Lower surveillance costs leave only outdated laws protecting privacy

The Verge has an interesting article titled “Cellphone surveillance costs $5 per hour, according to report” which highlights an understated aspect of data protection: the cost of surveillance as a disincentive to conduct surveillance in the first place.

According to the article (which references a report by security researchers Ashkan Soltani and Kevin Bankston), costs of certain forms of surveillance are dropping to the point where they are far less of a reason not to conduct more indiscriminate surveillance on a larger group of people. What we are then left with is aging legislation which may not be well-equipped to protect privacy as technologies advance.

“Once the cost approaches zero,” Soltani writes, “we will be left with only outdated laws as the limiting function.”

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