It appears that the past year has been the worst so far regarding digital privacy. Several things have taken place that have shaped the manner in which governments treat the issue of digital privacy and how many people consider the issue as a fundamental human right that should be defended at all costs.
But what many will remember is how the Snowden revelations back in 2013 played a leading role in bringing the issue of digital privacy to the public discourse. Following the revelations that the US federal government, and many other governments across the world, were surreptitiously carrying out massive surveillance programs, many people realised how important the issue of digital privacy is.
Sadly, it appears that the Snowden revelations led governments to become more emboldened in their attempts at spying on their citizens and organisations.
A trend has been developing over time in which governments across the world are successfully passing legislations to allow them, among many other things, forcefully access the private data of individuals. In the UK, the Snooper’s Charter is now law and the government can use it to not only carry out mass surveillance programs but also hack multiple devices in the name of combating crime.
In other countries such as Germany and the United States, governments have successfully sneaked in regulations that give them more powers to access private data and, by so doing, inhibit the rights of individuals to digital privacy.
Also, governments have been collaborating in a bid to use regulations to take away the digital privacy rights of individuals, since Snowden said that the US and German intelligence agencies were working together to access the private data of individuals.
It appears that in terrorism and cyber crime, governments across the world have found a perfect cover to use to pass regulations that enable them to spy on the digital lives of their citizens. Given that this has been the trend throughout 2016, it remains to be seen what is likely to happen over the next few years.