Technology risks privacy with every advancing development. Technology advances embrace monitoring users, centralizing processes, centralizing the culling of data, among many aspects. Privacy is at risk with every development. Every potential use presents a dilemma for everyone. Advances take place and take effect before users can address and check to see if their privacy is at risk. When users are made aware of advances they are already in effect, and it is up to the user to learn if they can opt out of the development. The rights of the technology user are not considered.
While so many may not be concerned for their own privacy, the intrusion and potential control should be alarming. But in business, such information gathering is welcomed until such is the case for their own private, trade secrets, and other sensitive data to be known and controlled. Then business is stifled.
Technology risks privacy on many levels, now, because users do not avail themselves of the options available to protect their own privacy. Their used devices offer selections to enhance their privacy. But with future developments, the options to disengage from advanced features may impinge on functionality in the future, thus forcing the users to accept. Nevertheless, technology in the form of software can be employed to enhance privacy. Users can opt out and seek protection from having their user data sold. This comes at an additional cost to the user.
Technology risk privacy when users do not update their devices. If they use additional third-party programs, such as VPN protection, they can shield their online use traffic data from marketers and other would-be suppliers of user online data and preferences.
Technology risks privacy when it can no longer be prevented from controlling society and society’s activities without monitoring and recording. What is the benefit, from a legal perspective, of having a surveilled society? Current laws do not stand toe-to-toe with how technology risks privacy. Government records all that is done on online – collecting metadata – but if the common citizen were to request a record from the government under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), it will do whatever it can to forestall the delivery of the request, or at best the requester receives a heavily redacted record of information.
Laws will inevitably need to be rewritten. A new means of embracing governing science and technology is needed. Not enough has been done and society is vulnerable. New caselaw on what is allowable in society where government record collection of daily life’s activity becomes the acceptable norm will have to develop. The irony of all this is that government institutions record and collect every metadata of human lives for its purposes.
Privacy is at risk at every reveal of the next generation of a technological function and it should be a concern that all should embrace with both eyes open. As stated before, laws are currently not equipped to handle such intrusive use of data collection, behavioral monitoring, social control measures, associational restrictions, and movement sensing. At what point will the invasion of privacy cause of action apply to government’s use of the data, to the privately owned social networks that facilitates garnering of data sequences, and to intermediary parties that buy such data?
Technology is useful but it cannot be allowed to control. Technology is a tool for enhancing society in many aspects from medicine, enhancing our economic production, facilitating better jobs, and so on. But it cannot be permitted to supersede all human functions. Technology should be to improve human activity and not to control human activity nor to predict it. If this monitoring, surveillance, and data collecting trend continues, technology risks privacy for all globally. No law will spare technology users from privacy infringements.