The surveillance state is here and the government didn’t even have to impose it. We welcome into our own lives and homes everything from smartphones (to track our every move) to Alexa who listens in all your conversations and reports them to who-knows-where. Ring cameras keep all the video of what’s going on around your home indefinitely, just in case the police happen to want it. This convenience is also available to criminals, because building reasonable security into things like this is not something their manufacturers have ever cared about.
Elf On The Shelf trains tots to accept all this as perfectly normal. By the time your tots are in university, the school will require them to install a Panopticon app on their phones to monitor, well, everything. (The data breach from that little gem is going to be really fun!)
Sauron was just ahead of his time.