go, checks your pulse and counts your calories. It knows where you went, how many hills you climbed, and calculates how it measures up to your personalized fitness goals.
Back home, you select a podcast of the morning’s news from iTunes, which starts playing over the Sonos hardware you’ve installed throughout your house. As you walk from room to room, iBeacons follow you, as does the audio. Just then, your boss calls. You answer, and the call audio is routed over your home Wi-Fi network. As you walk to your car, it swaps seamlessly to LTE. You turn the key, and suddenly the call is playing over the speakers. Hang up, and the podcast picks up again where it left off. As you pull out of the driveway, your lights switch off, as does the heat.
On the way to work, you notice your calves are sore from the run. You ask Siri for a drugstore, and she directs you to a nearby Walgreens where you grab some Advil. You tap your watch on a terminal at the counter and Apple Pay debits your credit card. That reminds you. You raise your wrist and the watch springs to life. You ask Siri if there are any good Thai places close to the office. There are! You make a reservation on OpenTable with your Apple Watch (later, you’ll use the same app to pay for your dinner, too).
When you get to the office, your watch makes a note of where you park your car. You step out and take a deep breath. Your heart rate picks up just a bit as you glance at your wrist to see what awaits you today. Your watch notices, and sends it all to HealthKit. Good morning. It’s 8 a.m."
Not everyone will join the Apple ecosystem, but many will. And as they are drawn into it, few will realize how much privacy they have surrendered. Few will probably care. But Apple will know a lot about you - and there will be records of its knowledge on your own devices and/or at Apple. That knowledge may simply leak out through breaches - or it could translate into potential evidence - for law enforcement, the government and litigants in private suits.
I smiled at the author's conclusion: "The Apple ecosystem is like a swamp. The more we interact with it, the deeper we are drawn into it.Fortunately, it is a very lovely swamp."
Just as in real life, swamps are dangerous places . . .