Call Us Today (713)781-9040

Everything Changed: How 9/11 transformed privacy expectations

The image of the iconic Twin Towers collapsing in flames on September 11, 2001, is indelibly etched upon the collective mind. In one accord, America demanded, “Never Again.” Thus began a comprehensive overhaul of the national law enforcement and intelligence apparatus.

A range of new laws and policies including the Patriot Act granted sweeping powers to the government regarding the collection of information, ostensibly in the pursuit of terrorists. At the time it was seen as a necessary tool in guarding the homeland from future attacks. By and large, Americans seemed willing to give up a certain amount of privacy for security – and they did.

Concerns were voiced toward periodic reports of abuse in collection, but few alarm bells were sounded. The eventual revelation of the wholesale compilation of call records and electronic communications of law-abiding citizens scarcely raised eyebrows. Of course, by this time Social Media had removed the aversion of a vast portion of the populace toward disclosure of information once considered deeply personal.

Complaints of overreach in information gathering are routinely dismissed by officials as unintentional or in the interest of national security and met mostly by yawns from the public. A pervasive sense of helplessness has developed in the American psyche.   However, this need not be the case.

Although it is not possible to totally eliminate government snooping, there are means by which a person can limit what information is swept up: measures such as utilization of VPNs and encrypting communications.   More importantly, these steps greatly reduce vulnerability to fraudsters.

By educating oneself and using forethought, discipline, and good judgment, your personal, private information that others – in both government and the private sector – are able to acquire can be greatly minimized.

The specialists of ResultQuest can assist with recommendations for securing your private information. If you are concerned about your privacy, call us at 713/781-9040.