For some time it has been clear that one of the biggest challenges now, as the extent of technology penetration into our lives rockets upwards, is to balance the benefits of that against the need for limits on government or corporate (or criminal) access to that data. There are all sorts of policy and legal issues raised by this but the article below from Rory Cellan-Jones at the BBC is a reminder that there is a range of views on the subject out there. John McAfee was to be heard on the BBC news and elsewhere on Friday making the analogy between "banning the whispering of secrets to your wife" in a pre-technology age, and government attempts to gain the right to have access to our data now in case there is criminal activity within it. While this may be viewed by many as a strongly libertarian view, it is one that we should consider: these are freedoms that are hard to recover once lost. The article is worth reading as a whole, given the dangers on all sides for individuals and companies in this context.
We live in the social mobile era, where we all collect and share vast amounts of data about ourselves and others. By handing over that data to corporations and governments we are promised great benefits in everything from our health and our wealth to our safety from criminals. But of course there are dangers too ..... John McAfee, who is in London this week for the Infosecurity Europe conference, is the man who virtually invented the anti-virus industry. ....When I meet John McAfee after his speech he gives a perfectly coherent account of why we should be worried. ..... It's government spying on those phones that really worries him. He cheers the brake which the Senate applied to the US government's surveillance powers at the weekend, but fears that in Britain no such limits are in place.