How Technology Invades Our Privacy

By Dom Vaughn

Ever since the “Twilight Zone,” people have always been wary of the repercussions that technology brings, but after a while their fears subside, only to be provoked again after a certain controversy arises, like with how the FBI can secretly turn on laptop webcams without the indicator light on, according to an article on Gizmodo.com. Also, in this circumstance, another form of spying on the average person has been revealed: Samsung smart TVs gather information by eavesdropping on the user, according to CNN.com. Considering that the smart TVs can be voice activated in case you can’t find the remote (or are just too lazy to reach for it), it can pick up whatever is being said by the owner. The real danger in the eavesdropping TVs is that the information that it picks up can be processed over the internet, and according to Samsung’s privacy policy: “Please be aware that if your spoken words include personal or other sensitive information, that information will be among the data captured and transmitted to a third party.” So, not only are your conversations being recorded in the privacy of your home, but whatever you say could be given to a certain party which could endanger you if you spew some sensitive information.

People have been in dismay and some customers have boycotted buying Samsung smart TVs in fear that their sense of privacy will be ruined. Although, I gotta say, this isn’t really much of a surprise considering that during the past few years a plethora of companies have been exposed for gathering information that people claim violates their right of privacy. Although, people don’t realize that they put themselves in that situation by signing a user Terms of Agreement whenever they install or setup a new product, and as of late, it seems most technological products have a sentence buried deep inside the privacy policy section regarding use of private information. Look at Gmail, which reads and analyzes every email you send out, allowing them to create a specialized ad placement for you. Also, look at Facebook, who has the ability to turn on your microphone when you’re using the app on your smartphone, and can even read everything you type, even if it isn’t posted.

At this point in time most people have to realize that utilizing technology like this means that you’ll just have to give up some privacy. Yes, the violation of privacy can seem appalling at first; I know I was dumbfounded, but in this day and age sacrifices have to be made. After many extreme controversies regarding privacy and technology surfaced throughout the past few years, people should feel less surprised with each new exposé. Although you cannot control whether or not a company gathers information on you, you can be wary of what information you dish out. If you find yourself paranoid about your information being leaked throughout the internet, then limit the amount of private information you give.

I feel as though a few decades from now, there will be virtually no privacy regarding technology. A true sense of privacy could only possibly be attained by growing a beard like Grizzly Adams, building a cabin deep in the woods, and living as though you’re Amish. Technology can be great, but there will always be repercussions regarding privacy or other factors; it’s truly a double edged sword.

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