Improved technology

Improved technology

Aug 23, 2017 Editorial, Features / Columnists, https://www.kaieteurnewsonline...improved-technology/

Mankind welcomes the advances in technology and indeed the human race should. From the time man harnessed steam to start the industrial revolution there has been a constant change in the way people view things and in how they actually pursue certain duties.

All of us have seen the portrayals of men crossing the seas in the long ships using muscle power. They then gravitated to sails which are still prevalent today, but largely for recreation. The advent of the steam engine changed ocean travel and quickened the time. Even that has changed.

Steam use was not confined to ocean travel. The motor vehicles that are so taken for granted also revolutionized travel. Few would believe that just over one hundred years ago a car could go no faster than ten miles per hour. Imagine the time it would have taken to negotiate the distance between Georgetown and Rosignol.

But it is the electronic age that has made the greatest impact on mankind. Conversation can be conducted with people in every corner of the world in the twinkling of an eye. There was a time when conference calls were but a figment of one’s imagination. Managers could only dream of seeing into their office from a distance.

Because of the improved technology they can be on vacation or in bed and summon a meeting from another corner of the world. Courts of law use this technology to take evidence from people who cannot be in the court, physically. This happened because of the developments in computer technology, something that was first heard of during the great wars.

Computers came to Guyana thirty years ago and have changed so radically that one would be hard pressed to recognize the early behemoths that adorned offices and even homes. The computer has made research a walk in the park. It has also made information storage so efficient that one cannot think of living without the computer.

In the more developed countries, the police have the record of just about everyone who had a brush with the law at their fingertips. People no longer need to walk around with cash. The computer has made it possible for any organization to access one’s financial standing. Where necessary these institutions could access money to settle accounts.

It is here that some people are ruing the rapid advancement of technology, especially in the field of computers, the ubiquitous tool. Even the telephone which was once an instrument for voice conversations is now far more advanced than some of the computers that operated in offices a decade ago.

These phones store records, enable bank transactions, take photographs and even direct drivers to their destination. But it is the ability of the computer to undertake bank transactions that is the most worrying.

Major countries not only talk about identity theft, they also talk about cybercrimes. Guyana has never had to worry, because it was felt that the computer geniuses were in other countries. Today, those people may remain in the other countries, but they have been able to reach into banks and into people’s personal accounts. This is the worry that the authorities now have about the developing technology.

Today, the laws of Guyana still read that for one to steal, one has to physically remove something. But in these days of electronic banking one can actually steal without physically removing the cash. Guyana in recent times has been gearing to protect itself against such a crime. It is also fashioning laws to prosecute people who do remove cash from another person’s account.

Up until recently, the credit and debit cards were believed to be the better options than using cash. Anyone robbing them would have ended up with a piece of plastic that was meaningless except to the original holder. Not anymore.

So this country has reached the stage where, if someone hacks into another person’s bank account and removes the money, the bank must be liable. At this stage the laws do not allow for the bank to accept responsibility. But the time has come and all because of cybercrimes.

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