During the Summer season, a lot of people will try to attend various events around the world. But during these times, we stay connected with the world through our portable technology. At the same time, this also poses some serious privacy concerns which users need to be made aware of.
Digital Data During The Festival Season
Organising a major festival or event also means there is a huge responsibility to deal with. Law enforcement and police agencies have to keep a close eye on things, and mass surveillance seems to be their preferred method of doing so these days. Just last year, local police used facial recognition surveillance during Download Festival, which was attended by over 90,000 people.
But that is not the only concern, as our devices leave a digital footprint, and applications seem to be the biggest culprits in this regard. Granted, there is an argument to be made for how event organisers issue tickets and require a photograph of the buyer these days. This creates a significant database of personal and sensitive information of attendees, even before they set foot on the festival grounds.
At the same time, attending an event comes with free Wi-Fi access for festival goers, and these networks collect all kinds of information from the apps and devices people use during their stay. A lot of apps are susceptible to exploitation, as there is not always a guarantee of secure communication. The same principle applies to browsers, and entering passwords and private information should be avoided when using public Wi-Fi networks.
Even the official apps issued by festival organisers themselves pose a risk, as they collect a lot of user information on the side. GPS coordinates, unique device identifiers, devices types, and even operating system information can all be accessed by these apps. These tactics are not just inherent to festival apps, though, but they are the ones a lot of people download once and forget about later on.
The big question is what consumers can do to prevent their sensitive information from being logged and accessed. Even though the majority of festival goers are not too concerned about their privacy, there is very little one can do about these digital footprints to begin with. Leaving your phone or tablet offline and not instaling third-party apps might be the best solution, yet it is not always viable. In the end, no one knows exactly what companies do with all of the collected information.
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