Security vs Privacy

Peoples identities are very important to them. If your identity is stolen, people can access your financial information, personal information and much more.

There are ways companies can provide greater security. Right now, when we make a purchase at a store with a credit card, they might ask for ID or they might compare signatures but more often than not, if the card is approved by the merchant account, that is good enough for them. If we wanted to really make sure the person is the correct person we could use facial recognition, fingerprint identification, retina scanning etc to truly make sure we are dealing with the correct person. This type of technology is readily available and not terribly expensive and would provide much greater security.

The trade off is the fear of loss of privacy. As an example, if you walk into your bank to make a deposit, the teller pulls up your account based on your deposit slip (either by scanning it or entering the information) and then performs the transaction. Everyone knows they have camera’s in the bank and there is no reason they couldn’t use facial recognition software so that as you approach the teller, the program would identify who you are and pull up your account as you get to the counter. Your account would be tied to your picture (which would be associated with your account upon opening the account). There might be times when the person is associated with multiple accounts but all of that could be easily programmed in. The problem is the ‘big brother” aspect of this. Do we want people knowing who we are before we tell them (even if it’s for our own protection). Do we believe that the people who might control these databases that are used to verify out identity might use it for the wrong reason?

The technology is there to really step up the security issues but they do come with a price. In this case, the prices is more related to the possible loss of privacy (although no one really knows how much privacy we do or don’t have anyway) rather than a monetary cost.

Just something to think about.

Have a great day!


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