Spread the Word: Encryption Matters
Mark Surman

For the first time ever, we have a $500bn company behind privacy, we should make the best of it!

As far as most people are concerned, encryption is not something they have to deal with, apart from an odd pin number or password. There is an idea that you need to prevent unauthorized access (like a key or password), but nothing more than that in practice. Without hands-on experience using encryption, people may not ‘get’ it. By actively using it, they can understand how it works.

Tech companies like Apple (or, dare I say, Mozilla) are in a unique position to reach a lot of people and can use that reach to push educational campaigns. A campaign to promote encryption should be accompanied by actual interactive and practical tools, but also tools with a broad appeal and ease of use.

As it happens, there is an ongoing Mozilla pro-privacy campaign in university campuses. That could be built upon as a broad campaign to teach the value of privacy, both for individuals and societies and its growing importance in the coming computer era. Not just that “privacy is important”, but what it is, why people should care and what they should do about it. In that scheme, we should also not ignore the role of free/libre software (here we may disagree with Apple).