Student’s Name

  • Category:
    Sociology
  • Document type:
    Essay
  • Level:
    Masters
  • Page:
    4
  • Words:
    2919

4Impact of the Internet on Information Privacy

IMPACT OF THE INTERNET ON INFORMATION PRIVACY

Impact of the Internet on Information Privacy

Introduction

The internet has become a home to almost every person in the world. Internet is not used only by those who are less fortunate to access computers. However this is a worry since most people are internet users and also have access to every networking site available today. The internet consists of various networking sites which include, face book, twitter, Google, Skype among others. The involvement of people to such internet sites endangers their information privacy. Most blogs and sites prompt the user to fill their details. The users are not aware of the insecurity of their information since they do not read the agreements and policies of the various sites. This may because it takes time to read the agreements and it’s cumbersome. The sites also provide the agreements and policies with a jargon or language that people cannot understand easily. This makes users to ignore such important issues. The internet is able to protect at a very low percentage, the personal information provided by internet users. This information is used by companies and government institutions to advertise their interests. It is also used by malicious people to find their way into these users’ accounts and gain illegal access to their money and other forms of property. The information can also be used to blackmail ones image to the society and the world in general. The internet’s impact on information privacy however, has both negative and positive effects.

Discussion

Information privacy refers to the hiding or concealment of data and information from being accessed by authorized persons. Privacy over the years has changed due to the development of technology. Technology has made a great impact on the culture of many. Sharing of information about oneself has become a routine. This is contrary to what was there before. Families would not share their pictures with non- families and their information was kept secluded. In the current century, all social, Medias and various sites prompt the user to share their personal details. The site claims to protect the personal information, which is stated in a long chain of terms and conditions. Privacy terms however vary from one company to another (Buchmann, 2013).

Research shows that many people are concerned of how their data is collected online and they demand proper control of their personal information. The people are worried of what is to be kept private and what needs to be publicized. Information to be posted in public is supposed to be from ones authorization. Many people are also afraid and not sure of the internet terms and conditions when providing their personal details. When a problem occurs, there is also a very big process of determining the correction strategies («Privacy and Information Technology (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy),» n.d).

Methods used to collect people’s personal details are vague. Some websites do not clearly state what they wish to do with ones information once they have it. Various companies claim to protect the personal information but they end up sharing it out with an authorized people and people who intend to crush ones online activities. Most companies and sites, during their data collection, pick most details of the user including the IP address and contact information («Privacy and Information Technology (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy),» n.d).

The main issue concerning the internet and information privacy revolves around the use of cookies. To enable full access of a site, these small pieces of data are sent to the users computers. These cookies are sent by various websites. The cookies also are used to monitor the activities of the user in all other websites that he or she visits. The user is able to access the same information of a certain website, in many others. These cookies control the ability of a certain user to access information. They interfere with the user’s privacy (Buchmann, 2013).

Privacy policies are an important factor in regards to the information of visitors to various websites. Almost all websites have terms and conditions or agreements that a visitor or user requires reading and understanding before engaging into any activity of the website. The policies however are stated with languages and written in formats that are difficult for the user to understand easily. The policies are at times also taking too much time for the reader and this makes most users to ignore them. Users are not able to differentiate the bad policies from the ones that protect their information. They do this believing that since they exist, the website protects their information which is not true («Privacy and Information Technology (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy),» n.d).

Many people spend most of their time in social media sites than they do on their daily day to day activities. However they do not just use social media for social activities. Social media sites also acts as platforms for business and various personal activities. People therefore relate in various dimensions through the internet. The personal information requires high levels of privacy so as to protect them from malicious malware (Buchmann, 2013).

The internet is being used by many companies, governments and non-government organizations for their benefits. Studies shows that the internet is a major profit earner for most companies in the world. These companies play an important role I protecting the internet from discrimination. The internet is able to provide such companies with the information they require about people. These are user’s personal details that are not supposed to be shared to anyone. A great social media for instance face book has over four hundred million users. Everyone signing in by creating an account is supposed to provide almost all the personal information that one has. This includes names, birth dates, marital status, location, and place of work, family members and so many others. This information when leaked or hacked by someone can be used to cripple all the activities of the user either online and socially (Buchmann, 2013).

