Big Mother is Watching You

Racepoint Global

Written by Edward Armstrong, PR Client Manager, Racepoint Global UK

Remote controlled fertility chips, credit ratings judged on social media data, iris scanning of refugees and predictive policing based on facial recognition– corporations and governments are no longer Big Brother; they have become Big Mother, promising us care and protection.

Last month our client, Mozilla partnered with Tactical Tech ─both non-profit technology activists─ opened The Glass Room in London. The Glass Room was an interactive exhibition where the general public was able to find out more about their relationship with technology and how much their data is harvested, traded and analysed each and every day.

Built to resemble a clean white tech store, the space encouraged those walking past to come in and buy the latest products. However, those looking for the new iPhone (a regular request) soon found themselves drawn into a series of installations which showed that the only thing for sale was them.

The installations covered a variety of companies and pieces of technology, with the below visual representation of how much money Apple has in reserve, alongside its reported unpaid tax bill that dwarfs the amount of budget given for refugee aid by the European Council, the BBC annual budget and the UK’s entire transport spending.

Other pieces also looked at how it takes over eight hours to read through the terms and conditions for a Kindle, DNA profiling companies that share data with pharmaceutical companies, London Underground travel data being shared with military technology firms and facial recognition software being used to track citizens– all of which lives and breathes behind the convenient daily services we use every day for free. 

The exhibition has concluded, but you can experience the full installation in VR here:

Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.