Offbeat Awesome/Potentially Creepy Technology That Tracks You  

167 votes 121 voters 11.5k views 22 items

Moore's law states that the number of transistors in a circuit doubles every two years, meaning that technology is getting smaller and more powerful. That prediction has held true since 1975. Our gadgets and gizmos today can do seemingly everything, becoming interwoven into every aspect of our lives and controlling it to the most minute detail. Although that by itself is exciting, there are downsides that led to some pretty creepy technology that tracks you.

Edward Snowden's NSA leaks made the world evermore paranoid about privacy, and rightfully so. We already know that Internet usage is being watched and data is beingcollected, but these days it seems there are new tech gadgets and products that go even further than that, such as your own smart TV being able to listen in on what you say.

Not every tech that tracks you is automatically bad, as some have positive benefits, such as being able to record your health information or alert you to changes in your sleeping patterns, but we should be aware of the potential risks to new technology regardless. Below you'll find the creepiest new technology and devices that track you, and remember: Big Brother is always watching Netflix with you!
Netflix Socks is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Awesome/Potentially Creepy Technology That Tracks You
Photo: via Pinterest
1 17 VOTES

Netflix Socks

What It Is: Netflix Socks are a cool new DIY project to add to your "Big Brother Is Watching" Pinterest board. Once you've made a pair of your own, pop them on and they'll automatically pause your binge watching session if you've fallen asleep.

How It Works: The socks use an accelerometer to detect when you've stopped moving for a while, then sends a signal to your TV to pause the show.

Why It's Awesome: You'll never have to remember where you left off with a TV show anymore; it's all done automatically.

Why It's Creepy: Technology that can detect when you've fallen asleep has the potential to be exploited by marketers. For example, services such as Hulu that feature ads during their shows might stockpile the ads while you're asleep and have them ready for you when you wake up, for advertising that literally knows when you're awake.
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Ads That Watch You is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Awesome/Potentially Creepy Technology That Tracks You
Photo: via Reddit
2 15 VOTES

Ads That Watch You

What It Is: Google advertisements that can personalize themselves based on your habits.

How It Works: The ads track your viewing history; geography; and when, where, and how many times you view each ad.

Why It's Awesome: If advertising companies know what kind of person you are they can deliver tailor-made ads to you. Don't like watching a one minute ad for a car you'll never buy? Thanks to this technology, you'll (in theory) only see ads for products you're interested in and actually want to buy.

Why It's Creepy: Advertising companies will now know more about you than you probably care to reveal. Users can opt out of these ads, but the fact that the technology exists is still troubling.
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Pre-Crime Technology is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Awesome/Potentially Creepy Technology That Tracks You
Photo: via Pinterest
3 13 VOTES

Pre-Crime Technology

What It Is: Future Attribute Screening Technology, or FAST, is a surveillance program conceptualized by Homeland Security to detect crime before it happens.

How It Works: Various factors, such as gender, age, and history are used to determine who is more likely to commit a specific crime at a certain point. This differs from detective work in that it uses sensor technology to track body movements as small as eye twitching and voice patterns to detect possible crime.

Why It's Awesome: If it does work, then it'll mean less crime. Catching a criminal before they even commit the act is the ultimate dream of the police force.

Why It's Creepy: Odds are it probably won't really work as advertised. There are numerous flaws to consider such as racial profiling being inherent within the system. As some studies have shown, racial profiling is not really effective.
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NameTag is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Awesome/Potentially Creepy Technology That Tracks You
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4 11 VOTES


What It Is: An application that matches your date's face to their public profiles on the Internet. It also has the capability to search the National Sex Offender Registry.

How It Works: Using facial recognition software, your date's face is compared online and gathers personal information about them, such as their criminal record or their hobbies.

Why It's Awesome: You'll be able to instantly know whether they're a creep or whether they share similar interests to you, saving you time and frustration in the dating process.

Why It's Creepy: Anyone can look up information about you at any time, simply by scanning your face.
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