If you’re worried about government snooping into the phone numbers you call, where you go, what you buy, where you shop and what you watch, keep in mind that corporations and big business have been gathering this information on you for years. Your personal, private information and spending habits are sold to other companies and marketers. It’s not just the government that’s big brother, it’s business and corporations too. At some point, they’ll all be the same.

Most of us have known for a long time that cookies on your computer, not to mention your smartphone or tablet, are keeping tabs on the stuff you look at on the internet. If you use a credit card, all that information is recorded and sold. We may be shocked at how much information the government is collecting on us thanks to the Patriot Act, but corporations, big business, the retail industry and marketers know lots more.

I’m not a paranoid conspiracy theorist. I don’t think the government is out to turn us into mindless drones. But we’ve already been turned into soulless algorithms by marketing firms, who definitely would like us to be dronish in our buying and viewing habits.

What’s coming in the future, I think, is not a totalitarian government that will tell us what to do every minute of the day, but an all-seeing amalgamation of government and big corporations who will simply be able to predict everything we do, when we do it, what we like, what we watch, what we buy, and all our secret fetishes.

Knowledge is power, and this kind of knowledge represents what power will be in the near future: being able to predict our likes and actions so as to maximize the profit big corporations can make off of us.

George Orwell had it wrong. Big Brother won’t be an all-powerful government with its boot on the face of humanity forever, it will be Big Corporations with their hands in our wallets forever.