Sun. Dec 3rd, 2023

The Data Protection Act 2018GDPR… these laws deal with the ways in which your personal information can be used by organisations. Without them, companies would be collecting huge amounts of information about us all, and would be free to use it in any way they see fit. How can you be sure that these companies are acting in an ethical manner?

The overwhelming majority of people would agree that these laws are hugely important in safeguarding our privacy. Many of you will have read, or at least be aware of, George Orwell’s 1984. A surveillance state. Every move monitored, recorded and analysed.

So how do you feel about having some of your rights to privacy taken away from you? How do you feel about a prisoner wearing a tracking device having more of a say about having their movements tracked than you?

If this sounds far-fetched, spare a thought for this young man. He returned to Taiwan and was forced to quarantine for 14 days in case he had brought Coronavirus into the country. One morning, he was awoken by the police, because his phone battery was flat. The government was triangulating his phone signal to ensure that he was not leaving his flat. Within minutes of the battery going flat, authorities were alerted and dispatched to his address to confirm that he was still obeying the conditions of his quarantine. The scary part? He didn’t have to sign anything to give permission for this to happen.

This post isn’t trying to answer whether that is right or not. But do have a think about the laws we have to protect us, why they are in place, and how far you’re willing to let that be manipulated in the interest of global safety – after all, this is the first time in the technological age that the world has faced anything like this.