For as long as I can remember as a Mac user, dating back to the last century, I’ve been an advocate of privacy and security. Your stuff is your stuff and does not belong to the likes of neighbors, thieves, government spooks, or foreign entities. I praised Apple’s Touch ID in iPhone and iPad and love how it works on my MacBook Pro.
Now I’m beginning to worry about how Big Brother or authorities could use such technology to track citizen’s whereabouts and activities. At first, I was impressed with Samsung’s Galaxy Note 7 because it had a built-in iris scanner for added security. This week I read that Singapore plans to do an iris scan of all citizens. Such an activity by the U.S. government just a few years ago would have seemed preposterous.
No more. It could happen.
Singapore is just a drop in the world bucket, and has a terrible record of abuse for freedom of expression, peaceful assembly, religion, and association, not to mention the public canings that could occur if you accidentally drop your chewing gum in a public place.
The reason I say it could happen is the U.S. is becoming less of the representative democratic republic we thought it was, and moving rapidly toward autocracy. North Carolina has become so politically draconian that it is no longer classified as a democracy, now reduced to banana republic status.
What about Apple, Big Brother, and iris scans?
Apple could become an unwitting partner of Big Brother by providing customers with security and privacy measures– Touch ID, voice recognition, facial recognition, iris scans, and who knows what else– which on the surface seem to benefit customers, but in the wrong hands could benefit totalitarian rulers even more.
One Supreme Court ruling and order could undo decades of citizen security and privacy options, and all of a sudden the government owns a treasure trove of personal information that would have Indiana Jones rolling over in his grave (he’s gotta be dead by now, right?). Don’t get me wrong. I want Apple to improve and increase our options for privacy and security, but what happens to all those technology marvels when the government can demand information payment; not just from citizens, not just from corporate entities like Google and Facebook, but from the very technology companies that provide our cherished privacy and security.
I thank Apple for their efforts. I will applaud an iPhone, iPad, or Mac with voice and facial recognition, and even an iris scanner seems beneficial, but it only seems prudent to watch what goes on in the news each day– real news, not fake news– to see what steps governments, including our own, take to remove freedoms from their citizens.
North Carolina’s war against democracy is not the first step. It’s only the most recent.