It has been over a year since Edward Snowden, the pale-faced former US National Security Agency (NSA) contractor, blew the whistle on his government’s mass surveillance of citizens. His revelations, along with countless other Big Brother-like stories, have put privacy and perceived governmental and corporate snooping in the spotlight.
For many South Africans, it has been an interesting issue to debate, but one that has not really hit home until recently. Many of us were shocked, for example, when the Vodafone Group – Vodacom’s global parent company – admitted to government surveillance of its networks. Vodafone published an extensive breakdown, detailing how many times Vodafone companies assisted law-enforcement agencies to listen in on their users in the last year.
Unsurprisingly, citizens everywhere are becoming increasingly wary of the way in which information is handled and used by both governments and corporates, and alarmed at the extent of monitoring and tracking that is taking place.
According to the f indings of the EMC Privacy Index, a recent global study assessing consumer attitudes of online privacy, only 41% of respondents believe government is committed to