Back at the beginning of the 1960s, when he wrote his dystopian novella, “A Clockwork Orange”, Anthony Burgess said, “to be left alone is the most precious thing one can ask of the modern world”. As prescient as he was, Burgess could never have foreseen the dramatic rise in paranoia currently felt over the increase in spying. Such fears are not unwarranted as evidenced from what’s come to light in recent days. Headlines are filled with scandals and news about IRS politically motivated investigations, NSA taping phone records of John Q. Public and street corner cameras watching everyday motorist drive through amber lights turning red. It seems every day another layer of our privacy is being peeled away leaving us just a little bit more bare and vulnerable.
Needless to say, all this peeking into the lives of the common man has created a boon for startups in the privacy sector. While Big Brother seems intent on tearing down the walls behind which we live our quiet lives, there are a number of companies tirelessly hard at work defending us with technology designed to keep us hidden from the prying eyes of government, cellular phone providers and all others.
With the increase in the use of smartphones, privacy has become a challenge because information like location and messages texted are not only accessible but easily hacked. A number of firms are presently providing a wide assortment of multi-platform communication services via VoiP, email, text and mobile phone and are doing so with the same level of sophistication used by governments around the world.
When it comes to internet and computer use, there are two areas in which most of us are diligent in keeping private; our financial records and our medical history. As a result, a proliferation of start-up companies are addressing these high focus issues with search engines that do not record user information to cloud encryption that stores information off site with client-encryption which even the developers of the technology can’t unlock.
Unfortunately, telecom security and online privacy will always be at risk and constantly threatened; that’s simply the nature of the beast. As protective technology updates itself to the changing privacy landscape it’s important to keep abreast of the ever changing and dynamic industry.