Technology can, and does, support and enhance human endeavors. But it also has the capacity to render us increasingly vulnerable to a range of surveillance activities. Everything from our cell phones (do you know what information about you every app you download collects?) to our baby monitors (have you changed the password or is your livestream viewable on the internet?) to our internet browsers, our connected cars, our video doorbells, and our wearable fitness trackers and more are not just capable of collecting increasingly granular information about us, they’re deliberately designed to allow their vendors to profit from it.
Whether it’s location tracking, communications interception or eavesdropping devices, facial recognition or other biometric tools, or just the hoovering up of our ‘data exhaust’ as we live our lives online, technological progress has also meant technological incursions into our privacy. And these technologies are developed and deployed much more quickly than our social, political, educational, or legal systems can react, leaving dangerous gaps in our laws and holes in our personal protections against excessive collection and use of our information.
CCLA believes that privacy is a precondition, not a barrier, to innovation in tech. We all deserve technology designed to maximize benefits and minimize harms, to individuals and to society as a whole.