Monday, April 19, 2010

Privacy on the Web

When it comes to the web, privacy is a matter of great concern. With the billions of people with access to the internet, there is tons of people’s personal information available online. Especially now with the ever so popular social networking sites, people information is widely available. Google and other search engines have ties with these sites, which means you and your personal information could be easily access.

Many large companies like to take advantage of this. This is referred to as mining the internet for information. This is used widely by advertising companies. The companies view your basic information such sex, hobbies, and interest. They then use your information to try to sell you things they think may interest you. This information is found because of cookies, small text files created on your computer that contain information left there by the websites you visit.

Future employers may also access your personal information via the internet. They may Google your name and see what comes up. Things find on social networking sites such as photos, and status updates could be detrimental to your being hired if there is something negative pops up.

People can control a majority of the information that is found about them. The key to that is to setup your personal privacy settings. For example, Facebook allows its user too have their information public to “everyone,” or people can choose to have only certain people to access their pages. This way, even Google can not access your information. I have my account settings this way, and it actually works. I Google my name before I did this and my account showed. But now with the privacy settings, nothing came up when I searched.

In 2006 in Italy, Google was prosecuted for putting up a video of an autistic boy who was being taunted by other children. Google ran the video for two months, and it actual became the top entertaining video, until numerous viewers reported to them that it should be taken down. I personally believe that the prosecution for was not fair. What makes the internet popular is that any and everything can be found. For Google to monitor and look at everything that goes on the web (which is nearly impossible), would be a form a censorship. The internet is supposed to be an open field where everything is allowed. Censoring it would definitely change the dynamic of it.

People that are now growing up with the internet may have different expectations on the internet and privacy. They may be more aware of the dangers and disadvantages that having your personal information on the web may bring. They may be wiser and not put personal information out there or if they do may have a greater concern for protecting it with available privacy features.


leahzoochi said...

It's interesting what you put about people growing up during the Internet age and how they may feel about privacy. You said that people may be more aware of privacy issues and may be more cautious of what they put out there. It is also important to think about the other way around - what if people nowadays don't truly believe in privacy, since it is so hard to get nowadays? Maybe they don't understand what privacy truly is, by growing up in the Internet age, since privacy is so easily violated as compared to the past. Nice blog, by the way :)

Communication In Cyberspace said...

I think that privacy is something that we are going to have to worry about for a long time, it's going to be an issue no matter what. And employers using facebook, I think is a good idea, because then you get to know your future employee a little bit better.

zcrissyz said...

I wouldn't say that the majority of your privacy can be protected, especially if you just up your Facebook settings. In one of the articles, the expert specifically says that just doing that doesn't keep you out of harm's way. You can't ever really protect your privacy unless you create walls, delete cookies, refuse social networking sites and don't put any kind of information out there what-so-ever. There are hackers, there are government websites with your information, like the article said it only takes one piece of information for the computer savvy to figure out your whole life. The only thing you can really do to be safe is find a way to keep track of who is looking at your information and for most people that's almost impossible.

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