Privacy and Security: Why Encryption Should Remain a Priority
Now that cyber criminals are utilizing the very technology we rely on for daily communication, keeping our personal information secure has become more challenging than ever. While access to necessary information to investigate digital crimes is important, so is keeping citizen’s information private. For example, 24-hour security monitoring collects and analyzes personal information with no warrant at all times. This technology, designed to protect citizens also gives the government the ability to trace a person’s address, payment information, and even more intimate information – easily. Proper safeguards must be put in place to protect law-abiding citizens.
Yet, creating the right laws are tricky and correctly enforcing them is even more difficult. While a variety of steps can be taken to keep information of individuals safe and secure, the lines are blurred when it comes to protecting information in the digital world. In the past, police were there to protect citizens from danger in the traditional sense – from home invasions to bank robberies. But, crossing over to a world of digital requires different considerations, tools and regulations.
As large volumes of data come from personal devices, safeguards are necessary to keep this data secure whether it’s stored or in transit to a recipient. The idea that all online interactions are being watched by the government is what concerns citizens most. It is the responsibility of law enforcement to ensure they are not overstepping our boundaries of privacy, while still catching those committing a crime. If the information gathered does not lead to an arrest, then the right procedures need to be taken to ensure the data found is destroyed.
The need for encryption
Fortunately, there is a solution to help keep information out of the hands of the wrong individuals, which is why citizens and companies are turning to encryption. With an encryption solution in place, users can keep their information private in the cyber world. But, encryption solutions are only as strong as the locks used. If users don’t take the time to properly encrypt their information, then their information is at risk – and should assume that their data is public and can be used by anyone. And, if policies enable back-doors to encryption technology, the security of the encrypted data will be put at risk. In reality, back doors to encryption will not work. If technology can be weakened so easily, then its trustworthiness diminishes.
— Echoworx (@Echoworx) March 28, 2017
With the recent cases of private companies fighting for their right to encryption, such as the Whatsap vs UK, encryption is sensitive subject. As many continue to worry about privacy during the security debates, the consultations can act as a refresh button, a place to reset the thoughts of encryption between private companies, citizens and the government. By listening to the feedback and comments from citizens, a thoughtful discussion around the use of encryption and how to properly regulate it can be formed. Creating policies around the use of encryption for business and limiting government interaction, is a step in the right direction and law enforcement will be better able to decipher their role in this new-age of digital crimes.
As the conversation around security versus privacy continues to take center stage around the globe, it is important to ensure privacy of personal and confidential information remains a priority. While we continue to tackle digital crime and cybersecurity, tools that ensure our privacy remain extremely valuable.
To find out how you can ensure your sensitive information is protected, the additional content listed below may be of interest.
- Read our TECH BRIEF | Encryption Delivery Methods
By Sam Elsharif, VP Software Development, Echoworx