Tech companies share your data, and how that affects your privacy is a major concern. Everything from your browsing habits to the questions you ask Amazon Alexa are logged and utilized. Many people are willing to accept that as the cost of convenience, but you’d be completely justified if you’re concerned about your privacy. Unfortunately, unless you’re willing to live in the technological past, there isn’t much you can do to stop it. But these “Accessories for the Paranoid” are meant to block the spying as much as possible.
Accessories for the Paranoid are a series of proposed devices designed to block or obfuscate the data that your computer and IoT gadgets gather about you. In total there are four units, and each of them either makes it impossible for the corresponding device to gather data or spews so much false data that your true data becomes lost in the avalanche. The first method just keeps devices from listening to you when you aren’t expecting it, but still allows your real data to pass through. The second method protects your privacy while letting you continue to use your device.
Object A is a small device that fits over your computer’s webcam and shows a false picture. Object B is made for voice assistants like the Amazon Echo. A shield covers the microphone, and speakers within pump out either white noise to drown out your conversations or dialogue from movies to inject false data. Object C is a button that connects to your computer. When you push it, some sort of browsing or social media action is triggered — like adding an item to your Amazon wish list or posting a tweet. Finally, Object D is intended to work with any device, and simply pushes random buttons to prevent your real user patterns from becoming apparent.
None of these are production devices that you can purchase, but they do a great job of highlighting the lengths we’ll go to in order to protect our privacy.