Google is also another site that requires ones personal information. Google has very technical means of locating the places of everyone who has an account. Google provides the government and other malicious people with one’s personal information. This is in contrast to the agreed set terms and conditions on protection of the users information («Privacy Implications of the Internet of Things — InfoSec Resources,» n.d.)

Sharing of one’s personal information to the internet is done with intention to help one relate effectively with other people from various interactions in the world. This information is intended to help work towards some academic standards, sharing of ideas, and in the general importance of everyone. The internet has changed this role and people’s information is used for blackmail and or searching for their hidden places. When a crime has occurred and the government needs to locate the people involved, they use the internet to locate them. Their details as indicated in posted in various sits and blogs and information regarding his crime is indicated. Although this is an ad in reducing the crime rates in the world, personal information is ought to be disclosed and should not be displayed by anyone without direct authorization. In this context, the internet prompts a negative impact towards information privacy (Buchmann, 2013).

The internet also provides people with ways in which they can cripple and crack into people’s accounts. Various studies show that hackers create viruses and locate them in various websites in the internet. The viruses install themselves into the computers and phones of the users and send in a hideous way their personal information and passwords to the crackers. This is an example of how people hack and access people’s information in order to steal and or transfer money to their account from people who do online banking. This problem is as a result of the failure of the internet to protect people information. The internet should be in a capacity to deliver adequate security and protection from malicious software and such virus («International Report: What Impact Is Technology Having on Privacy around the World? — Scientific American,» n.d.).

Another disturbing issue is the sending scam messages and emails to people’s inboxes. The internet provides various websites with emails of users. These websites send emails inform of advertisements. When one opens such and email, the emails takes them to websites that are intended to steal and access their personal information. The internet is supposed to protect a user from these kinds of emails. It has a duty to provide the user with the legitimacy of such kinds of messages. The internet pages also consist of very many viruses that come to the page as false advertisements. The internet providers should give awareness of suck kinds of advertisements these most are meant to steal people personal information (Milne, 2015).

Failure of the internet to ensure and enhance information privacy, has led to what may be considered as online attacks to other governments or companies. Many governments and also institutions have shared their details to the internet. Other governments launch attacks based on the information provided in the internet about the enemy governments. Through the internet, war fares are planned and war equipments are installed to the places of attack. Studies have shown how people send missiles and other dangerous war equipment to attack their foes. Governments are also able to interfere with the networking systems of their adversaries. Many practices that lead to the deaths of many people occur due to failure of the protection of information privacy («International Report: What Impact Is Technology Having on Privacy around the World? — Scientific American,» n.d.).

Online advertisers are able to access information about their customers from the internet. The internets provide a gateway for companies to a gain access to people’s information and use it for adverts they make. This is a negative impact on information privacy in regards to the internet (Milne, 2015).

The internet has made the world a global village. People are able to communicate and contact each other between great distances. The internet increases the sociability of people. When one accesses you personal information, they are able to get a closer view of you and they are able to identity you as an individual. The use of internet increase family relationships and those between friends and the world community at large. People are able to learn new ways of life from members of other countries and culture. Sharing of information to the world by the internet brings the world together. It brings a sense of care, responsibility, concern and love to the people who are interacting. The internet makes the world a place where you feel everyone cares. It makes a home for the homeless. Studies have shown marriages that initiate from social Medias such as face book. Through internet people are able to express their feelings towards their loved ones and lead to serious engagements in life. In this way, the internet impacts positively in regards to information privacy («Privacy and Information Technology (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy),» n.d).

People’s personal information has been used by governments, marketers and various companies to provide users with jobs. Many companies have created websites through the internet where they are able to communicate with customers at a closer level. Various companies and institutions use the information about the users to provide them with jobs. The websites also acts as platforms of important advertisements concerning business opportunities. The internet therefore plays a very important role in providing the online users with jobs and also provides opportunities given by interlinked companies (Milne, 2015).

