I was reading this article where presenters at the Black Hat conference had hacked the GSM encryption used for phones and could now listen in on cell phone calls and read SMS messages. It got me to thinking on a larger scale about privacy and security, and whether protecting ourselves was something we should be worried about.

I do what I can to protect my personal information when I shop online and visit sites. I use a tool to keep Google Analytics from building a history on me so I don’t have to put up with targeted marketing when I visit sites based on where else I have gone on the Internet. But in the end, is this hack really a concern for most of us? I remember back in the 80’s when you could buy radios that would listen in on calls, and they weren’t really all that interesting.

How much of what we do on our cell phones today is really all that private? Are we creating a concern where one really doesn’t exist? As for national security matters, I would hope that they are using encryption technology on top of that used by GSM or the other technologies, but does it really matter for the average citizen? Is corporate espionage really all that sophisticated? The social networking attacks and “dumpster diving” are usually much more productive, I would imagine, than trying to capture cell phone conversations of executives from among the thousands of calls being handled within the area of a corporate office.