It is becoming abundantly clear that our personal privacy has come to an end. Not through the information we willingly share in social media, but in the information that is gathered about us. From our Web history to the GPS in our cars, targeted advertising, or searches; the list of our digital footprints is vast.
Nor is there any way to avoid using digital technology or do anything about the information gathered without our knowledge or consent. Big companies are simply too powerful to engage in privacy lawsuits. Applicable digital privacy laws are not in place and are unlikely to catch up to the development of digital technology, which surpasses our understanding of it.
Many are not aware that digital information is transmitted at 1/3 of the speed of light or that the stock market for example, is virtually out of the hands of humans; many trades occur through computer algorithms, also known as microtrading or high frequency trading.
Another significant problem is that much of our most sensitive information (medical, financial) entered about us is handled far beyond the comprehension and training of those put in charge to store and protect it. Especially problematic is when the information entered relies on verbal communication or is entered incorrectly, whether through human error or for unethical personal gain.
The revelation about the NSA should not have come as a surprise to anyone. Technology is only as good or evil as the intent of those who use it. As it develops and we become increasingly globally connected, the speed of new technology advances faster than anyone can keep up with.
I do not foresee a Borg-like totalitarian system of control that so many are frightened of, but a more transparent future in the digital age. Ideally, NSA like watchdogs will develop that will actually benefit the majority and monitor verbal and digital communication to help prevent crimes against humanity.