Privacy Online is Important
The internet presents a great platform where people from all over the world can share and get information. By this simple exchange of data, users are able to get value, which can even include a job. With the internet becoming a major part of our lives, our footprint online continues to expand. Despite all of the benefits that come with the internet, it has come at a cost. We have lost our privacy.
The risk of cyber criminals and hacking has gone up. As our use of the internet grows, the prospects for them to hack have improved. The breach of online data has existed since the dawn of the internet. However, they have now become a major problem. Even big organizations with highly skilled engineers have not been able to stop them. This article will weigh in on whether online privacy is that important.
Please cast your vote after you've read the arguments.
You can also add to the debate by leaving a comment at the end of the page.
employers use the internet for background checks
20% of employers use Facebook to do background checks on potential employees. 60% use search engines. [[http://www.onrec.com/news/employers_use_facebook_for_further_backg]]. This information people do not seem to take into account. Whilst on Facebook in their leisure time, employment prospects are the last things on people's minds. Especially the young, With an ever growing population of academics any compromising photos or status' found can result in people losing out on employment. We should not carelessly wash our laundry in public, we should be more careful with our personal information.
Increases the chances of identity theft.
If we easily disseminate over the internet all of our personal information, we are opening ourselves to the risk of people taking our identity. Internet hackers and clever thieves can use the information that we all too easily post on the internet to access files which only we should be able to access. Often passwords will have a security question attached. With all our blogs and status updates, it would not take a hacker much time to work out the answer to the security question and access email accounts. From here they can apply for things in your name and use them. People do not think of these consequences when they place all their information online; but they should. The more we search for free stuff we are more likely to be attacked, [[http://www.bloggernews.net/125335]] McAfee recently conducted a series of studies determining that searching for celebrities like Cameron Diaz can increase your chances of infecting your PC. McAfee’s new “Digital Music & Movies Report: The True Cost of Free Entertainment” also confirmed that your PC is equally vulnerable when searching the word “free.”
No allowances can be made for context
Often, how we feel about our privacy is a reflection of the context in which the information was disseminated. Chris Peterson of University of Massachusetts-Amherst Legal Studies commented on this phenomenon [[http://etc.cpeterson.org/documents/2009/savingface.pdf]]. He stated that whilst we would not mind information regarding our drinking being told around a bar, we would feel that our privacy was breached if that information was delivered in a church. In this regard, how we feel about privacy is a matter of context. Facebook eliminates this context. The default privacy settings now send the information to everyone. Therefore, our 'church friends' and our 'drinking friends' are both able to see all information. We do care about this privacy, but we are unable to see the context which is why we are unaware of our privacy being breached.
It Ensures Freedom of Speech
When the internet comes under surveillance, you will not be able to express your ideas freely. There is sophisticated software that can be used to extrapolate your activities on the internet. With this data, you can be targeted by the state or a private agency. When you become aware that this is happening, you will be less likely to express your views online.
You will also fear to research certain topics. The result is that you will lose perspective, which will affect your ability to make the right choices. This self-censoring can have negative consequences on society in the long term. Besides your freedom of thought, your freedom of movement is also threatened. This happens when your online data is used to track your physical location. This is a major impediment to freedom of association. In some cases, it will affect your ability to protest injustice for fear of being tracked.
With privacy, it emboldens those who would wish to abuse others. Quite a number of people have committed suicide because of being bullied online. In so doing, these bullies have been able to interfere with the freedom of others to live. It is thus important to reduce privacy online in order to reduce the chances of people being abused online.
It Helps to Protect Press Freedom
In the US, six major companies control the press. These few companies could have a major say on what Americans do and think by feeding them lies. The privacy on the internet allows other independent press to cover stories from an alternative viewpoint. That way, people can make up their mind by getting the story from different points of view. With the internet, everyone has a chance to find his or her own voice.
By encouraging privacy online, it is hard to verify any sources. Information can be posted online and stated as a fact. However, verifying that this is true can almost be impossible. The result is that the internet can be used to spread fake news. This is something that has been blamed for distorting people’s opinion online. Unfortunately, it is not possible to tell whether the information is true since it is posted anonymously.
