Privacy is a basic right
Sunday, June 30, 2019
There was an article on Forbes by Zak Doffman about the importance of encryption which came out in June. In it it talked about how certain apps offer end-to-end encryption to ensure privacy of data. Some of these apps include WhatsApp and iMessage. However there have been talks about further regulation in this sector which cuts down the ability to ensure that your data gets transmitted safely, securely and privately. This simply means one thing. The software is not decentralized enough. If the software was freely available as an option, possibly open source and had encryptions built right into the libraries and with major companies using and incorporating the techniques including inside industry compilable libraries then it would be just a feature simply built-in and baked in.
The fact is if freedom of speech is an inherent right the so too should be the right to privacy of thought and the right of privacy of opinions and the right to not have infomation out there that could be misconstrued and twisted into something that could entrap a person. And how did this discussion come about? It came about with the rise of digital systems, smart phones and aocial media.
We are constantly giving away our privacy and identity information on social media with geolocation data on where we eat, what books we like, our social groups we hang out with. We do live feeds and there are camera everywhere, store surveillance, dash cams, body cams, and microphones phoning back to Siri and Cortana and Alexa. It has gotten so far that we even have a meme mocking the fact that we used to be worried about wiretapping but now just accept the fact that we are being bugged by Google Home, Echo devices and our phones are flipping themselves on just eavesdropping on us.
With our world even more connected than ever and constant news and wireless connections and daily commentary shows nothing is truly sacred or private as we are constantly bombarded and subjected to opinions by others: about political choices, a choice of who we date, what we eat for lunch down to the photocropped selfie to obtain maximum likes.
Remember the film Ed TV? Woody Harrison’s character finds himself part of a reality show with rave ratings about his day to day life. And just like that we have Kardashianed our lives and put our lives on social media for display. Our fake friends know when we are in a relationship, when we are breaking up, in the bathroom, etc. The film Ed TV was ahead of its time as it comments that fame used to once be reserved for the famous.
Did you know in 2019 there are 7.7 billion people in the world and at least 16.7 people subject to hacks and data leaks. Companies like Home Depot, Target, TurboTax and even OPM a United States agency for personnel management was hacked. What kind of protections can us laypeople expect to have if they can’t even have one of the largest employers protect their own employee’s data? It’s not a matter of if but when your data will be hacked.
In this 24/7 surveillance state what can we do to protect ourselves from bad actors who want to phish for our information by having us click on spoofed web links to win iPads and get our phone and address data?
Afterall in this new digital age, we as millennials and people in general with all the equipment, smart phones, Alexas and Google Home devices should be smarter than our previous generations and not fall prey to information stealing. We are smart people not dumb… no one expects a person to be dumb unless for TV entertainment to laugh at. But yet it is so easy to place trust in our devices so much and data is leaked simply because we don’t value our privacy and big data companies need to do more to protect our privacy and secure our data more than ever.
We have to be smarter with our data and technology. We have to be not be so trusting and in addition verify. Though there is now a battle for access to information to protect more people, it’s just a matter of time before any backdoor or failure in software gets exploited. At what point should we allow or also place trust and faith in one particular population to protect our information for the greater good. Thus, privacy, encryption and the ability to secure your own data needs to start at the base layer and be built up. Right now encryption seems to be tedious only because it adds extra layers and walls between a would-be hacker and your device but maybe with faster computing maybe even quantum speeds and 5G tech we can make our data more secure.
What can we do for one? Make phones automatically respect and default to more apps without permissions enabled by default.
Implement software that makes sure that password rules are followed.
Created new algorithms that obscure 88% of data possibly to speed up encryption processes.
Realize the old adage that “if you have nothing to hide then you have nothing to worry about” is a foolhardy quote because everyone has a need for privacy. You were born into this world vulnerable and without protection but that doesn’t mean you should go walking without a shirt and shoes for the rest of your life. Everyone needs basic dignity rights of privacy even if you never need it, it should be there.
Enable most security settings by default rather than having to turn it on as an afterthought.
We need privacy always and it’s something basic like being able to get water and breath clean air. There are times when a need to know may be necessary but right now regulations may hinder the space and progress of technology. There is always a constant battle between hackers and people working to secure data. That alone should be enough to self-regulate for now.