How Technology and Privacy are Helping and Hindering Each Other
In an age of social media and technology where everything is posted online and made easily accessible, protecting personal and sensitive information has become a concern. How can we reconcile living in a technologically dependent society and continue to protect our privacy simultaneously? While there is no foolproof solution to that dilemma, a few companies are taking significant steps toward embracing advancements in technology for the protection of privacy.
Apple’s newest iPhone, the iPhone 5s, offers many revised applications as well as new and interesting features such as Touch ID – a new fingerprint identity sensor that will allow the phone’s owner to unlock the device by detecting his or her fingerprint. With as much personal information as we store in smart phones- bank account and credit card information, personal calendars, usernames and passwords, contact information, and so on – having the ability to secure that information is vital.
The iPhone 5s is also programed to allow authorized recognition of multiple fingerprints so that whoever the owner approves to unlock the phone can have access to do so. This new technology ensures that only people who have been authorized can have access to the phone and its contents, rather than just anyone who comes up with a random combination of numbers to unlock a security code.
How Advancements in Technology are also Invading Our Privacy
The new iPhone 5s is helping to protect the information on your phone by privatizing the device on the surface level. Unfortunately, your iPhone may not be protected from within. With technological advances like bumping – where smartphones can exchange contact information, photos, and files – it has also become easier for private information to be stolen from your phone. Without even touching your phone or you, a perpetrator can steal credit card and debit card information just by magically waving their phone over your wallet. There have also been complaints of iPhone apps distributing contact information when downloaded.
Apple and credit card companies have both taken steps toward correcting these safety issues. The problem, however, is that as technology continues to advance, so to does the ability to infiltrate and purloin private information. For instance, the ever-expanding scope of popular search engines has made cyber stalking increasingly easy, almost inviting the general public to spy on their neighbor by simply entering a name into a search field. Unfortunately, social media accounts like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn are not the only results that come up when a name is searched. Many basic privacy rights have been taken away in the name of fighting terrorism and with the creation of homeland security.
Who can View Your Online Records?
A hacker can easily find any information that has been uploaded into a computer system’s database, but you don’t have to be a hacker to find information about people online. Anyone can locate records once they have been put online. For instance, arrest records, including mugshots and booking information, can be found online, regardless of whether or not the person arrested has been convicted or found not guilty of the crime for which he or she was arrested. As such, anyone can easily view criminal records, including potential employers and landlords.
While you cannot completely control who has access to your personal information online, you may be able to prevent people from viewing your criminal history and mugshots. If you have expunged a case from your criminal record, the case is treated as though it never occurred and as such the information pertaining to your case is eligible to be removed from online databases.
Eliminating threats to privacy starts by taking proactive steps toward securing your cyber presence, whether online or on your smartphone. To ensure that your expunged case does not show up online, hire a specialist to perform a background database check, effectively removing your expunged record from public view. Removing your criminal record, and thereby your personal information, from public databases and search engines is just one way to secure your privacy and identity in a time of rapid technological expansion.