Silicon Valley with its bright minds has come to a point where almost every day they collect information about individuals. Why are we all silent on the surveillance?
NSA spying apart, what Facebook, Apple, and Google know about their usual users is quite overwhelming. Each of these major players is trying to find more about us. They even go to our friends, family and job network.
The big guns know when you are sad, happy, as well as your general internet spendings and many more.
Technology is changing so dramatically and has the power to find every bit of information about you. A perfect example of this is the Google Home Assistant or the new self-driving cars that shockingly knows where you want to go, or where’s your home.
In quick succession, step by step these big guys are creating probably the most invasive surveillance population in time.
It is quite worrisome how a group of known criminals hack them pretty often. Take Uber as an example; the ride-sharing firm is accused of getting hacked for multiple times – not just once or twice.
Californians, the world, and privacy
But they actually talk in the private sector, where they have the protection of the 4th Amendment if they encounter problems as “unreasonable” searches.
I wish to have a talk at a coffee or a dinner with a tech investor and to ask him “What is your company doing with all the information?” For the moment, there is no possibility of a confrontation at this.
I would love to see in the next US elections to prioritize this issue, or it can be an impactful subject in a ballot initiative.
Unfortunately, not so many exceptions for tech employees to feel human again. However, the one pushing is the employer, who digs deep into the privacy and enjoys it.
The idea to do good is far to be reached
As I stated above, California might encounter the most impactful debate regarding privacy in the whole world in coming future. Do you consider letting companies keep user data forever? To move in a way and change the terms of service, so they breach privacy?
Should they share information with governments? Would there be an option purge information after a while or to just request to anonymize? It’s an option for only a company to sell information and meanwhile, they discharge the debt in bankruptcy?
What obligation parents have regarding their children’s privacy? It is awkward how Instagram tracks kids’ behavior before reaching the age of consent. Should Instagram keep that information until they are adults?
A very out of date law from California gives us a glimpse of how out of date they are: prohibiting someone to record a phone call without the consent of the other party.
For sure it is not a bad law, however, restricts everyone just for the idea of privacy. Sadly, this rule is not applied since data is gathered without shame. We can imagine revenging porn laws that protect us from unauthorized shops from centerfolds.
All in all, we exposed ourselves to comprehensive, intrusive, relentless surveillance at our daily activities.
John Naughton an Irish academic affirmed, “and we have no idea what the long-term implications of this (surveillance) will be.”
Some end thoughts
Some of this is the threat when others are scared by the idea of imposed limits. Yet, people value privacy and having it updated can mean a better future. For sure it is impossible to stop privacy threats sometimes.
But in exchange shouldn’t we prioritize and make things better? Californians have a high position here, more than anyone, yet they haven’t made a bit of effort.
And of course, not just the ones living in California – we all, no one, should keep their voice low against the surveillance. Speak up!
Ali Qamar is a tech and security enthusiast who enjoys “deep” research to dig out modern discoveries in the security industry. Currently, he is the chief editor at Cyberogism.com, an ultimate source for tech, security and innovation. To be frank and honest, Ali started working online as a freelancer and still shares the knowledge for a living. He is passionate about sharing the knowledge with people, and always try to give only the best. Follow Ali on Twitter @AliQammar57
(Security Affairs – surveillance, privacy)