Technology and the Invasion of Privacy
As citizens of America we are all entitled to our rights of privacy. When something threatens this guaranteed privacy we tend to take extra precautions to prohibit prolonged violation. As the advancing world of technology continues to grow and expand, so do the amount of cases involving privacy invasion. Technology drives these privacy-invading crimes; however, crime also drives technology, creating a vicious cycle. Without technology an invader could not enter that of a stranger’s life. Conversely, without technology that same criminal would evade the law enforcers. So does technology protect citizens’ privacy, or does it expose one’s entire life? In regards to this question, one must consider: before the rise of the world of technology, privacy invasion was not a common issue. With this fact in mind it is not difficult to determine where the problem lies: technology threatens privacy.
Computers are main technological features that allow criminals to step into unsuspecting victims lives. With a simple piggy-backing program hackers are able to track every keystroke made by the victim. One such program is called spyware, not to be confused with adware, which is often referred to interchangeably with spyware, but is potentially harmless (Louis 15). Spyware, hidden within downloaded software, implants itself deep within a computer’s hard drive, allowing it to track every move made by the user (Louis 16).
Once inside a system, spyware can gather e-mail addresses, passwords, and credit card numbers. This gathered information is then transmitted across the internet to the author of the spyware, who then uses the newly gained information to determine which ads should target that user (Louis 15). The author may even sell the personal information to another company. Currently, approximately 80% of household computers are infected with spyware, and it is estimated to be responsible for 1/3 of software crashes (Consumer Reports 16).
Being the fastest growing crime of today, it is estimated that every 79 seconds an identity is stolen (Consumer Reports 13). Empty promises made by solicitors in spam e-mail offer a free gift in exchange for personal information. These solicitors have no intention of sending any free gifts, but their...