A Message of Concern…. 

Convenience, followed by the inability to have normal visiting and congregating, has encouraged or forced more persons onto phones and various social media in order to be in contact or communicate. 

It is via apps and opportunities for electronic communication, along with always-accessible cameras as phone features that Facebook Live, Zoom, Snapchat, etc., have invaded all private and public places and spaces.

Counselors and persons in any physical or mental health profession formerly had to get written permission to record any encounter.  Now we read of persons’ information becoming openly available on the internet, such as “private” therapy sessions and health consultations.

Washington Post writer, Drew Harwell, wrote a very informative espose’, published April 3, 2020, about Zoom, which has become a preferred tool.  

Harwell wrote, “… [R]esearchers have pointed to software and privacy concerns they worry could leave people’s computers at risk. Teams have highlighted security flaws that could allow strangers to steal log-in information, view messages and take control of users’ cameras and microphones….”

A Zoom executive, Eric Yuan, acknowledged in a blog post: “… We did not design the product with the foresight that, in a matter of weeks, every person in the world would suddenly be working, studying, and socializing from home,” using it in “unexpected ways, presenting us with challenges we did not anticipate when the platform was conceived.”  

He said the company would be freezing new features for 90 days and redirecting its engineers to tackling security flaws. The concerns were so serious, that 19 members of the House of Representatives sent a letter to Zoom.  

For TIME magazine, John Walcott reported on April 9, 2020, documentation from our U. S. intelligence that Foreign Intelligence agents are using Zoom to spy on Americans. 

Before and after Zoom, many simply install apps to their phones without reading or changing pre-selected “permissions.” 

When you give permission for your camera and/or your microphone, you are voluntarily allowing another’s taping and photographing of you. It is assumed that the camera can record front or rear facing, as you are able to do with a single touch.  

Facebook Live does, or can, record you as you watch it. You may block the camera, such as with a small tape. Google has access to whatever is on your Android phone, transmitting as you sit or walk around, the background is shared, and indicates to others what is important to you and your family. 

If you are connected, even while using the bathroom or multi-tasking, you are sharing much information, to potentially a few, to possibly millions.

Allah has told us in Qur’an which persons have permission to see us undressed. This is a discouragement to record or photograph anything on an internet-connected device that you don’t want public. 

Once anything is recorded – whether by mistake or on purpose, and whether saved on your phone or even if deleted – is “out there” forever.  

There is a difference between what is simply private and what you are ashamed of. Neither is for open publication – by self or others. Further, everyone does not deserve all information from every other meeting or gathering. 

(Contact Amatullah Umrani at whole.solutions@gmail.com)

You can not control others, but you can try to protect your privacy, and encourage others in your immediate surroundings to do so. Comments and solutions are welcomed at whole.solutions@gmail.com or 414-502-4456.

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