Every year, we give up a little more of our privacy to big tech corporations.
This happens in a lot of little ways: feeling more comfortable letting a smart device into our home, giving more access to information about ourselves to social media platforms (or discovering to our shock how much info they had been collecting this whole time), letting our phones track us. Each of these little things doesn't feel like a lot when it happens — we might be surprised, but eventually we get used to it. Tech pushes the limits of what we feel okay with just a few inches at a time, and we don't notice until we look back that "the line" has moved miles.
This year was no exception. Let's look back and see all the ways big companies chipped away at our privacy bit by bit in 2017.
1. Equifax had a data breach that affected 145 million Americans, lol.
2. Amazon announced "Amazon Key", where the delivery person can leave the package inside your home.
3. Oh yeah, and the camera for the Amazon Key? It can be hacked.
4. We discovered that Twitter has been guessing our gender and age all along.
5. People found Sean Spicer's Venmo account, because it turns out there's no such thing as a "private" Venmo account.
6. Someone found a spycam in their Airbnb, which, lol.
7. Google Maps for iPhone has been keeping a log of everywhere you go throughout the day on your "Timeline".
8. Google Home Mini had a flaw that caused it to always listen to you.
9. Uber had a massive customer data breach, and didn't tell anyone for a year.
10. Imgur was hacked back in 2014 and only found out just now.
11. Apple asked us to teach our iPhone X's to recognize our face.
12. Someone says they can hack the iPhone X's FaceID using a mask.
13. And the facial recognition for the Samsung phone seems to be able to be tricked by a photo.
14. Marketers on Facebook are using "psychographic" techniques to target ads.
15. Cloudflare had a bug that leaked passwords from OkCupid, Yelp, Medium, Fitbit, and more.
16. TV ads hijacked Google Home smart speakers to sell you burgers.
17. Netflix reminded everyone through this joke tweet that it has the ability to track user viewing habits at a highly granular level.
18. India finally made its fingerprint and retina scanning ID system mandatory for everyone.
19. Amazon in India wants to use that biometric ID to track packages.
20. So do Uber and Airbnb...
21. US intelligence has been illegally overreaching by snooping into citizens' financial records.
22. Facebook wants you to send it your nudes so it can block other people from posting those nudes as revenge porn.
23. Facebook has been using your phone's contacts to create a "shadow profile" with people who have you in their email or phones.
25. And ICE is asking tech companies like Microsoft to build tools to let them track visa holder's social media.
26. Google introduced Clips, a camera that is ALWAYS ON and automatically takes photos.
27. Amazon introduced Show, which makes video call "drop ins" to other people with a Show.
28. Turns out Android phones were tracking your location, even if you had location services turned off.
29. Hinge created a matchmaking app, and it means that anyone can download it and see which of their Facebook friends are using Hinge.
30. Australia will add driver's license photos to a national facial recognition system to find people on security cameras.
31. E-commerce app Wish makes your wish lists public.
32. Twitter admitted it accidentally posted your city location if you were uploading a GIF.
33. Mattel announced plans to make a smart speaker for babies (but then canceled it).
34. Roomba is planning on selling maps of your home.
35. And this.
Katie Notopoulos is a senior editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York. Notopoulos writes about tech and internet culture is cohost of the Internet Explorer podcast.
Contact Katie Notopoulos at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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