he extent of NSA monitoring revealed by whistle-blower Edward Snowden showed that democratic and supposedly "free" governments do already attempt to monitor us. The scale of monitoring required is vast, but the technology is catching up. There are two technological changes that are taking place at present that I believe will fundamentally change our approach to privacy...
One seemingly simple update to the application caused a huge disruption across the technology industry. WhatsApp's announcement guarantees its one billion users around the world that neither WhatsApp or third parties can listen in to or read anything sent from one user to another - which includes messages, photos, videos, voice messages, documents or calls.
I've had all the notifications turned off on my phone for about a year now. Nobody would ever know, though. I never miss a thing. Because the damn phone is always in my hand. I'm never not looking at it. On the rare occasions I'm not looking at it, I'm thinking about the fact that I'm not looking at it. I'm in an unhealthy relationship with my phone and we need to break up.
Mark Zuckerberg should be smiling from ear to ear, right? Whilst obviously happy with these results, there is a nagging concern that Facebook is still grappling with. The platform is not attracting the younger generation, who are turning their backs to the platform in favour of alternatives like Twitter and Instagram (albeit the latter is also owned by Facebook).
There is a risk that a terrorist cell may use WhatsApp to organise a terrorist attack, but equally there is a risk they will use a family car to carry a car bomb or public transport to get to their target. Are we also going to ban public transport and family cars unless the security services have the ability to monitor everyone who makes use of them?