Enjoying Technology’s Conveniences But Not Escaping Its Watchful Eyes

The tracking of Kitty Bernard begins shortly after she wakes up. All through the 56-year-old real estate agent’s day, from walking in her building’s lobby to e-mailing friends and shopping and working, the watchful eye of technology records her movements and preferences. Welcome to the 21st century.

Like many Americans, Bernard uses modern gadgets to make life easier, and along the way creates a data trail that others can access and preserve, sometimes permanently. Every Internet search resides on a computer somewhere. Comings and goings are monitored by security cameras. Phone calls are logged by telecommunications companies.

This explosion in data collection has been embraced by many Americans as a trade-off for convenience and discounts. But it also has raised questions about personal privacy at a time when the government is increasingly tapping into these reservoirs of telling details to fight crime and terrorism.

Watchful eye of technology

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