Email Privacy Violations: What to Do About It
Monday, October 17, 2016
The 4th amendment to the United States Constitution exists to protect your right to privacy. It mandates that your property can only be examined by those who have first procured a warrant to do so. Yet government agencies extort our data from technology and telephony giants without warrants to meet their insatiable desire for power over the people. They attempt to hide their criminal behavior behind the idea of “national security.”
Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety. –Benjamin Franklin
For years now, privacy hasn’t appeared to be a concern for the general public. The majority have been rather open and carefree with the dissemination of their personal information on social media networks like Facebook and Twitter. Without prompting, social media users post where they are and what they’re doing at all times of the day and night. Complete strangers are able to see what city another person lives in, what school that person attended, what they like to do and eat, their personality traits, etc. All of this information has been spoon fed, if not shoveled down the throats of the American public. On the surface, it would appear hypocritical to be angry about the breach of trust, outright lies, and selling out that was exposed at Yahoo recently.
For those who don’t know, Yahoo created a program that scanned their users’ email messages. They then handed the resulting data over to the government- without receiving a warrant to do so. Former Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer claims the NSA blackmailed them with the threat of heavy fines if they didn’t comply, but Yahoo didn’t attempt to take the government to court or the news over the matter. No, Yahoo gave them what they wanted without a fight- your personal liberties be damned.
So why be mad now?
One: Each of us is responsible for choosing what information we display on our social media sites. Facebook does not reach into our computers looking for pictures and then posts them without your knowledge. Twitter does not create tweets for you and send them out acting on your behalf. You are responsible for the information other people receive about you.
Two: Many people say, “If you don’t have anything to hide then what is the big deal?” The big deal is that while you may not have anything to hide, this initial intrusion opens the door to allowing the government even more privacy invasion in the future. Consider a doctor’s visit where you receive a horrible diagnosis. You’re separated from your neighbor by only a thin curtain and they hear, how would you feel? A complete stranger now knows something about you that not even your own mother does! This is what’s happening with our emails. They are being read by complete strangers. Maybe you’re passing on confidential information about yourself, maybe you’re not. The point is complete strangers now know something about you that you may wish they didn’t.
Google, Facebook, and other online social media outlets have denied sharing their users’ data. However, these vendors own their domains, servers, and all the data that you willingly put onto them. They are able to share your data if they want to. And just because they deny doing it doesn’t mean that they don’t.
How to keep your privacy
To comply with state, local, and federal laws, HR mandates, and numerous requirements from other regulatory bodies, confidentiality is vital. It’s also vital for preventing corporate espionage. Our modern world is not a safe place. You can’t entrust your data to a party that may decide to peruse it at their whim- or the government’s. The safest way to send email is through your own email server. If it sounds too costly, think again. Loyal IT will assign your business it’s own email server, host it, and maintain it for you for a low monthly fee. Only you will have access to your data, saving you from the threat of having your privacy invaded without your knowledge or permission. Contact Loyal IT today for a free quote.