Google CEO Sundar Pichai was questioned earlier this month by the American congress about privacy, data collection and ability to track individuals by google. With technology increasing at rates we can barely fathom, it’s time we start taking notice of how it is affecting us, adversely.
Since the start of the industrial revolution in 1700s, human beings have speedily advanced from the invention of the wheel to fighter jets to virtual reality simulations. Technology is changing and upgrading so rapidly, that we now barely have time to get used to one system before we have to switch over to an upgraded one. Along with this rapid advancement, come new threats. The Tech industry’s inventions may cause catastrophic problems if not judiciously controlled by regulations and adequately monitored by governments.
The industry aims to connect everything through the Internet of Things (IoT). Phones are connected to laptops, which are connected to speakers and your television. First, phones had buttons to make them function. Soon after, we had touch screens. Then you could talk to your phone in order to make it work. For example, “Siri, open Spotify” and then your phone would talk to your speakers through Bluetooth and you’d hear the song you wanted. Today, you can just by-pass the phone altogether and talk directly to your speakers, “Alexa, play The Beatles.” All these rapid development in technology has all happened very quickly – in a span of barely 25 years. Connecting devices and rapidly improving technologies have made sharing information so convenient and fast that we haven’t really had time to think about the negative effects of these new advancements.
Smart toys and a wealth of information about everything can bring many dangers, particularly when they fall into the wrong hands. The fact remains that we are still not exactly sure how digital security affects our privacy, lives and property. It has actually been identified as a threat to a country’s national security, if uncontrolled. Measures have not yet been put in place in order to make sure that everyone’s privacy is protected or that tech industries do not go overboard with the innovations without giving due attention to individual’s security, privacy and personal data. Technology is rapidly advancing at rates that law enforcers and governments are finding it difficult to keep up with. Once the technology is out in the public, it is very hard to get rid of it should it cause a threat.
Rules and regulations must be put in place in order to keep people safe. Of course, these may also make the production of new toys a slower. People funding the research and development in these industries are not going to let that happen so easily. But, individual’s privacy, safety and security are paramount and needs to be valued. Governments need to get involved in order to keep order and make sure these toys do not get out of control.
Tomorrow is definitely going to be more technologically advanced than today, but hopefully, with small ‘speed bumps’ of intervention and security measures along the way, we can make sure technology can continue to progress with our safety in mind.
Read on the NY times article to immerse yourself in this topic.