Many have called the current time the “Age of Information.” This means that information is fast becoming one of the most important commodities on the planet. As a result, protection of this commodity is becoming of paramount importance. There are at least a few different approaches forming in recent days in response to this threat. Here are a few possibilities of what the future holds for privacy protection online.
One approach to privacy is to make network completely and totally decentralized. An example of this is the service Bit Coins. This service is a way of paying for things on the Internet without giving away the source of where the funds came from. By decentralizing a network, it becomes impossible to identify one node in the network from another. Trying to track down and find where the money came from using only a decentralized network is like trying to identify individual grains of sand in the ocean.
It’s possible that in the future, more such decentralized approaches will pop up in many other fields as well as a way to protect people from any kind of privacy invasion. An example of another attempt at this is the Bit Torrent service, although it’s not private at all, it is decentralized and some efforts are moving towards making the network completely private and anonymous.
The “Virtual Private Network” approach is gaining traction and is likely to only continue to do so in the foreseeable future. Since many governments and private corporations, as well as unscrupulous individuals are continually trying to pull private information from private citizens, creating a secure link between your home computer and where you are browsing to that doesn’t give away your personal info is an increasingly important service. Many such services are appearing, including Hot Spot, GoTrusted and others, as a result.
This trend will likely continue, and it’s possible that in the future it will become increasingly odd for anyone to try connecting to an open Wi-Fi connection without protecting themselves against privacy invasion.
Another practice that is likely to only expand in the future is that of data monitoring services. For example, there are already services like “free credit report” that will alert you if there are signs that your information has been stolen online. Many credit card companies are already doing this sort of thing for their customers for free, and it’s possible that increased government crackdowns on privacy invasion and identity theft will occur over time as it becomes more and more of a problem.
Future Privacy Conflicts
Overall, privacy protection is an issue that deserves serious development. It will be the demand of private citizens that pushes governments, software developers, and online services to put out more secure systems that allow people to remain anonymous with their information protected. It’s likely that there will be a conflict in the future, however, between just how much privacy private people should be allowed, due to the potential for misuse.