Privacy online is important
Should kids under the age of 18 be able to use Facebook?
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.
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?
What do you think?