Lucas is a 25-year old tech support specialist for a medium-sized company in Richmond, Virginia. He’s worked there for the last three years and has risen from a junior employee to his current salaried position. Throughout his time at the company, he’s learned a great deal about computing technology and general cybersecurity best practices. He now reads popular cybersecurity blogs to stay up-to-date and knowledgeable about his field.
“To be honest, in college, I never really kept up on cybersecurity trends. I guess I was too busy keeping tabs on who was attending what party. But after I graduated and got my first real job, I started paying more attention.”
While doing this, however, he has discovered some concerning trends.
“That’s when I noticed two things: 1) Hacks and breaches occur WAY more often than I thought; and 2) Companies are tracking, buying, and selling a LOT of personal data.
When you start following these cybersecurity blogs, there are articles almost every day about massive data breaches or hacks fetching million-dollar ransoms. Then, when you get into the details, you see 10 million, 40 million, 200 million personal records breached. It’s crazy!”
Upon further inspection, Lucas found the sheer number of records breached to be less troublesome than other aspects.
“But that’s only the beginning of the rabbit hole. You start to unpack these breaches and find that the company that left hundreds of millions of personal records vulnerable didn’t have hundreds of millions of users. So, where did those records come from? Well, they bought them from other giant companies that are doing the same thing they’re doing; mining their users for advertising information. It gets really gross. You finally realize that the individual has no clue about who has their data or how it’s being used and sold.”
“And, it’s kind of a sad progression. You go from feeling shocked, to upset, to powerless in a short period of time. It’s difficult to know where to start in the fight against these kinds of data collection policies. You eventually settle into a hopeless feeling of acceptance. The companies responsible make too much money for anything to change.”
The end of the story?
Luckily, this story does not have to end on such a sour note. There are other tech companies out there, fighting for data privacy and protection. You just have to know where to look!
In an upcoming article, we’ll follow Lucas on his journey as he searches for alternative ways to utilize modern technology. Will Lucas have his hope rekindled? Is there a plausible future that treats individuals like people and not statistics? Check back soon to see how the next chapter plays out.