This week at SurfEasy HQ, we’ve been pouring over Humans 3.0: The Upgrading of the Species , the new book from Peter Nowak. It’s a fascinating tome which discusses the evolution of technology and its relationship with humanity, with predictions about how the future may play out (without straying into Ex Machina territory).
Of course, no discussion about technology and the future is complete without an exploration of the concept of privacy – or the lack thereof – and what it might look like in the coming decades. To paraphrase Nowak himself, privacy has become the issue in the digital age.
And yet it isn’t something that’s easily discussed – or, in fact, easy defined. There is no agreed-upon definition for privacy, and, as Nowak states, the study of it brings together “law, psychology, sociology and technology”. But despite the difficulty of pinning down what exactly it is, we have become increasingly obsessed with it, and equally bereft of it, as the access to and dissemination of information becomes yet freer and easier. Paradoxically, we value privacy more because we so willingly it give away.
However, it is true that younger generations consider their own privacy more than their parents ever did, even while they’re filling up their social media profiles and voluntarily giving over their postcodes and phone numbers to make purchases online. We know, now, that as well as the data that we post online, there’s an entire network of information built around us, based on our web browsing, our purchasing preferences, our correspondence – on everything, in fact, that can be watched, both online and offline. The clearer this becomes, the more uncomfortable we are becoming with our inability to be invisible.
Nowak posits that, in the near future, this situation can go one of two ways; either these people eventually disconnect entirely, which is unlikely given how strongly modern life is into the online world, or the concept of privacy will “reassert itself in several different forms”. One of these, according to Nowak, is encryption.
As you might have noticed, encryption is something that we’re passionate about – and, you also might have noticed, something that those in positions of authority are also passionate about, if only for themselves. Corporations, banks and large organizations all use encryption to ensure that their information is kept safe and secure – so why don’t we demand the same thing?
Well, according to Nowak, we will; in fact, many of us already are. We’re proud to be mentioned in Humans 3.0 as an effective and affordable way to privatize your mobile traffic, but we’re in complete agreement that in order to maintain personal privacy, individuals need to consider both technological advancements and real world solutions:
“Better technological tools such as encryption inevitably will aid in this respect, but so too will a renaissance of good old-fashioned low-tech answers. Proper privacy management will involve a combination of the two.”
Education is the best way to empower individuals, and in this way we hope that we are helping you to make good decisions about your privacy. As for the technological side – well, you can get started today at surfeasy.com/register.