Tuesday, May 4, 2010


Advent of digital technology has contributed to distinct improvements in the quality of life in many countries, especially the developed ones. Of course in this process, man's tendency to drift into a sedentary life has spawned a new problem in the form of multiple life style diseases and the cost of handling this crisis is enormous. A new dimension to this problem is the continuous erosion of privacy because of the impact of such data generated and used by many agencies on the personal lives of the denizens in the name of improving quality of life! Here is a commentary on this aspect of modern life.

"But these and other surveillance techniques are also reminders that advances in data collection are far outpacing personal data protection. Enter the post-privacy society, where we have lost track of how many entities are tracking us. Not to mention what they are doing with our personal information, how they are storing it, whom they might be selling our dossiers to and, yes, how much money they are making from them. On the way out, consumer advocates say, is that quaint old notion of informed consent, in which a company clearly notifies you of its policies and gives you the choice of whether to opt in (rather than having you opt out once you discover your behavior is being tracked)".

In the classical sense the divide between communism and capitalism revolved around person privacy which is supposed to be sacrosanct in a free society where as there is nothing that is private under communism. It is a telling commentary on the changes now taking place in the democratic world that the individual is losing his personal entity while rushing towards a super-comfortable life style. Who is to be blamed for these unconscious changes in the society and whether this is what is desirable are questions begging for an answer!


No comments: