In 2017, the Guardian noted something interesting; that though human beings carried devices that gave them access to tons of information about the world at a moment’s notice, the same devices also offered the world tons of information about the individual.
That statement perfectly sums up data privacy and gives insight into why it is such a controversial and complex issue. That though people are uncomfortable with continually losing their privacy, the trade-off in terms of technology and convenience is so good that the loss almost seems worth it.
How Emerging Technologies are Poised to Affect Privacy in the Future
The chances are high that protecting privacy will become even more challenging in the future as new technologies continue to emerge and fully develop.
Technologies such as the Internet of Things, virtual reality, big data, brain-machine interfaces, and so on are on course to revolutionize data privacy.
Take virtual reality, for instance. Virtual reality headsets are already collecting information about a user’s physical movement and location. In the future, as virtual reality becomes more immersive and impossible to distinguish from physical reality, then these VR headsets will probably collect and analyze emotional responses, interactions in the VR world and all manner of reactions.
As a result, big tech companies will be in a position to collect and analyze extremely large amounts of data about their users.
With regards to IoT, corporations will gather real-time data from homes, institutions, and cities. Note that though this might be a good thing because it will make devices more convenient, and will lead to more IoT devices, the downside is that if malicious people get hold of that data, it can lead to all manner of negative effects.
A Look into Even Further into the Future
Drones are continually getting more sophisticated and harder to trace or notice with the naked eye. That might lead to drones that spy on people’s everyday life.
On the other hand, as research into genetic data continues to evolve, then it will not be just personal data on the line but also genetic data.
Finally, consider an organization like Neuralink. The company is trying to combine machines with the human brain. Bear in mind that if they succeed, then for this brain machine amalgam to work, it would have to extract information from the brain and analyze it.
Take a moment to think about such an invasion for a second. That it is not just about what you do but also what you think. How would corporations treat such data? Would they try to influence or modify how you think?
What if malicious people knew what you think (via brain hacking), wouldn’t they be able to do anything they want with you?
With this in mind, it is clear that you cannot afford to be complacent when it comes to data privacy. It is up to you to understand that there is no holding back the future and that you must take privacy into your own hands.
What Should You do to Safeguard Privacy Now and in the Future?
First, you need to realize that privacy will probably become non-existent in the future. That is because humans everywhere enjoy the convenience of technology and there is no going back from that.
However, it essential to also realize that there is a point at which the tradeoff between privacy and transparency becomes harmful. When it gets to that point, then you must of necessity take privacy into your own hands by looking for privacy-oriented tools such as VPNs, private browsers and anonymous search engines.
A VPN will help you work towards a future with private internet by shielding your day to day activities from surveillance, while also routing your communication via a private channel hence keeping it away from ISPs and organizations.
Private browsers such as Tor, on the other hand, do not keep your history which means it is not accessible to organizations. Finally, anonymous search engines do not keep tabs on your search history.