Updated: May 17, 2021

What is surveillance?

Surveillance is the monitoring of an individual whether covertly or directly.

The tool is efficient and effective used solely for a criminal investigation.

What are the legal issues?

It has to be approved legally and justified for surveillance to be conducted on a suspect. It is against human rights and legislation for monitoring or conducting surveillance on an individual without their permission. For example, recording a telephone call without consent is a breach of law.

However, each country has its legislation regarding this matter.

Has the technology increased the risks of surveillance of individuals?

True, the technology has evolved so fast that individuals become a risk of monitoring without knowing. For example, apps have evolved for tracking or listening phone calls without you knowing and counter-surveillance apps in case you have been bugged.

As the technology evolved more we are seeing the implementation of artificial intelligence by some governments where they contain all citizens information by one click.

Our mobile phones also put as risks of surveillance as technology improves. Now google email can track you and have all details of places you have been for the past year. Also, organisations can use this to make sure that employees who are using company phones are using their time based on their roles. Moreover, employees travelling abroad especially in a hostile environment are tracked for their safety.

Apps such as snap chat can track all your friends if you share your location and with now many teenagers using mobile phones risks becoming a victim of a crime by an unknown adversary.

There have been cases where hotels in some countries guests have been secretly filmed in a room and their image displayed on the internet.

Moreover, there has been an increase in apps downloaded on people’s phone where the hackers have been able to obtain their bank details and steal their money.

What are the security measures?

  1. First of all, turn off your location settings on your phone.

  2. Do not download unknown apps from unknown sources.

  3. Do not save any online banking password and pins on your phone.

  4. Do not display your real name, address, phone number and date of birth on social media.

  5. Do know that every trace can be tracked and when you search online on your phone, you leave a mark online.

  6. Always be suspicious of your surrounds and ensure that you apply common sense.

  7. Do change your passwords for social media accounts, email accounts, internet banking and mobile phone regularly.

  8. Do not click on a phishing email link on your email that you don’t know or think it’s suspicious report it immediately.

  9. Do not provide your bank details online to a vendor that not approved.

  10. Do not use public WIFI as hackers can obtain all your information on your phone.

  11. Always install a firewall on your phone for monitoring.

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