Ethics Philosophy

If Data Protection is left to the Market, will only the Rich be truely Protected?

I think that it is somewhat unavoidable for a person to protect their data if we are to function in society at the same level of ease as the general populous. By saying this I mean, taking advantage of WiFi hotspots with our mobile devices, buying the latest cars and homes via bank finance (banks are more accepting of people with credit histories when giving credit), using the latest mobile devices with GPS capabilities and even having things like GPS tracking for security purposes in our vehicles; and not to forget, online shopping – even (some may say especially) using Facebook or other social networks.

If you were to avoid using all of these ‘luxury’ convenience items I think your data would be “safer” than if you did use them, but then how well could you function in todays society? Without a bank account, credit history, even internet access you are severely hampered from being able to actively and efficiently perform in today’s fast paced life.

The question of data protection going to the rich, I am not so sure how well the rich are covered in data protection, generally I would assume that the richer you are the more on the ‘government radar’ and ‘marketing radar’ you would be. With large transactions moving in and out of the country/even nationally the local tax authorities are generally flagged on such movements. While there may be ways around these issues I do not think there will be commercially available services to evade the ‘watch dogs’ of society, regardless of price. With many luxury subscriptions and items, your information is generally shared to marketing companies.

While my above point touches on potential ‘grey area’ privacy issues, for general privacy such as email and internet usage and personal data, I do think perhaps the wealthy would have a better chance of remaining ‘private’, with premium email service providers who run on SSL connections and perhaps a more dedicated means of connectivity onto the internet, the wealthier would be able to afford the means in which to encrypt and secure their data.

That said, the Open Source and Freeware Software movement is still fairly rife; while, arguably, sometimes not as ‘good’ – probably more accurate to say, not as comprehensive as the commercial applications; there are tools at no cost for securing the devices you use to access the outside world which may contain your private data.

Referring to my previous post, new laws for anti-spam and opt-in & opt-out communications are helping all areas of society maintain their privacy.

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