Pakistan no image

Published on September 18th, 2008 | by Babar Bhatti


Privacy, Phones And Pakistan Police. A Disastrous Combination.

“You have zero privacy anyway. Get over it.” Scott McNealy – Former CEO Of SUN.

Perhaps McNealy had Pakistan in mind when he uttered his famous words about the lack of privacy and how to deal with it. Most of us are well aware of the lax privacy situation in Pakistan. Even with the lower expectations, the news of Police getting easy access to personal phone records was still a shock to may. The official announcement has not been made yet and preparations are under way to facilitate this. The core of the problem is lack of transparency, safeguards and trust. If you look at the public reaction, there is wide agreement on a single point: given the track record of police department, this access will be exploited and abused.

For the small percentage of population who understand the meaning of privacy and the implications of blatant intrusion, it is a matter of great concern. Admittedly, privacy is not a high priority item for Pakistan. Once in a while something happens like cell phone customer information at bread shops, a few people complain, perhaps a few bloggers and journalists write about it and that’s it. We even had experts from other countries come over and explain to us about the need for protecting privacy and sensitive information. The government and regulation agencies shrug it off – after all they can point to the law and order situation. Oh well, consider this one more cost of living in the information age.

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