Privacy in a Digital Age: Can It Coexist with Bugging Devices?

by | Jul 4, 2012 | Shopping

One of the downsides of the digital age involves privacy concerns. There was a time when the only threat to the privacy of a girls’ locker room were peep holes and brazen boys. While those threats still exist, so does the threat of digital documentation. Cell phones capture photographs, video, and audio recording while bystanders assume the individual is texting or surfing the Internet. Then there are the bugging devices.

The same technology that transformed computers from the size of an entire room to something that can rest on your lap or in the palm of your hand is also being used to make bugging devices more discreet. Typically thought to be on phones, these devices can be disguised as pens, placed in alarm clocks or televisions, or put in a light switch plate. James Bond is no longer the only one privy to such technology. It can be purchased by anyone willing to pay for it.

The technology and accessibility itself is not all bad; it’s the way it is used and by whom that causes concern. Consider the parent who installs a nanny cam in their own home to make sure their child is not being mistreated or the family member who places a similar device in the nursing home room of a loved one. In some ways, it is no different than the employer who monitors what websites are visited on company computers during work hours. It is used for the sake of accountability, and that can be good.

On the other hand, when the bugging device is placed on someone else’s property without consent or a warrant, it ceases to be accountability and becomes an invasion of privacy. Law officials, government organizations, and average citizens should not have access to any of your information without consent or proper laws, such as the IRS receiving W2 information.

At a time when identity theft is a concern, computer hacking is a possibility, and cell phones are ubiquitous, bugging devices are not the first thing the average person plans to defend against. But if your company has a competitor, if your ex holds a grudge, or if you just happen to be at the wrong financial institution at the wrong time, your actions and conversations could potentially be recorded. While the best bet is to never say, type, or do anything you wouldn’t want the entire world to discover, there are also professionals who can help you ensure your privacy is protected.

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