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Nowhere to hide

It’s not Big Brother that’s watching you
Dateline: 6 November 2028

Remember those spy movies from way back, when the bad guys could stick a microchip inside you, and track your every move by satellite? Well, that’s no longer as far fetched as it might seem, and who needs microchips when they’ve got SIM cards?

Of course, many of us have been willing participants in the quantified life, with Fitbits and fancy watches that monitor our every move, and even measure the quality of our sleep. The internet of everything is such a grand idea; combined with artificial intelligence, it can save us from medical mishaps, traffic congestion and even unnecessary emotional stress.

It can save us from ourselves; that’s the implicit promise.

But what about those among us who choose to be incognito? We might carry phones, but we don’t overshare, we watch our privacy, use VPNs and do private things privately. Or so we think.

There’s a reason those little SIM cards in every phone are registered to a person, and e-SIMs too. It makes it easy for those who ‘need’ to know, to keep track of what you’re doing and where you’re going. And almost every commercially active person on the planet is reporting their movements to the networks, whether they like it or not. The data might be kept confidential, but it does exist.

“Ah-ha,” you say, “when I want to go off-grid, I just remove the SIM card from my device!” And then you take the phone with you, in case of emergencies. That might have worked in the past, but with nanotech advanced to the stage where entire computers can be smaller than a salt flake, the GPS tracker is built right into the SIM itself, and works without a device.

It’s not Big Brother watching you – it’s the little SIM

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Warning: Hazardous Thinking at Work

Despite appearances to the contrary, Futureworld cannot and does not predict the future. Our Mindbullets scenarios are fictitious and designed purely to explore possible futures, challenge and stimulate strategic thinking. Use these at your own risk. Any reference to actual people, entities or events is entirely allegorical. Copyright Futureworld International Limited. Reproduction or distribution permitted only with recognition of Copyright and the inclusion of this disclaimer. © Public domain image.

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