Expanded Scope of Security

Advancements in technology have also brought about advanced abilities to track, locate, and monitor. The capabilities are there, but sometimes the controls are lacking. Often overlooked are the policies and controls surrounding who has access to the information and the impacts of these features. The scope of security for the information collected through these means should extend to all areas, even physical.

Some weeks ago I heard a news story about the improved tracking technologies on cars. It was one of many stories I’ve heard recently about the impacts of tracking car movements has on drivers. In this particular story, a woman had left an abusive relationship. She took the car, even though her ex-husband had purchased it. In time, she realized her ex-husband kept “running” into her because he tracked the car’s movements through a phone app. Even worse, the woman wasn’t able to disable this feature for her ex-husband. Even though she had documentation from the court proceedings to verify she was now the owner. To the car dealership, the ex-husband was still the “legal” owner of the car. Eventually she paid a mechanic to remove the wiring to permanent disable the feature.

While hearing this story, I kept wondering where are the policies for these types of scenarios to protect people in cyberspace and in real space. I’m usually focused on how big companies take our data and use it for all kinds of reasons related to advertising and marketing. Sometimes I forget about individuals using it. One of the worst parts to me is how difficult it can be to discover these features. Or to learn about them and figure out which data is being collected, tracked, and unintentionally shared. Even worse, some of these features can be incredibly challenging to disable.

I hope as law makers scramble to catch up with policies and controls, they consider the implications in both cyberspace and real space. The challenges are real. Frankly, it shouldn’t be so hard for us to be in control of data about us.

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