Everyone in the world knows that the internet is a resourceful source of information. Most students use the internet to finish their research and case studies given at school. Most sites in the internet prompt such students, scientists, teachers and any other person in need of information, to provide prerequisite details of oneself. This information is used by the websites to give daily notices of the information each one requires. Some send this information to emails and also contact the specific person when a problem occurs. Such sites also share this personal information with other linked websites with the same kind of information or that which has a deeper understanding of the stated concept. The internet in this case breaks the terms and conditions of information privacy, but to the benefit of the user. Through the internet’s sharing of one’s personal information, it is able to market your skills to the world. For instance one has indicated that he or she is a computer engineer. As people go through your profiles, they are able to note your skills in that specific area. A person who needs his or her computer repaired is going to provide the job to you who have skills in computer engineering. A company in search of a person with certain skills will recruit that person whom details are publicized. The internet has the responsibility of protecting and ensuring the privacy of each and everyone’s information, however to a certain limit and extent. A person’s information that has leaked into the internet by mistake or deliberately would be the success of that particular person. Through such leakages of information the internet is able to be source of information for many people in the whole world («International Report: What Impact Is Technology Having on Privacy around the World? — Scientific American,» n.d.).

Most governments and security agencies in the world try day in day out to combat issues concerning security. Due to the rise in technology, most security institutions have opted to use the internet to gain access to people involved in crime. These crime range from cyber crimes, robberies, killings, coup d’états, high speeding on the roads, among others. Some countries have inculcated into their countries various security measures in relation to the internet to enable them control crime rates. The security agencies create a database that has the information of each and every citizen in the country with a certain minimum age limit. Fingerprints, facial details and so much personal information are included in these databases. The databases are then linked with the internet so that their details and information is easily accessed when required («International Report: What Impact Is Technology Having on Privacy around the World? — Scientific American,» n.d.).

When a man over speeds in the highway, the surveillance is able to detect the car registration number, car details in general and also identify the person if possible. This gives the traffic police or any other related organization in detection and locating the vehicle and the owner. Most banks, supermarkets and upcoming business have installed various surveillance machines. These are able to monitor the businesses functioning. Anyone involved in crime in these kinds of businesses is tracked at a very fast rate than it would have taken without any internet means. Even though the internet has a role in protecting user’s information privacy, the same information is important in providing a serene environment and society (Milne, 2015).

Automation of so many processes in the world has become possible due to the use of the personal information of the people, the government and the various companies. The internet links all this information into a database and uses it to make various processes accessible to everyone at ease. This is only possible when the internet uses the personal information of each and every of these stakeholders («Privacy Implications of the Internet of Things — InfoSec Resources,» n.d.)

Conclusion

Information privacy is one thing that people have always cherished and raised concern on. Information privacy refers to a process where information is secluded from view by authorized persons. Most websites in the internet prompt users to indicate their personal information. This includes sex, marital status, age, IP address and other important information. The websites consist of terms and agreements that guide one in making a decision on whether to the join and use the website. These policies however, are written in languages and formats that are difficult for the users to understand. Some are very long and the users end up not reading them. They risk their information from being displayed to the public. They cannot therefore regulate who can access their information and who cannot. The use of cookies is also a way that reduces and interferes with ones privacy. Cookies are sent to user computers and monitor their activities through other websites. The discussion also looks at how internet impacts on information privacy, in relation to business and the generation of jobs to the society. People’s personal information acts as a link to acquiring those jobs and improving their businesses. Social interactions through the use of various social media are a platform also that concerns information privacy. The use of personal information through the internet, relates to crimes, automation of things, online attacks and crippling peoples account. The impact of the internet of information privacy has been discussed in a positive and a negative perspective.

References

. Retrieved from http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/it-privacy/Stanford Encyclopedia of PhilosophyPrivacy and Information Technology (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy), n.d., In

, 61-71. Doi: 10.1007/978-3-642-37913-0_5Internet PrivacyBuchmann, J. A. 2013, Privacy Threats and Their Impact on the Core Values.

. Digital privacy in the marketplace: Perspectives on the information exchangeMilne, G. R. 2015,

International Report: What Impact Is Technology Having on Privacy around the World? — Scientific American. n.d., Retrieved from http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/international-report-technology/

Privacy Implications of the Internet of Things — InfoSec Resources, n.d., retrieved from http://resources.infosecinstitute.com/privacy-implications-internet-things