A couple of months ago, Elon Musk demonstrated how the Neuralink chip brain implant works while testing it out on a pig in September. This is said to be the link to ‘merge’ humans with artificial intelligence (AI). It is a coin-sized gadget that can be placed in the brain and charged like a normal smartphone. The use? To control phones and machines by just thinking about them. This has led many to wonder whether the chip is also a way of capturing thoughts and putting them into visuals.
While the idea of capturing moments that only exist in our heads seems appealing to many it does bring up the question– is the last hold of privacy gone?
Does technology development mean connecting by sacrificing people’s privacy?
Gadgets breach personal thoughts without human realization. Every time a new app is downloaded, it asks for a number of permissions that allow these companies to look into personal lives. It isn’t common for many to oppose this idea, however, when a major privacy breach does occur, it comes as a shock to many.
Many multinational companies have been put under the microscope for the same. Some of the most popular being Facebook and Tik Tok.
Tiktok, a popular media app, has been questioned about it. The company collects data from its user’s messages, gender, and downloads. Even though this does not look like a mundane problem for a media app, it is a breach of privacy because the company uses this data to better their video recommendations. It also collects data on adolescents which is against the law of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
In fact, in a popular Netflix documentary The Social Dilemma, the idea of selling personal data was discussed. The way people act on social media– the time spent on posts, what is liked, and what is scrolled past– is all recorded as data. This is then sold to advertise specific products to individuals increasing consumerism. But, many people don’t see this as an issue because of the lack of knowledge about the negative aspects of it.
Selling data for advertising may not sound dangerous, however, because of the addictive nature, it creates an endless loop of scrolling and idling which takes a toll on the mental health of many. It then becomes a concerning issue as the data can be mishandled to be used against the consumer’s will. This data is also out there due to which identity theft has become more prevalent.
Another popular case of a similar privacy breach was with Facebook. Facebook, a common app used for connecting, also has loads of information about its users. The company has been on the radar for many blunders such as their scandal in 2018. Due to the inefficiencies in the system, external hackers were able to gain access to the user’s data. This breach, even though it was from an outside source, violated data that Facebook was collecting which enabled attackers to get information about more than 50 million users. This violation enabled the offenders to take control of the user’s personal information. This was an extreme concern for everyone and no one expected such a thing to happen before.
Connecting and communicating through social media is the way to live. However, does that mean to connect, people must sacrifice their privacy? But is it really sacrificing? Almost everyone knowingly puts their information on the internet while there are more than enough cases of cyber hacking. Moreover, because it has become so habitual to share our data, privacy has become unimportant in this day and age.
So, while the development of technology is constantly evolving to ‘invade’ privacy, the consumer demand for social media upgrades is equally responsible for revealing aspects of personal lives to multinational corporations.
Riya Gupta is the editor in chief of the Woodstocker
Edited by Archita Aggarwal