It helps with Innovation
On the internet, you can conduct extensive research and invent something new. This could be an idea or a machine that helps to improve everyone’s lives. Without privacy, it would be hard to engage in any innovative activity on the internet. The reason for this is that your information would be accessible to anyone at all times.
No one wants to waste time developing an idea only to have it stolen. People would prefer to have the ability to develop ideas that can be beneficial to them financially. More privacy means more innovation, which equates to a better economy. Besides that, privacy ensures there is no constant judgment from others. It can cause innovators to second guess themselves and abandon potentially lucrative innovations.
It Protects Those Vulnerable to Exploitation
In this case, we are thinking of a young child accessing the internet. They can do this with or without permission from their parents. When internet privacy is enhanced, it becomes difficult for predators to seek out young children online. These people may wish to manipulate them into doing awful things. Besides that, those with mental disabilities are also protected with internet privacy. People who may wish to use their mental illness to exploit them for money or sexually cannot do that with internet privacy.
Internet privacy makes it hard to find predators. If someone joins an anonymous site, which encourages people to seek out young children, it can be hard to trace them. That is among reasons why internet privacy should be discouraged around certain topics. It essentially creates the dark web, where all the sick people can congregate and do nefarious activities.
It Allows People to Purchase Sensitive Products in Privacy
For some people, going to the store and purchasing a pack of condoms can be quite difficult. However, these are important products to the health and safety of the population. Privacy on the internet makes it possible for individuals to purchase these products anonymously. They are able to stay safe while avoiding embarrassment.
The anonymity of online sales creates an avenue for people to buy and sell illegal items. For instance, it creates an avenue to sell dangerous drugs. These are drugs, which require years of rehabilitation to get over. There is also the social cost associated with drug users. In short, the whole society suffers just a bit more because of internet privacy.
It allows People to Avoid Bothersome information
With internet privacy, you do not have to deal with endless emails from online marketers. You will also not be targeted elsewhere with ads trying to get access to your bank account. The result is that your experience on the internet is going to be stress-free. Being nagged on the internet can be a major issue, especially when you have tight schedules to meet. Additionally, you do not have to keep viewing the information you do not like online. For instance, if a friend on social media keeps posting fake news, you can just block them.
It makes it hard to reach you with the truth at times. If you keep yourself too private, it can be hard to reach you with the truth. Some of the information can be bothersome. However, sometimes a nugget of information may come your way.
It keeps you From Turned into a Commodity
Big businesses would like to keep track of you all the time. If they could, they would want to know when you get up, go to sleep, and eat. However, privacy online makes this hard for them to achieve it. You can change your setting so that you are not being used as a commodity by big businesses.
You could miss some great deals. When businesses do not know what you want, they will not be able to tell you about any new great deals they have.
People are becoming less private
People are becoming more open about who they are and the lives they wish to live. This is a great move away from the old British attitude of the stiff upper lip. People are becoming more willing to let people know when they are upset, excited or angry. People are revealing more and more of themselves and their lives. The internet is a medium which allows them to do this and people are using it to release their inhibitions. Things they feel they cannot tell people face to face they are spreading on the internet. This is what people want to do; privacy is becoming less and less important to our modern nation.
The internet is a public space.
The internet is as everyone knows a network where you can meet people and interact. It is a commons area where which we are all free to use. Even in paid areas we should not expect more privacy then you would at for example a resturant or a club that you pay to get in to. While people may well be going online in their own home the internet is not like your home and is as such much more open and accesable to others. This means that everyone should be very careful about what information they hand out and where. You would be worried about leaving your passport or something else that has all your details on a bus so why should you not be worried about having those same details on social networks?
Only Criminals benefit from internet Privacy
Whether it is planning the next terror plot or planning a bank heist, the only people who benefit from the internet privacy are criminals. While it does have some benefits for everyone else, criminals benefit disproportionality for it. They are able to manipulate it and thus stay off the radar of law enforcement. As more tools continue to develop for improving internet privacy, so do the likelihood of successful criminal activity. In short, if you have nothing to hide, internet privacy should not be such a concern to you. Law enforcers have enough training to know not to misuse any information they gather about your private life on the internet.
What do you think?