Internet Privacy:Does it Truly Exist?By: Kristen TosoImage: rosipaw
Today, there are over 2.5 billion Internet users worldwide.With over 7 billion people in the world, that means thatapproximately 36% are using the Internet.Source: Internet World StatsImage: johnlemon
That’s a lot of people with, consequently,a lot of personal data.Image: Leo Reynolds
...always under theassumption that theirprivacy rights are beingrespected.Image: Nina Strelov (via Fotopedia)
However, throughout the Internet’s history, there havebeen a number of privacy scandals that have shakenusers’trust.Image: Wikimedia Commons
Violations of Internet privacy can happen toanyone at any time, regardless of age, level ofdigital literacy, wealth, or any other factor...Image: Wikimedia Commons
...which begs the following questions:Can information be kept truly personal on the Internet?Or, is Internet privacy simply an oxymoron?Image:jamingray
Image: esthervargascToday’s social mediaplatforms, onlineshopping websites,financial services, andother such sites provideusers with privacysettings in an attempt toprotect their personalinformation.
Image:chiarashineEven with these privacy settings, information can easilybe acquired and used without user permission bydifferent groups, including:
The more transparent users are in their onlineprofiles, the better that advertisers and corporationscan target them with products and services.Source: Film 260 Lecture 02: i-FriendsImage: Wikimedia Commons
“...Google Glass opens an entirely new front in the digital waragainst privacy. These spectacles [...] represent a developmentalleap in the history of data that is comparable to moving fromthe bicycle to the automobile......It is the sort of radical transformation that may actually end upcompletely destroying our individual privacy in the digital 21st century.”- Andrew Keen, CNNImage: Wikimedia Commons
“People say very personalinformation to Siri [...] They areencouraged to think of Siri astheir confidante and theirassistant......But Siri is not just working foryou. Siri is collecting a lot of datafor Apple and for its business......And people should be verymindful and aware of what’shappening to their personalinformation...- Nicole Ozer, Lawyer (ACLU)Image: MattsMacintosh
Scams, phishing and fraud are examples of ways thatcriminals can steal information from Internet users,which can have detrimental consequences.Image: pallotron
Top continents fromwhich online fraudoriginated from (2012):1. Africa2. Asia3. South Amerca4. Europe5. North AmericaThe most commonly targeted online services:Retail, online dating, financial, gambling and travel.Source: IovationImage: Simon Tong (via smugmug.com)
IP addresses, emails and social media activity canpotentially be obtained by the government undercourt rulings to closely monitor civilians.Image: neeravbhatt
“Twitter, Facebook and other social media outlets have a great deal ofinformation about all of us — and the government wants to be able tosee it...[...] the government scored a major win — and Internet privacy lost big —when a judge ruled against Twitter in a fight over a trove of informationabout [Malcolm Harris,] a political activist.”- Adam Cohen, TIMEImage: Wikimedia Commons
Image: araenae (via Deviantart)In 2012, 849 requests weremade by governments allover the world to obtainTwitter user information, with80% of them being from theUnited States alone.Source: Twitter Transparency Report
Image: Wikimedia CommonsUsers cannot assumethat privacy settingsare protecting theirprecious information.Evidently, despite the belief that privacy exists, there is a real riskinvolved with sharing personal information on the Internet.
Image: wallpapers-mobilewallpapers.blogspot.caGiven this, there are preventive measures thatyou can take in order to protect yourself andyour personal information on the Internet:
in order to become more digitally-savvy.Share Internet privacy tips with friends and family.Image: Wikimedia Commons
Image: ZomerstormThink critically about what you are sharing, where you aresharing it, and who could potentially have access to it.
Image: Lip Kee“A long-overdue bill in theCalifornia legislature,“The Right to Know Act,”would force companies suchas Google and Facebookto reveal what personalinformation they have collectedand how it’s being used.”- Adam Cohen, TIMEKnow, and fight for, your rights.
Even with these pre-emptive measures, it is difficult tothink that information can ever be private on theInternet; as the saying goes...Image: Chrisser
Image: Horia VarlanWhat does the future holdfor Internet privacy?
CreditsAll images are licensed under the CreativeCommons Non-Commercial Share-Alike 3.0agreement and, unless otherwise specified,are sourced from Flickr.