Ethical application: Lessons from technology’s dark side can be used for positive change

Crypto crime

By adopting a proactive approach to cybersecurity inspired by the strategies of cybercriminals, we can create a safer digital environment for everyone. PHOTO | SHUTTERSTOCK

Technology, as a tool, is a double-edged sword. While it gives numerous benefits and advancements, it is also the source of some of the world’s most significant problems. However, as a knowledge economy operator, I believe lessons from technology’s dark side can be used to effect positive change and progress.

Take the example of Cambridge Analytica, which infamously misused Facebook data to influence political opinions. While their actions were undoubtedly unethical, the technology and thinking underlying their methods can be put to good use.

Imagine using similar tactics to identify vulnerable populations needing assistance. By analysing social media data, authorities could efficiently allocate resources and provide timely interventions where it is needed most.

Similarly, cybercriminals employ sophisticated techniques to breach digital defences and steal sensitive information. However, their methods also shed light on vulnerabilities that, when addressed, can fortify cybersecurity measures for businesses and individuals alike.

Ethical hackers, also known as white-hat hackers, use the same tools and methods to identify potential areas of weakness, ultimately boosting defences against malicious attacks. By adopting a proactive approach to cybersecurity inspired by the strategies of cybercriminals, we can create a safer digital environment for everyone.

The arena of politics is no stranger to underhand tactics, from spreading misinformation to manipulating public opinion. Yet, the mass influence techniques can be redirected for constructive purposes.

Grassroots movements can harness the power of digital media to amplify voices that might otherwise be marginalised. By organising hybrid campaigns focused on advocacy, education, and community engagement, individuals can mobilise for positive change, using the same platforms that once served as breeding grounds for division and discord.

Pyramid and Ponzi schemes, infamous for their devastating financial consequences, underscore the importance of financial literacy and due diligence. By dissecting the mechanics of these fraudulent schemes, we can educate individuals on recognising red flags and making informed financial decisions.

Furthermore, the network effects that feed these schemes can be reengineered to promote economic empowerment and financial inclusion. By fostering collaborative networks aimed at mutual support and knowledge sharing, communities can uplift each other economically, creating resilient ecosystems that safeguard against exploitation.

By distilling these strategies and repurposing them with integrity and purpose, we can amplify the transformative power of technology for good, where the lessons learned from the bad pave the way for unparalleled progress and prosperity.

Njihia is the head of business and partnerships at Safiri Express. [email protected]

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