In discussion about privacy or intellectual property, you're bound to come across the following statement: "Technology has outstripped the laws dealing with the subject." But I think that's simply a stylish thing to say, because typically the argument is used in favor of why traditional limitations on human action should be removed. Technology makes it easier to do many things, good or bad. However, it doesn't generally change the inherent nature of those actions. If I can use someone's copyrighted material more easily without permission, that doesn't make it right, only more convenient to steal material. If I can easily look into the deep recesses of a person's life without restraint, I'm nothing more than an efficient and effective peeping Tom.
The problem is not that the law is so out of date with technology, but that technology tends to give people the opportunity to more easily show their true colors. Then when we don't like what we see, some apologist comes along, says that the problem is what we see should
be acceptable because technology enables it, and laws are simply short-sighted. They rarely are. It's people that lose sight - of ethics, honor, and propriety.
Labels: Excuses, law, technology