In this day and age when technology has infiltrated every single part of our lives, can any one of us really say that our identities belong to us? The answer to this question has to be no. Authorities such as the Government, (both Local and National), the Police, the Medical Services, and every superstore going (both on-line and off-line) all seem to have access to information about us that some of us would rather they did not have.
Also, with the advancement of terrorism worldwide, has it become imperative that governments know every single citizen who is born in the country, who lives in the country, who enters, who leaves and who dies? Again, some would say yes, this is simply for our own safety because as terrorists advance so to must the technology to protect us. But it has been noted that local councils (especially in the UK) have been abusing the Terrorism Laws by using those same laws to snoop on ordinary men and women. Obviously this is not right and goes against the grain of what they where brought out for in the first place. Is it right that local councillors should have available to them, at the touch of a button, all the names addresses and even bank accounts of the people that they are supposed to represent, at their fingertips? This is ripe for fraud.
From using those laws to snoop on innocent people, we now enter a realm of Identity Fraud. In the past, and especially so now with the rise of the Internet, Identity Fraud has thrived. If anything computers and the Internet has made it very easy indeed for somebody’s identity to be ‘stolen’ and sold on. Indeed names birth-dates, and addresses have all been pillaged and sold on to ‘other parties’. The unfortunate victims of this type of crime only realize their names have been ‘stolen’ when they suddenly begin to receive bills sometimes totalling in the hundreds of pounds/dollars for items that they know they have not purchased.
This day and age our names, and indeed our identity are not really ours at all. No, they belong to every Government and Local Agency going. We, in fact belong completely to the ‘State’, and always will, right up until the day we die. Not a nice thought, for we are truly living in Orwell’s ‘hellish Big Brother’ vision of Totalitarian Rule.
Every little thing we do, and say, whether it be talking on the phone, on the Net, or in the stores, is being monitored, watched and listened too closely. Our very identities are not ours at all as all of us, like sheep, are manipulated by shadowy figures who tell us what to eat, where to live, what to wear, who we should be friends with and who we shouldn’t be friends with. And all the time we are being watched and studied.
Our lives are controlled by the big banking conglomerates, the faceless men and women in black and grey suits who sit in offices deciding who to lend money to and who not to give too. They too know our very identities, our likes and dislikes – indeed they make it their business to know for we are their ‘business’.
Life as we know it now, has turned into a nightmare of probing eyes, of not really knowing who are friends are anymore. Given half a chance would your friend steal your identity if they thought that they could get away with it? It happens every single day, with personal bank accounts being ‘maxed’ after somebody foolishly leaves their bank receipt on the floor, tossed to one side. The truth is no one really knows who their friends are anymore. The Internet and World-Wide-Web have enabled people who want to commit such crimes as anonymous. Although computer programmes always have be be updated in order to protect our identities while we are on-line, they still do not account for human stupidly.
Yes, stupid as it may seem, people have given their bank account details out on-line to sites that they thought where legal.and above board. The results are there for all to see, even the mere act of throwing away your bank account receipt can lead to all sorts of problems later.
Our identities are not ours because we forfeited them a long time ago in our pursuit for more freedom of expression that the Internet could bring us. The Internet must take a major share of the blame in this because although it is still the greatest invention ever created, and has opened up a whole new world of possibilities, we have lost our identities in the process. The freedoms we thought we could have with the Net have fallen by the wayside, as every word we type now is scrutinised again by shadowy government officials who are also adept at using the Net and seem to know our every move.
With the New Technology we are all so used to now, has come a loss of freedom that we just did not envisage. Our identities have become eroded away until we are left as just empty shells.We are living in an age of the ‘snoop’ and where everybody is watching everybody else and reporting, in most cases falsely, on what they perceive to be a ‘threat’. Yes, our identities are gone now, from the moment we step out onto the street, we are being followed.. Our reputations, our name and identities have certainly gone before us, straight into the hands of those in officialdom who would like such information for themselves.
It has to be said though that not only do we, the ordinary man and woman have to be careful about our identities, but the Government has to too.. Last year the UK Government lost the names, addresses, telephone numbers and dates of birth (including bank account details) of 25 million people who where claiming Child Benefits. This information was stored on two password-protected computer discs. You can read about the full account of this catastrophe by clicking on this: BBC NEWS CHANNEL
Now with such sensitive information going ‘missing’ had they got into the wrong hands the consequences do not bare thinking about. Because this incident happened in the UK, it does not mean it cannot happen anywhere else, is it any wonder that our very names are not our own anymore?
We are watched carefully on what we purchase, which shops we go to, what people we meet, what theatres we attend, what schools, colleges and universities our children attend….or even if they go to school at all. Every little bit of our lives is known now, in this day and age. And one has to say to themselves, have we lost not just our identities but our humanity in the process?