Technology and privacy: Is it going too far?

As the world progresses and mankind’s ideas and philosophies progress with it, technology becomes more of a problem. Technology is so beneficial and common that we rarely think of the risks involved with technological advances. Our generation enjoys online social networks, blogging, e-mails and online shopping.

We want to feel secure and that no one will steal our cars and get away with it. We want to make sure that no terrorist harms our countries. We want to make sure that no immoral act goes unpunished.

But in exchange, what liberties and freedoms are we giving up? What minute details do we not understand? Are recent technologies safe or are they more potentially harmful than we know? These are the types of questions we need to ask ourselves as we are becoming increasingly comfortable with these advances.

We are well aware of the GPS tracking systems placed in cars. We believe that if our car is on the move without our consent, these systems find our vehicles. David Adams, of OSnew.com describes a far different scenario in relation to these GPS systems.

He tells how a rental company installed in their cars the GPS systems that “monitored where their cars went and at what speed.”

He explains that a renter was charged for speeding, not because of contact with a police officer, but by being traced. Eventually, the charge was dropped and the fine did not hold up in court.

Anita L. Allen, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania, thinks that problems with confidentiality are not new.

“What’s new is the ease with which information can be collected shared, and the ease with which it can be maintained for indefinite periods of time,” she said.

Facebook, a popular networking site, experienced a bit of backlash when they installed “a new service called “News Feed.” This service informs its members when friends post new information.

We are becoming dependant on Internet usage in our daily lives. We post personal pictures, videos and blog entries.
We often add individuals as friends that we’ve never met in person. But not everyone on the Internet has good intentions.

We often hear talk about wiretapping in popular urban songs and on various television stations. The correct term for this program is called Echelon, which is thought to have been developed during the Cold War.

We only know for certain what the government chooses to tell us and it is up to us to decipher what statements are questionable and which assertions may seem blurred.

It was published in USA Today that the NSA (National Security Agency) “created a database compiling information about the calling patterns of millions of Americans,” according to Reason Magazine.

It is understood that there has to be protection in our country, but there must be a limit on how far the government can go.

We cannot give up and lay down our rights as free citizens just because persons of high power say it is necessary to do so.
On a larger scale, it is necessary to question what we allow.

The more regulations and security imposed on us, the less freedom we will have in turn.

We must not let issues like these breeze by without wondering why we should agree to these sometimes offensive rules.
We must arm ourselves with the knowledge of these new technologies and be aware of both the issues and blessing that they may present.

Danielle Savage is a junior mass communication major from Oakland, Calif.