When we walk in the streets we are being watched, we surf the web we are being watched, we shop we are being watched, we purchase a ticket we are being watched, board a plane we are bring watched and when we drive we are being watched also. Except in our bathrooms, we are being watched everywhere else. The question is by whom and for what? Why do each of us need to be watched by the so called big brother or big sister. Cameras are everywhere. Even the GPS in our cars and the tracking apps on our phones may be tracking our every move. Retail and online stores keep track of our shopping trends and continue to market specific products to us based on our shopping habits. This is called target marketing.
Now you may ask: What about my privacy? Privacy has become a thing of the past. Privacy does not exist today. On top of that social media has transformed our personal lives into public ones. Most people seem to have no problem posting the pictures of themselves and their families onto the public domain. People do not even seem to think on what is appropriate to post and what is not. The most shocking feature is that people post on the social media sites announcing to the Whole World that they are currently in the Caribbean islands on vacation, for example. They also post real time photos while there to prove their presence. Now the Whole World knows that their house is empty. The house also advertises the type of alarm system which it uses for monitoring. Is this the smart thing to do? Today we even hear of people hacking into homes through the internet and is able to see the inside of homes through TV’s, Laptops and smart phones via their inbuilt webcams. We do not even think about this scenario. Many times we think that these gadgets are in their off mode. But it seems that there may be a way to see through this barrier from the other side.
Online shopping has taken off in leaps and bounds within the past decade. Most of us go online shopping because it’s cheaper, offers many more varieties and shipping gets done the same day. It’s also Free in most cases. With increase in online sales, there’s also an increase in cyber crime. We are still using the age old credit card technology which may offer us no protection what so ever. Hijacking identities have become commonplace. The World has become very small these days. We can purchase any product or service from any corner of the globe via a digital currency and have it delivered to us in another part of the World really really fast, maybe even the same day. If virtual transactions can be conducted online that fast, so can cyber crime. Since the World covers an enormous area, anything goes. Many cyber crimes go un-tracked.
With drones flying overhead that are loaded with state of the art photographic equipment, its literally impossible to hide anywhere. Research may be put out to manufacture flying robots, the size of a fly. Remember your first cell phone, it was the size of a brick. Today all gadgets are becoming smaller and smaller as the technology keeps advancing. As gadgets becomes available in nano-sizes, privacy will be non existent. Looks like this is the route we are heading towards.
Imagine that we are on a road trip cross country. We are using our GPS and moving fast passing through cities, and towns that crisscross the nation. Don’t you think someone somewhere can track your move using that same GPS coordinates of yours, if they wished to? It also uses the same satellites that you are using to zero in on your position. Technology has become a boon to our society and adversely has become a danger onto itself. What privacy does one have on the internet? The answer is none. Even tagging someone somewhere opens up someones hidden side of their previously dark life. So we never know. In a way its always good to be on everyone’s good books.
Internet and web profiles are highly linked these days and are open source in most cases. Email addresses, phone numbers, addresses, identifiable markers etc may be available for sale on the Web. It may also be distributed between various businesses for purposes of monetizing. All these sites are open for your business. All they want is your money. People sell anything these days for money no matter what the consequences may be. As long as they are not affected they do not care. It’s the money thing.
Data mining companies need your information to survive. That’s all they do: Mine. Even with all the anti-theft products, break-ins do happen, even with all the cyber crime fighting security features, these crimes do continue to happen and with all the privacy laws that may be in place, privacy stands to be lost and may lose ground eventually. Why is it so? Do each of us value our privacy or are we willing to give it up entirely? or have we reached a point in our lives that we do not care about it anymore?
Whatever may be the reason we are Humans first and privacy is what we need to safeguard us to help us keep us that way. Without privacy we will lose out individuality.
Do you think we are beginning to lose our privacy or have we lost it already? Do you think your privacy is at stake? I think the answer to both these questions are Yes and Yes. If so what do we need to do about it?
Do you want your privacy? If so, are you asking too much? Comment your thoughts below.