Signs of the Times #7: Security (Safety) vs. Privacy

Do you want security OR privacy? We can thank technology for forcing us to make a choice. Yes, I believe we must make a choice. Moreover, I believe that choice probably has been already made for us! I’m not just talking about Apple Computer hacking a cell phone to obtain potential security-actionable information for the FBI either. Citizens of the United States actually gave up privacy when the Social Security system was implemented. Now, let me sidetrack for a moment to say that I believe in the Social Security (SS) system. I’m not blaming SS for our current dilemma, however, the individual citizens’ privacy was forever breached because our Social Security number has been used as an IDENTIFICATION device and attached to all our medical, financial, work, and educational activities and situations.

Again I’ll ask the question: do you want security or privacy? If the answer to this question is not essential to our economy, I’d like to know what is! What a double-edge sword we have in the making with the Apple iPhone “unlocking” issue! I understand the positive and negative on both sides of this issue. I think they are BOTH right! The U.S. government needs to protect the security of our citizens, information “locked” on the cell phone could help in “securing” our national safety. On the other hand, Apple is correct that creating a “key” to unlock the captured cellphone used by the terrorists sets a precedence for use of such software in other situations by other entities (governments, military, police or even private citizens).

By the way, the Internet has also played into the demise of our privacy. The Internet “cloud” if it could be materialized, would probably look like the sands of the Mohave desert. Think of the data as grains of sand. Actually the “cloud” is a huge number of computer “farms” installed in non-descript buildings all over the world and these computers are all connected to each other.

So, I’m voting for safety and security. Privacy is a moot point at this stage of technological history, and technology is always advancing, and at a faster pace literally every day!


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