High-tech — no help

CTALK - Cito Beltran (The Philippine Star) - December 10, 2018 - 12:00am

Technology based privacy can be a curse.

With Christmas around the corner, many people will surely be buying the latest gadgets and gizmos particularly mobile phones and laptops etc. A few years back people were fascinated and spent lots of money for mobile phones and gadgets that provided high tech security features such as finger print scanners and facial identification systems. I actually received such a phone and used the scanner for about two weeks and discovered that it was such an annoying feature for guys like me who perpetually had grease, paint or mud on my fingertips. It also annoyed me whenever it would not open if my fingertip was just a tad bit off center on the scanner button.

It seems that some of my very affluent friends actually had laptops that were more sophisticated and had security features that scanned the owners’ iris or some sort of facial recognition technology. That of course would sound really cool and seem really safe for today’s young generation, but I recently came across a real life situation when the finger print lock and iris recognition ended up being a curse and major problem for the family and police who were trying to open the phone and laptop of a murder victim. First of all, very few people knew that the finger print scanner was operational so that so much time was wasted trying to unlock the phone using various combinations of numbers for the password. Same thing happened with the personal laptop until someone recalled the victim using his index finger.

What most people don’t realize is that if the owner is involved in an accident particularly fire, collision or if the owner has been dead for several days, the finger prints may already be compromised or “decomposed” or deteriorated in quality and therefore non-readable. I don’t really know what happens to the iris but given the amount of blood loss after autopsy and embalming or trauma then the integrity or readability of the iris may also be seriously compromised. I’ve never heard of this drawback to using finger print scanners or iris scan but you all should think twice about being so “security” and “privacy” conscious that you might end up locking out people who may need to know things if anything happens to you.

Personally, I strongly recommend that you don’t keep secrets because no secret is ever kept hidden forever and that’s in the Bible. If you have possible threats or enemies or people you suspect may want to harm you, let your family know because they could also be the target and if they are kept up to date then whatever happens there are people who know instead of people who are left guessing. Finally always leave your important passwords with someone you can trust but someone not engaged with your business or family. That way if anything happens, the police or your loved ones won’t have to handle your hands or eyes, something so disturbing for everyone. 

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After reading many of the commentaries on social media concerning the acquittal of ex-Senator Bong Revilla, I was reminded of the movie “Heneral Luna” where the lead character persistently criticized and berated the powers that be as well as the groups with vested interests who prioritized family and business over love of country.

I honestly find it hard to comment on the decision because I am fully aware that our Justice System was designed, legislated and operated to fail. It is a justice system that has been influenced by different political as well as “commercial” families who have been at odds since the early 1900s. It is a justice system that is used or abused by people in public office to protect their interest or persecute and prosecute their enemies. Ferdinand Marcos was acquitted of murder, the military courts went after Ninoy Aquino, PNoy went after PGMA and allies, they in turn are now after PNoy and now the very people PNoy sent to jail are strolling out of jail. The cruel joke of life is that several of those players were detained in the same detention facility in Camp Crame namely Jinggoy Estrada, Bong Revilla and Leila De Lima, “Sama-sama before they goodbye.” Our system is a justice system that operates on various currencies: cash, political patronage, religious or political influence, legislation etc. One administration uses it to go after their enemies or those who fail to cooperate then stuffs it with their own people so that when a new regime comes in, the newbies will have a difficult time persecuting those before them. And just like in the time of Heneral Luna, the poor get shot, the rich find religion, pity and run for public office.

We seriously need to overhaul the Philippine Justice system because it has lost much of the public trust as well as the fact that even amongst themselves, they are clearly conflicted by way of morals, law and integrity. The degree by which interpretation of laws, procedures and decisions are split politically is a serious threat to the Judiciary from top to bottom. How much longer can this country survive with such a corrupted and defective justice system designed and controlled by the rich? God help them if a modern day Heneral Luna rises because on that day the handwriting on the wall will be written in blood.

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E-mail: utalk2ctalk@gmail.com

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