Terrifying story from CoryDoctorow
Tractors looted by Russian army in RussianInvasionOfUkraine2022 were remotely disabled by manufacturers "kill switches"
But of course, why should tractors have remote disabling kill-switches in the first place?
And what would stop hostile crackers etc. from taking down tractors (and therefore food production) anywhere?
Deere bundled the data with the farmer and sold both to Monsanto. The next time someone tells you “If you’re not paying for the product, you’re the product,” remember this. These farmers weren’t getting free, ad-supported tractors. Deere charges six figures for a tractor. But the farmers were still the product. The thing that determines whether you’re the product isn’t whether you’re paying for the product: it’s whether market power and regulatory forbearance allow the company to get away with selling you.
And then ...
But selling farmers their own soil telemetry is only the beginning. Deere aggregates all the soil data from all the farms, all around the world, and sells it to private equity firms making bets in the futures market. That’s far more lucrative than the returns from selling farmers to Monsanto. The real money is using farmers’ aggregated data to inform the bets that financiers make against the farmers.
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