Make privacy a priority

The state and private sector are encroaching on civil liberties.

According to Eric Schmidt, chief executive officer of Google, we now create more information in two days than all of human history through 2003. This information is created and stored in countless ways, which raises security and privacy concerns.

A recent report by University of Minnesota researchers concerning the ease with which cellphones can be tracked sheds further light on these concerns — but the issue goes far beyond the simple tracking of cell phones and the information gleaned from their use.

The modern world has seen two forces inexplicably collide. We have found ourselves in the post-9/11 era, where fear and security have come to dominate our collective unease. Yet we find that modern technology has provided the tools to both calm and elevate those fears.

The use of military technology and tracking systems currently exists in a legal gray area. While laws do exist to prevent the use of military force on the domestic front, no one appears ready to regulate such use.

There is now an industry of commercially available “domestic” drones. These drones are boasted by their manufacturers to have the ability to scan an area the size of small towns with artificial intelligence capabilities. Besides law enforcement, private industry is now considering the possible uses of such technology with little regulation to control them.

The use of drones and digital tracking technology are issues that require more awareness from the general population as well as elected officials. The American people deserve greater diligence from lawmakers and greater options from the private sector in the interest of both privacy and security.