Being Watched VS Watching Others: Being Watched by Everyone
Surveillance issues have raised a lot of concerns about the violation of privacy of the users. Despite the importance and the benefits that are associated with technological advancements and innovations, issues and concerns have been raised by critics, journalists and users of the threats of the privacy of the users. Some of the reports presented and articles presented have clearly indicated that we are all being watched while at the same time watching others. Existence and the development of apps by firms and organizations such as Amazon, apple and other firms dealing with technology and mobile devices has increased the cases of privacy violation. It is true that these devices, apps and gadgets are aimed at making our lives better, but there are consequences with are brought about by the usage of these devices. This essay will involve the analysis of the ways in which are phones are being watched by government or even hackers, the ways in which this watching impacts our privacy and the how new technology such as Siri and the Alexa in iPhones are always listening and watching us.
As a way of promoting and handling issues of terrorism and attacks on the state, the government has initiated and developed ways of collecting information about the phone calls, text messages and emails send. It is evident that this is an important move in handling and addressing terrorism, however, this results in to the watching and listening of the users of the mobile devices and gadgets. From the development of this surveillance technique, most of the firms and organizations dealing with this issue do not restrict on the amount, nature and type of data and information collected. This means that personal details and information such as passwords, personal identification number and even codes can be exposed.
Government watching over our phones means that there is a possibility and there are higher chances of personal, private and sensitive information being exposed or even accessed by malicious people such as hackers. Listening to the conversations made by the users of the mobile devices is a clear indication that sensitive information may be at higher chances of being exposed (Bowie, Norman E., and Karim Jamal, 335). Additionally, accessing of personal information and data stored means that hackers can be able to crack and access information about the users.
Additionally, our phones are being watched by the government or even hackers. Presence of apps such as location as a form of government surveillance poses a great threat to the privacy of the citizens and the security. Although different techniques of surveillance are being used by the government, mobile hacking and surveillance is more intrusive when compared to the other techniques, due to the fact that it permits the government to access these personal devices and the varied information stored in the devices. Moreover, this mobile surveillance gives the government an opportunity to carry out different surveillances on the gadgets such as turning the microphone of the device, the camera or even technological locator devices such as the ones based on GPS. It is through the process of hacking that the government is able to manipulate the data stored in the devices through ways such as deletion, editing, recovering deleted data, editing codes or even adding other capabilities. All these activities of data manipulation are usually done without necessarily leaving traces of intrusion, which makes it difficult for the mobile users to identify the information gathered or collected from their mobile devices (Callaghan, Vic, Graham Clarke, and Jeannette Chin, 65). Therefore, mobile surveillance as a form of government activities results in to the watching of the activities of the citizens in the absence of their consent or even knowledge.
Being watched by everyone, inclusive of the government and the malicious individuals such as hackers is a great threat to or privacy as individuals and even to our family members. Generally, the rationale behind the development of surveillance techniques was to help in security issues, but the issue of privacy seems not to have been properly addressed. Nevertheless, technological advancements and innovations such as the introduction of apps such as the Siri and Alexa by Amazon seems to be threatening the privacy of the users. According to reports and articles presented by different authors on the possibility of these apps spying on people privacy raises a lot of concern. For instance, in the case of voice-computing devices such as Alexa and Siri, privacy has continued to raise a lot of concerns (Ketelaar, Paul E., and Mark van Balen, 178). Despite the existence of the terms and conditions on these voice-computing devices such as Amazon Echo, a lot of harm continues to be done, with few people having knowledge and familiarity with these terms and conditions given. Efforts have been done by these companies, firms and organizations producing such surveillance devices such as the Alexa for the regulation of the information collected. For example, Alexa can be stopped by uttering the word stop or even be triggered by the word wake up (Hoy, Matthew B., 85). On the contrary, the controversy arises when somebody may unintentionally utter any word related to Alexa, which means that the device will be triggered.
In such a scenario, information and personal information can be collected by the Alexa or even Siri without the consent of the user. Hackers and malicious people may use this information to hack the information and sensitive information of the user. Question and point of concern raises here when the chief executive officers and other notable leaders or even managers in the Amazon, Apple and other organizations argue that the voiced data collected is stored in their servers. Reason for this assertion is that data and information is normally stored for future use, which means that this information collected and stored in the organizations servers will be used someday or one day. With the increase in the cases and issues of computer attacks and cybercrimes, information and data stored in these organizations services can be accessed by malicious people.
For instance, in a scenario where Alexa collects information about a password or even personal identification number of a credit card, then a hacker or malicious person accesses this information, what happens? People will end up losing funds or even having their accounts interfered with (Chung, Hyunji, et al., 102). This is a clear indication that new technology is posing more threats and vulnerabilities to users than advantages.
Moreover, the ability of technological applications bringing adverts of recently searched things in the internet is a clear indication that privacy of the users is being threatened or being at stake. Most of the users in the web have been claiming that something fishy is happening in their phones, in that it seems that they are being watched or being listened to for different Ads. Based on these accusations, most web browsers believe that the microphones in their smartphones and other mobile devices are used for recording conversations, with this information being used for targets by Google ads which tend to be personalized in websites and other social media platforms such as Facebook (Semitsu, Junichi P., 291). Regardless of the reports presented by experts in cybersecurity, that is Ken Munro and the David Lodge that smartphones records personalized data used by google, both the Facebook as well as the Google denied such claims. According to these leaders, apps used in these social media platforms do not allow advertising on the microphone data. Controversy occurs when one logs in to Facebook, LinkedIn or even twitter and the ads and advertisements start appearing, yet the owners of these sites deny such sharing of information (Karanja, Alice, et al., 13). Justification should be done as to why such ads appear and if at any point the privacy of the users could be compromised in any way.
To conclude, the issue of privacy is arising a lot of concern with the introduction of voice-computing devices and other smartphone apps. Cases of data breaching in platforms of social media such as Facebook and Google means that the existing policies should be enhanced in a manner which will ensure that there is no privacy deprivation. As well, users of these devices and gadgets should be aware of the ads and applications that may tend to interfere or even violate the privacy of its users. To add on this, the users of these iPhones and other smartphones should inspect the Android and other permissions for ensuring that such apps do not at any time access the microphone without their consent or even any other reason. On the issue of surveillance by the government, regulations and transparency should be enhanced. Concerns and issues raised about the privacy and the data breaching should be adequately investigated for proving the factuality and any exaggerations presented, and the strategies that should be developed for addressing the concern. Awareness need to be raised on the privacy and the security risks that can be posed by the surveillance through hacking by the government.
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