Cell Phone Privacy?
The controversy between Apple and the FBI has dominated the headlines and newscasts recently. The issue, as seen by many, is how private information in an individual’s messages on his cell phone should be kept from others. Is there an invasion of privacy whenever the government has access to those cell phones which are so much a part of our lives?
All of this leads to another matter. What do the messages on your phone or computer show about you? I am amazed how openly topics are discussed on Facebook or on other social media areas. Evidently, some fail to see that what they are posting in the privacy of their homes will become public and available to the world once they become part of the internet. Is what we do in private a truer indication of what we really are like than what we do when others see us? Communication on social messages is not private—it becomes available worldwide the instant the final key is hit.
Now, the other information not part of social messaging (like Facebook) is obviously more private, but it is known to those who are contacted using the phone or those who receive the text messages sent from that phone. The truth is that there is almost nothing that can remain absolutely secret.
So let me ask you a question. What would be revealed about you if others could know all that your phone “knows”? Would it reveal that your phone was ever used to bring blessings to others? Would it show that you had spoken words to encourage the lonely or to lift up the downtrodden? Would it show that you talked to fellow Christians who, by their lack of attendance, let you know they needed loving words from you? Would it show that the lost were encouraged to change?
On the other hand, would it show the very opposite usage? Would it show bitterness and hate in how it was used? Would it reveal instant messages about the mistakes of others? Would it show photos of you being in places and doing things Jesus would never do? Would there be forwarding of “cute” comments and stories which, in reality, broadcast the vulgarity of the hearts of the ungodly? Would it reveal the profound disrespect for the holiness of God and His name by the use of OMG, whether typed or spoken?
The reality is that your phone is always available to Someone. Absolutely nothing is hidden from eyes of the One above (Heb. 4:12). Let me loosely paraphrase some verses. “By our texts you will be justified or condemned…God will bring every secret thing on your phone into judgment, whether good or evil” (Matt. 12:37; Ecc. 12:14).
So, how private is your phone? It is not at all private to those above. Are there some changes you need to make?