Forty-five minutes is roughly the time it takes for Stella to get from her office to the 946 square foot studio apartment she calls home – on a good day at least.
However, as she made her way home on a particularly cloudy Wednesday, the nearby cars sat motionless. An accident had occurred about a ½ mile up the street and traffic had come to a halt – though the 29-year-old law student hardly even noticed.
Stella worked as a paralegal while attending law school. A part of her daily work routine consisted of screening calls from potential clients. As a way to cope with her often monotonous commute, she would replay many of these calls in her head and reflect on them.
On this day, Stella had spoken to a woman who had given personal information to an internet-based company. This company sold said info to their affiliates, and now she is constantly being harassed by solicitors on her business line – and was hoping an attorney could help.
A few days prior, Stella talked to a man who wished to sue a distant relative. The caller believed that his 2nd cousin had hacked into his bank account and withdrew funds without his consistent.
In truth, over the last few months, the aspiring lawyer had interacted with several people whose information, identity, or funds had somehow been compromised online.
As a young girl growing up, Stella always viewed the internet as a safe place to play games, catch up with friends, and, perhaps most importantly – learn.
These days, the net felt more like a haven for greedy corporations, identity thieves, and an assortment of other cybercriminals – a place where privacy no longer existed and information, of any kind, could no longer be deemed “personal.”
However, regardless of how she felt, as a working professional in 2019 – avoiding the net wasn’t a viable option.
The internet still existed and would continue to be a part of her life, but the version of the net she remembered so fondly, now seemed like a distant memory.
Her moment of reflection was abruptly interrupted by the sound of a car horn. The driver behind her was irate over the fact that the car in front of her had started moving and Stella had dared sit idle for more than 3 seconds – an act looked upon with the same level of disdain as a capital crime by drivers in almost any major city.
She placed her hands back on the steering wheel and continued home.