Tuesday December 31, 2013 6:42 pm
My one big 2014 wish for the tech sector: Bring back privacy
One of my journalist friends, Monica Guzman, sent me an email asking what I'm looking forward to for 2014 as it pertains to technology and gadgets. There's a lot that I'm looking forward to, since I see 2014 as a marquee year--one that we will look back on as having brought us devices and convergence that we've been waiting for, for years. However, when I thought about it more, there was one thing that was more important to me. Here's how I responded:
I firmly believe that 2014 is going to be a marquee year in technology. I'm looking forward to things like the iPhone 6, Apple iWatch, Google Glass going on sale to the general public, the Surface Watch, the maturation of the Xbox One and Playstation 4, the spread of gigabit Internet, the next versions of iOS, OS X, Windows, Android, and Windows Phone...and that's not even everything.
The thing is, though, even though I am ridiculously excited about all of this, the fact is that there is one thing that I really hope makes it to the forefront of people's attention this year: privacy. I'm not talking about things like Facebook privacy settings or whether you should set your Twitter account to public or private--I'm talking about our government rampantly spying on its citizens just because, well...they can.
Technology has enabled advances in so many areas, and has empowered so many people over the past five years, but unfortunately, it's also currently being used in nefarious ways that threaten the very definition of privacy going forward. I truly hope that this year, we can take a step back and reevaluate our feelings about government spying. I've recently found that every time a new story is published about yet another way the government is spying on us, I roll my eyes and say to myself "Of course...why am I not surprised?" But that's the wrong feeling to have. I shouldn't just give a breathy sigh, shake my head, and then continue to go about my day. That just says I don't like it, but not enough to try to do something about it.
This year, let's do something about it.