Cindy Cohn, Executive Director of the Electronic Frontier Foundation; September 24, 2019
Technology should empower you. It should put you in control. You should not feel used by the company that provides it to you. And if you’re a builder of technologies, we believe you should always carry the responsibility to empower your users. Ultimately you should be able to say that you are proud of what you built.
But when we regularly see headlines about how our phone company might have sold our location to a stalker, or how Slack is retaining all of our private messages, or how Amazon, Vigilant Solutions, and Palantir are each individually working to provide data to ICE, it’s hard to feel like we’re in control of the technologies we use or build, much less that we have any power to change what is happening in front of us. It’s even harder to think that we have a voice when we hear of companies selling surveillance technologies to governments for use in human rights abuses abroad, whether it’s Cisco selling tools custom-built to help China target minorities, or FinFisher selling spyware to the government of Ethiopia, or NSO group selling technology to Saudi Arabia that was used to target a U.S.-based journalist.