There is little or no mechanisms in place to stop them
As we go about our daily lives, there is a force lurking about. Most of us are keenly aware of it, but we sweep it under the mental rug — vowing to ourselves that we will ‘deal with it very soon.’
Of course, I am referring to the invasion of our privacy and the scraping of our personal information. Every single time we create a new social media account, purchase goods online, or subscribe to a virtual newsletter, they are chipping away at our life’s secrets.
Have you noticed how every webpage your visit now serves up ads of goods that you surfed for on another site? This is clear evidence of how big tech is selling data about you to all buyers.
The real danger here is that your personal information gets distributed all over the Internet for hackers to capture and use against you.
Their surveillance against us is not going to stop. It will only increase in the future. Let us examine five big reasons why they will continue surveilling us — whether we like it or not.
The proliferation of new sensor platforms
Every single day, we see new and more innovative methods of collecting data and information. New data streams are opening up in imaginative ways. These come from places like drones, license plate readers, biometric identification systems, and citywide TV camera systems — to name a few.
These sensors are far different today than just a few years ago. Vast amounts of digital data are collected at breakneck speeds. Also, the data not only comes fast, but it is also high-quality data as well.
Let’s not forget how innovation begets more innovation. As data gathering increases, scientists learn more about the data gathering process and continually increases its efficiency.
Unfortunately, newer and more effective data collection sensors will lead to more surveillance.
The increased power of data analytics
Modern algorithms today are becoming more and more skilled at finding patterns in massive volumes of data. They generate results from trillions of data points in their analysis.
Big Data is becoming more prevalent in our society. An example of this is that many universities are offering Big Data (and subsets of it) as a field of study.
This new field teaches methods of analyzing and managing the exponential growth of data that the world is creating. Thanks to highly advanced analytical methods driven by AI techniques, researchers can make sense of what the data is telling us.
The anticipated arrival of quantum computers — which are unimaginably fast computers that will take computing to insanely new levels — is expected to revolutionize the ability to analyze data. While quantum computers are still restricted to labs, they are expected to appear within the next decade.
These powerful new methods of analyzing data will most certainly be applied to surveillance data as well.
The decreasing costs of data storage
Since computing became more accessible, so did the notion that we digitize all things and store them permanently one day. It would gradually create a paperless world.
Many of us have noticed how the cost of data storage has dropped dramatically in a few years. We only need to price out a few hard drives or even the prices of high capacity external drives. But we have also noticed how the demand for more memory has increased. It used to be that one gigabyte seemed like more than we would ever need.
This significant reduction in data storage costs applies to everyone who stores data — including the big tech sources that manage data for millions of clients. As these costs drop, they find more clients, and some of these clients have sensitive data to store.
The only logical conclusion is that as data storage costs decrease, the overall cost of surveillance will decrease as well — leading to more surveillance.
Technology is more powerful than the law
The cold hard fact is that technology evolves so quickly that law oversight and its governing policies cannot keep up. This means we are left to deal with new surveillance techniques that are ungoverned and operating in a lawless domain.
Lawmakers are either too lazy or not motivated to hold today’s tech giants accountable. One of their problems — and it is not a new one — is how they continue trying to apply old laws and interpretations that are dated to relatively new technologies.
This is why law never catches up with technology. Each of them moves at wildly different speeds. A new law takes roughly 18 to 24 months to get passed, while technology changes every few weeks.
As long as lawmakers continue embracing old ideas, technology will surveil our lives even more in the future.
Daily surveillance of our lives is going to continue. There is nothing out there that will change this inevitability.
Please don’t count on the government to act, as they aren’t able to protect themselves. All we need do is look back at the number of times hackers have compromised them.
If we want our personal information to remain private, then we must be proactive and remain vigilant.