WeeklyTech #37

Thinking Biblically About Privacy in a World Ruled by AI

We live in a world of irony. We are willing to post some of the most intimate details and events of our lives online. We gladly sign up for freemium services, like social media and email, that require us to consent to various forms of data tracking in exchange for a free premium service.  

We love how our devices just know us, as AI [artificial intelligence] empowers them to learn our habits and predict what we will want to see, taste, and even read. 

Yet we also feel uneasy and uncomfortable about this. 

We know that data can be harnessed maliciously. Even as we share everything about ourselves online to garner more likes, shares, and followers, many claim a right to privacy and even support laws and regulations that protect us and our data. 

The irony is rich, but honestly, we are okay with it for the most part because of the benefits that the tradeoffs afford us each day. 

But how are we to navigate these questions about the right to privacy, and how much is too much to share online? How do we know when to stop using certain services or when it is okay to sign up for another? These questions aren’t easy and aren’t explicitly addressed in Scripture. But we can make some judgments based on the overall themes found in the Scriptures and apply those to our questions. 

Interesting technology stories

Big Tech faces a ‘Big Brother’ trap on coronavirusPolitico

Under fire for privacy issues, Silicon Valley faces the question of whether — or how — to use all that user data to fight the pandemic.

U.S. Weighs Location Tracking for Coronavirus ResponseMorning Brew

Across the world, governments are craving more information to assist with contact tracing, a technique used to fight the spread of coronavirus. That’s led some countries to tap a potent source: location data.

Coronavirus is AI moderation’s big test. Don’t expect flying colors.Protocol

The pandemic forced some social networks to send home content moderators and instead rely on AI. What happens now?

The Coronavirus Crisis Is Showing Us How to Live OnlineThe New York Times

We’ve always hoped that our digital tools would create connections, not conflict. We have a chance to make it happen.