The first tenet of the Critical Engineering Manifesto by Julian Oliver states:
The Critical Engineer considers any technology depended upon to be both a challenge and a threat. The greater the dependence on a technology the greater the need to study and expose its inner workings, regardless of ownership or legal provision.
This tenet could be explained as follows.
Any convenience comes at a price, and the more integral a piece of technology becomes in ones life, the more suspicious the user should be. Thus, the critical engineer must find the extents of this price and tradeoff.
I appreciate this tenet for its relevance to contemporary life in relation to technology. As we pour more of our personal lives into our cellphones and become reliant on smart assistants, it seems like convenience and privacy are on a spectrum.
A real world example of this tradeoff is using a smart assistant for location based dining. If one uses their smart assistant to find nearby restaurants, they have the convenience of a quick search, but without knowing about the device's bias in deciding what restaurants to list, one is unable to know if the device's manufacturer's are attempting to promote certain restaurants over others.