Personal security is compromised by gadget use, claims Washington Post


There’s nothing like a good scaremongering article to frighten technophobes and technology lovers alike, and the Washington Post has had a pretty good go at one.

The lengthy article entitled “Enjoying Technology’s Conveniences But Not Escaping Its Watchful Eyes” maps out the typical day of an average middle-aged business woman who is happy to use technology to make her life easier, and shows just how much data is collected, and what can (potentially) happen to it.

We all know that in major cities we’re captured on CCTV many times each day. We know that our reward and credit cards can be used for marketing and personalisation purposes. It’s not difficult to find out roughly where we are by tracking our mobile phone signal, and our Internet search history is stored for all time.

The article finishes:

No one is forcing [her] to embrace this technology. She loves the time she gains by paying road tolls electronically, the sense of security she feels by having GPS in her car. She sometimes buys real estate client lists so she can target categories of buyers — seniors or first-time home buyers — “as long as it’s not intrusive,” she said.

She’s not inclined to change her ways. [She] already takes measures to guard her privacy. She saves intimate details for phone calls. She’s on a do-not-call telemarketing list. She trusts her company to keep her office system hacker-free. For the most part, she trusts that the government will not be interested in her personal life — hoping for security through obscurity.

What do you reckon? Do the benefits of your gadget-filled life outweigh the disadvantages of “Big Brother”?

Andy Merrett
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