Cisco Champions ask Challenging Questions.  This is the third and final blog in our series presented by Carlos Dominguez and Jimmy Ray Purser. You can read the first blog by Carlos addressing connectivity and the less tech-fortunate here and the second blog by Jimmy Ray on the future of the CCIE here.

I recently had an opportunity to sit down with our Cisco Champions to discuss a range of topics and this was by far the most interesting question as it was inspired by high school students. High school teacher, Hector Albizo’s students wanted to know:

 “What is currently considered the dark side of technology?”

Indeed a great question!  Technology has a ying and yang.  For every good there is a dark side.  Let’s look at history to see examples.  The axe was created for chopping down trees, keeping us warm with fire wood and  building things, all good results that we benefit from.    On the dark side, it became a weapon of war.  The same trend is true for technology.

Cyber Crimes

Now that we’ve advanced in technology we have a new term in our vocabulary:   identity theft.  This is the stealing of a person’s credentials or social security number used to open bank accounts, credit cards, etc.  Relatively quick to stop if you catch them, but very painful for those victims affected.  You also see cybersecurity crimes leveraging social media platforms to identify victims and commit crimes against them, such as robbery or kidnapping.

Image Editing software

Technology is also getting darker from a human standpoint.  The market currently sells basic software that allows you to create images.  An example that comes to mind is a TV recording studio.  On the creative side, with a green room and appropriate lighting you can make anyone look like they’re on a space ship! However, you can also use software to create images or videos of people in false situations, causing embarrassment, ruining reputations, or worse.

Genetic Identity Theft

Technology, science and genetics are all coming together in one apex.  With all the research on genetic therapy, genetic modification and cloning, we’ve seen numerous positive advancements including:

Now let’s look at the dark side.    One of the scariest and darkest, in my opinion is “stealing human characteristics” or genetic identity theft.  I do believe privacy is still a concern, but this is by far worse.

What if someone stole your DNA and cloned you? Who would be the real you?  You or the clone?

What you can do about it becomes the most important question.

At Cisco we are constantly developing new breakthroughs.  We actively work on the back end to ensure technologies like quantum cryptography will protect people.

Quantum Cryptography

Cisco leads multiple committees to determine the direction of our technology.  These new technologies undergo intensive peer review and are open for public comment.  This is peer review to the extreme!  They are then tested by the general public.  We’ve led the development forefront in next generation encryption and are working diligently to contribute and build numerous security standards.  Cisco is involved in IEEE and IETF working to build, establish and create standards. When releasing new products, we’ve thought about every modicum of protection in advance.  Taking these efforts will all help secure data and ourselves.

Thank you Hector and class for the excellent question.  We’re inspired that our future business and IT leaders are thinking about compelling topics that impact their future.

What are your thoughts about the dark side of technology?  What have you seen?  I look forward to reading your comments.


Jimmy Ray Purser

Former Co-Host of TechWiseTV

No Longer at Cisco