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Metaphors of Life Journal_Obituary for Our Dear Friend Privacy

Metaphors of Life Journal_Obituary for Our Dear Friend Privacy

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Published by Michael Robert Dyet

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Published by: Michael Robert Dyet on Dec 30, 2012
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05/14/2014

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SHIFTING WINDS Obituary for Our Dear Friend Privacy

Hmmm, how will Wikipedia define “privacy” by the year 2050? Could it be something like this? Obsolete term referring to the quality or state of being apart from others. The last precise instance of quantifiable privacy cannot be pinpointed. However, it is generally agreed that privacy ceased to exist for all intents and purposes in the year 2045. This may sound paranoid. But it is closer to truth than most of us realize. What got me thinking in this direction? A state-of-the-art security research and solutions company has exposed vulnerabilities in a high tech “Smart TV” currently on the market. The TV unit in question runs a Linux-based operating system. Apparently, a cybercriminal could hack into this TV and use the built-in webcam to spy on you and your family. If that doesn’t send shivers down your spine, I don’t know what will. But that’s not the end of the story On the nuisance side of the equation, the hacker could take control of the TV allowing him or her to change channels and mess with the volume and other settings. But here’s the really frightening scenario. Once the TV has been compromised, the hacker could steal files that were stored on a USB drive while it was plugged into the Smart TV – family photos, work documents etc. Apparently, the hacker could also access the “widget configuration data” which could lead him or her to user names and passwords for online accounts. Now the door is open to identity theft. No doubt this is but one of the many risks that exist on the front lines of technology. Truth be told, we can’t know for sure anymore who may be lurking in the Ethernet waiting to take advantage of us. Policing the cyber realm is next to impossible. Even when a cybercriminal is caught, prosecution is fraught with difficulties. The law lags a good ways behind the advancement of technology. At some point, it becomes just too fuzzy to prove guilt with all the high tech layers involved. I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that the advance of technology has given law enforcement many new tools to track down criminals. But it’s the proverbial double-sided coin. The same tools the law enforcement profession uses to capture offenders are equally useful to those on the other side of the equation. We’re too far down the high tech highway to turn back now. We past the last turnaround point a few million cyber miles ago. The obituary for our dear friend privacy has already been written. So what is final line of defence? I can only answer in the voice of metaphor. We’ll need to become like the wind where our most precious possessions are involved. No paper records. No digital files. We must safeguard those treasures inside 19th century poet Christina Rossetti’s world: Who has seen the wind? Neither I nor you: But when the leaves hang trembling, The wind is passing through.

~ Michael Robert Dyet is the author of “Until the Deep Water Stills – An Internet-enhanced Novel” – double winner in the Reader Views Literary Awards 2009. Visit Michael’s website at www.mdyetmetaphor.com or the novel online companion at www.mdyetmetaphor.com/blog. ~ Subscribe to “Michael’s Metaphors of Life Journal aka Things That Make Me Go Hmmm” at its’ internet home www.mdyetmetaphor.com/blog2. Instructions for subscribing are provided in the “Subscribe to this Blog: How To” instructions page in the right sidebar. If you’re reading this post on another social networking site, come back regularly to my page for postings once a week.

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