Photograph of a surveillance camera attached to the exterior of a building flying the California state and United States flags. Image by Nicholas Demetriades from Pixabay

Today I read yet another disturbing article about the incremental chipping away of our privacy rights. The article details how government has historically monitored low income communities and how low income communities in many respects serve as the experimental guinea pigs of the ever-expanding surveillance state.

I may be naïve, but I believe that this incremental loss of privacy is the unintended consequence of the desire by the technocracy (used here in a non pejorative sense) to use the power of science, computing and big data to make evidence based policy decisions. There really is no way of stuffing this genie back into the bottle. As much as we may not like this constant surveillance, we all benefit from it and count on it to be there to make multiple parts of our technologically-infused lives work.

For instance, we all hate cookies but you go ahead and try to buy something from Amazon or as a small business owner set up an online store to work without them. So as we move forward, it will continue to be important for all users of technology (individuals, business leaders, policy makers) to be aware and vigilant of our state of privacy, or lack there of, so that we as a society can find the right balance between privacy and convenience, between privacy and decisions supported by data, and avoid having these sacrifices of our individual privacy turn into a Faustian bargain.

Copyright © Roberto Veloso, Attorney at Law. All rights reserved.