1984 by George Orwell predicted many things about today’s world. One thing in particular was the impact of technology on privacy. This includes Orwell’s idea of citizens being unknowingly monitored. Today, this relates to things like social media, where anybody can be recorded and posted online forever. People have no privacy online because they can be viewed by anybody in the world. One main example of this is how employers look at a possible employees entire internet background. In a way, this is not bad, but where do we draw the line? How do we draw the line? My solution to solving the digital ages’ problems is to get more young people into congress to establish laws when it comes to the use of the internet.

My main reason for this to be the solution comes from watching the video of the CEO of  Google, Sundar Pichai, testifying on data collection. This video shows how current older members of Congress honestly have little to no idea of what software v.s. hardware v.s. search engines do. For example, there is a part where one of the congressmen asked Pichai how a picture of him ended up on his granddaughter’s phone. Throughout the interview, Pichai tries to explain how Google does not make phones and anything involving settings on a specific phone is not controlled by Google. It is for this incompetence that a younger, more digitally adept generation needs to be making laws when it comes to technology. The older generation may not have the ability to understand the consequences of their laws to the full extent. Unfortunately, it is not Congress’ fault that times keep changing, however, because time does keep changing, the government needs to try to keep up.

Another example in 1984 was technology being used by the government to enforce laws. The thought of being recorded 24/7 is not a complete reality, but it is definitely feared. As seen in the article, Suspect OKs Amazon to hand over echo recordings in murder case, the technology to be recorded without our knowledge exists and can be used against someone in court, much like the thought police in 1984. However, the difference here is that the suspect willingly gave the court this recording whereas people in 1984 had no choice. The only way to protect citizens rights to privacy is to ensure that we have a congress that is knowledgeable of the pros and cons of using recording technology when it comes to enforcing laws. It may get to a point where it will cross a line and people will have absolutely no privacy whatsoever.

This crossing point has already arrived in some scenarios, such as on social media. One major example is explained in the article Facebook Security Breach Exposes 50 Million Users. This was a detrimental reminder as to how social media can be used to access information on anybody. We need younger people in Congress, so that when it comes to scenarios like this, we have people who really understand the ramifications of laws on technology and technology in general so they can make appropriate, helpful laws to both prevent this but still respect people’s rights. The problem with Congress right now is that they blame all of the issues about privacy solely on the companies. When they talk about investigating the issue, they say it with blame towards the company, like Facebook, as seen in a statement by Senator Mark Warner, “‘This is another sobering indicator that Congress needs to step up and take action […]’” The article goes on to say how it’s Facebook’s fault for having the bugs in the first place and not fixing them. Rather than punishing the company, Congress needs to focus on deterring hackers, who are the actual criminals.

As technology adapts, privacy adapts, and unfortunately, that means our government must adapt as well. People’s lives become less and less private each year. Eventually, it will come to a point where our nation will have to debate what privacy really entails, because clearly the amount of it keeps changing. Our government needs people making laws who are able to read the signs of the times in order to really protect and serve people, which is really what our government is meant to do. Obviously, restrictions must be made on how far technology can interfere with people’s lives, but would you rather have someone who could die in the next 10 years making those restrictions, or someone who can live long enough to see the long term effects of their laws and evolve them if needed?




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