International (MNN) — Cybersecurity and data mining are top technology issues in today’s digital world, and they affect everyone from government officials to your next-door neighbor.
U.S. tech giant Apple recently came under fire for its lackluster privacy controls. iPhone apps purportedly track troubling amounts of personal data. The problem also exists in Android devices, Washington Post reports; however, Apple’s recent privacy-themed ad campaign draws extra scrutiny.
In China, government officials plan to delve even further into citizens’ lives. As described here, authorities are working on a “social credit” system using smartphones and other media. It’s an attempt to police individual behavior, International Media Ministries’ Denise Godwin explains.
“If you miss a payment on a bill, there would be a sound that would emit from your phone; others around you would know you hadn’t paid something,” she describes as an example.
“Or, if you have been found out as a believer, or someone doing questionable social things…when someone calls you, they’ll hear a message that says, ‘Be careful in your dealings with this person; they’re under suspect situation in the social circuits of China.’”
The morality of tech and media
Government monitoring and data collection happen through technology and various “media” platforms. However, these mediums are simply channels; tech and media aren’t “bad” or “evil” in and of themselves.
“We are living in an age of brand new media tools [premiering] all the time, and they can be used for good and for bad,” Godwin agrees.
Think of a smartphone, for example. Along with performing ordinary tasks – checking email, texting, ordering groceries, etc. – one can consume media from and interact on the so-called “dark web.” In today’s digital age, it’s possible to fulfill almost any sinful desire of the human heart.
On the other hand, the same tool – a smartphone – allows believers to easily share their faith. Videos like these, developed by IMM, become a starting point for conversations about God.
“We’re in the business of getting the hope of Christ out to people on phones, on computers, on satellite broadcasts into televisions and closed parts of the world,” says Godwin.
“At International Media Ministries, we are in the business of getting Jesus on every screen.”
How to use media for Christ
Now that you know, what will you do? Start responding today by learning more about International Media Ministries.
“We all are really aware of how the power of the screen and media can be used for both good and for ill,” Godwin summarizes.
“It’s so important that Christians seize this opportunity to let Christ be known through the media. What an amazing opportunity we have to redeem something that’s also used for negative purposes.”
Header image courtesy of Mateusz Dach from Pexels.