Privacy is the collateral damage in our war on terror

More UK citizens must value privacy if we are ever to get the government to leave our personal data alone

Privacy campaigners and security industry stalwarts alike get hot under the collar when the state plays the national security card to erode our rights to cyber privacy. Unfortunately, it would appear that many consumers don’t agree. Half the UK public believe technology firms should prioritise national security over their own privacy, indicates research from F5 Networks. This includes giving government agencies access to locked devices such as the San Bernardino iPhone. If (as the research suggests) a third of us value our privacy highly enough that we wouldn’t swap personal data for free services, then why are we simultaneously most in favour of allowing government agencies access to encrypted data? This conflict suggests that the ‘war on terror’ message that has been hammered home for the last 15 years is now so embedded in our psyche that we believe it trumps everything else, including personal freedoms.

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