'Like it or not, you are your data. In this day and age, your receipts, social media activity, public records, GPS data, and Internet search history are the proof of who you are. And while you may have thought you had secrets, the Federal Government would like the rest of them.
The seemingly innocuous pieces of information we trade away every day create a detailed mosaic of our lives used to target advertising and create personality profiles that are exploited by the FBI, political operatives like Cambridge Analytica, and Russian propagandists.
And those are just the legal shenanigans! Instances of malicious hacking that jeopardize social security numbers and other important data are on the rise as well.
But all hope is not lost! There is but one meaningful defense against such intrusions, one used by whistleblowers, banks, the government (often poorly), and college students: encryption.
Encryption Is Powerful, so Naturally the Government Wants to Control It
Encryption, to oversimplify, is the process of putting your data in a combination locked safe, and it’s becoming more popular. Like all passcodes, these combinations are best stored non-electronically.
Automatically encrypted search engines and Internet services simplify the process for users. They protect individuals’ data from hacking, theft, and even the government, but they also retain a repository for all the combinations they use to lock data up.
But that may soon change.'
Read more: The NSA Wants a Skeleton Key to Everyone’s Encrypted Data