Monday, November 5, 2012

Who's watching?

This past Saturday, I joined the rest of the world’s elite and became the proud owner of the new iPhone 5. I have been on the thing nonstop for the past 48 hours and let me tell you it is great. Anything I want to know is at a moment’s notice. I don’t even need to pull out my big laptop any more if I want to find out some information. Everything is literally seconds away.

                We live in a society today that is based on the advancements in technology and the latest and greatest products that come out for us to use. As I said before, we have access to any information we desire. It is just a touch away. If we are interested in any personal information about someone we are able to access it. Companies use this advertising technique (known as data-mining) to cater to what it might look like the consumer’s interests are. When you enter information for something such as an email address, a phone contract, etc. you are putting your information out there with the risk of somebody finding it out. Through this, companies are able to get some useful information as to what you, the consumer, might like to hear or see. This form of advertising normally shows up in our mail through letters, flyers, etc. Companies that send out those mass flyers that it seems like everybody gets are using data mining by extracting your address from a database somewhere. It is almost to the point where the government is able to watch our every move. We discussed in class on Thursday about this privacy issue. Maybe this concept of “data mining” has gone too far. Is there a line being crossed? Should there be boundaries as to what and how much information is out there available to anyone?

                An interesting point was brought up in our discussion and that is we shouldn’t be so upset about our privacy being invaded because we shouldn’t have anything to hide. If we aren’t doing anything wrong, then we should have no problem with people seeing our stuff. When meditating on this side of the argument, there are several verses in the book of Proverbs about integrity that stand out to me. Solomon says in Proverbs 20:7 that he who walks in integrity blessed. He continually talks about the integrity remaining steadfast and being able to hold themselves up while crooked people falter (10:9, 11:3, 28:18). 

I do believe that we should all live lives of integrity and be honest and sincere in everything we do because as Christians it is our job to lead by example and take up our cross each day. Looking at it from that perspective, we shouldn’t have a problem with people getting into our personal information because if we lived with integrity we wouldn’t have anything to hide. Unfortunately, this is not how the majority of the world sees it. With most of today’s society being secular, it is going to be very hard to convince someone to live with the same integrity that Jesus lived with. This is a big factor as to why data mining might be frowned upon for its invasion of privacy. While it’s nice to think that maybe everybody can live with the same accountability that we hold ourselves to, the reality is most people don’t think that way. The next time I’m going to look something up on my iPhone I’m going to extra cautious with the data I enter. Who knows who is watching.

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