The Growing Threat of Surveillance Technology

Take a look at any science fiction horror movie and you will notice that most of them tie in unobstructed monitoring into the story in one way or another. The concept of Big Brother came from the same idea as well; governments and organizations with the ability to spy on you whenever they want, capable of unravelling all of your secrets and completely analysing your personal identity. It sounds scary and quite creepy as well, knowing that someone who you have never even met knows you better than most people in your social circle, and the most unnerving part is that you cannot do anything to stop them.

Our governments are steadily bringing this grim sounding sci-fi world into reality thanks to a constant development in technology that harvests our personal data and stores it in databases. Biometrics, DNA, and surveillance technology is becoming more and more advanced every year, allowing governments and organizations to integrate these technologies into our day to day lives and making use dependent on them.

Nowadays many people across the world are openly giving away vital chunks of their personal data away in return for better integration with technology that makes their lives more comfortable. When smartphones introduced fingerprint scanners, everyone eagerly started using this technology in order to make their devices more secure, the same thing happened when Apple came out with its highly accurate facial recognition technology, and this sort of technology is not limited to the smartphone industry.

Banks have begun using all kinds of biometrics systems, including voice recognition software, retina scanners, and more. Currently, there are companies working on technology that will take biometrics even further and make it possible to identify someone from their heartbeat or from the way they grip their devices.

The most concerning thing is that while this kind of technology is being developed at a rapid pace, the legal aspects of privacy protection and data collection is lagging behind, meaning that there are loopholes and grey areas that allow pretty much anyone to openly compromise privacy.

One could say that the legal system and government may not want to restrict this rampant data gathering since it will prove beneficial to them in the long run. The invisible net used to monitor us has been around for quite some time now, but we have only begun to realise its existence, back when landlines were popular, governments would shamelessly tap into phone lines, and they continue to do the same with smartphones now.

Our texts, emails, and even our location is known to them, almost every modern smartphone comes equipped with a plethora of sensors that gather enough data to paint a very accurate picture of where we live, how we move around, and more.

While technology has helped us solved countless problems, it has also brought a whole new variety of problems and challenges that we are not even sure of how to address at the moment, problems that critically compromise our privacy.