Big Data requires Big Laws
There’s no such thing as being ‘offline’ anymore. It’s almost impossible, I’d say, to live any sort of normal life without having your data on some machine somewhere. And if you engage in any way with other people, then you use at least email, and probably some sort of social network. There’s no escape now from having your personal and private information up there on the ‘net’ in some shape or form. The old retort of ‘if you don’t want people to see it, don’t go online’ has become a kind of joke.
Who has access to your data? Who’s administering the many sites and machines it resides on? Is there ‘adequate’ and ‘reasonable’ security procedures and processes in place? How can you tell anyway? And who in government can access that information and for what purpose?
We need strong and transparent laws, backed up with oversight, checks and balances, before this just gets completely out of hand. There’s still an attitude in some quarters that this is all irrelevant, that being online is somehow optional in this day and age, and worst of all, that if “you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear“. Which is bull. Privacy is a basic right, not an option.
Social networking forum reddit on Thursday removed a section from its site used to tacitly inform users it had never received a certain type of U.S. government surveillance request, suggesting the platform is now being asked to hand over customer data under a secretive law enforcement authority.