“The truth is that each click on some irresistible online offer, consumers may be giving up a little bit of themselves. They are often surprised and annoyed when they’re consequently inundated with even better offer or added junk mail the next time they log on” (Mark S. Merkow, James Breithaupt). The invented of the internet has taken the world to a new era of social communication. For consumer, there are an open world for everybody, and they relate to others via the internet. They can access to many things on the internet and be able to work, entertainment, or learn new things from anywhere in the world. It was a big opportunity for companies to make money from the internet. However, surveillance also become the key business model to make money on the internet. From the government, social networks companies to cellphone providers, they are collect, analyses, and compile the consumer data on the internet to complete their goals. It can be economic goals, politic, or balance the benefit of the consumer and providers but it also can fluence either consumer, provider, or government. There are several logos that make people need to pay more attention to privacy.
First of all, there is the idea about personal information and the role of personal information. “Personal information is information relating to an individual. When people have personal information about you, they don’t have just general information; they have information that is specifically linked to you” (Francis, John G., and Leslie Francis 31). It can be the physical information like Social Security Number, passport, billing information, address, or phone number which allow people to traveling, shopping, appliance for banking account, rent house, or sign some contracts. It also can be the information that people do not want to share, such as health condition, education status, or criminal records. Some people might not feel comfortable when a neighbor or a stranger can read any types of that information, such as medical record, school transcripts, or criminal records. However, it also included the information that cannot know as personal property. People can protect their property that has the name on it or anything to recognize it as a property.
Then, privacy could have several definitions, and the risk from using the internet can be from anywhere. “Privacy is often thought of as a value associated with liberalism, but liberal theorists also struggle with the interplay between privacy and other values. Privacy may be in tension with other liberal values, most notably with freedom of ex-pression, transparency in organizational and governmental decision- making, and easy entry into commerce” (Francis, John G., and Leslie Francis 4). People have been aware about the risk of using the internet since it was created. There are many ways to stole information from somebody even though they did not click to any link online. The disadvantages of the internet will not show up until people can see the result of them. “Ninety-two percent of Americans show concern about their privacy and how personal information is used, and that concern it not likely to abate. And unless online companies can convince the public that their personal information is safe, they will abandon the Internet for more secure and anonymous – and offline – ways of conducting business” (Mark S. Merkow, James Breithaupt 23).
Some government tend to control their citizen information by surveillance to support law enforcement agencies. Countries such as China, North Korea, and Russia like to control their citizen by personal information and limit them from access other source of information. Some companies like Google, YouTube, Facebook had some borders when they want to expand in these countries. It can be technology, culture, or policies, but the main reason is to stop the companies to access the personal information of their citizen. “In one high- profile theft, the North Korean government was accused of hacking personal information from Sony Pictures in order to demand that Sony cancel the release of its film The Interview, about a plot to assassinate North Korean leader Kim Jong- un. In other very controversial examples, there is evidence that the Russian government was behind the hacking of the Democratic National Committee in the 2016 US election and the German Parliament in 2015” (Francis, John G., and Leslie Francis 50).
It will easier for the government to monitor the flow of information in and out of the country. They also can see how the policies can transfer to realistic without affect from other organizations.
In addition, some people can notice that they are tracked by websites or online application. When people browse the internet, they may notice the ads just follow them from their earlier activities. For instance, they just research some picture about the new model of camera, and all the pesky ads on the internet Brower will relate to camera. They will see the good deal for camera anywhere they go. Or people will receive ton of emails which include coupon, discount, and special offer before Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and Christmas. “Social media technologies contest mechanisms for control and access to personal information, as the sharing of user-generated content is central to their function. Moreover, because these platforms often trade on user-generated content to secure and maintain their economic viability, the ways in which such information is used by platform sponsors can be opaque” (Quinn 61). For years, most of the companies have been understood the important of the internet with their business and entering the internet market also is a major step that cannot ignored. It is easy to track any people who are using the internet due to the expand of smartphone and social media.
Moreover, most people do not pay much attention on protect their privacy while they are using the internet. Some behaviors, such as using the same credentials for all accounts, staying logged into websites, using service without reading their Terms and Conditions, or Opening malicious files can increase the risk of using the internet. Hackers can access to the information that have been save online, and they can use it for their purpose. “Almost half (44 per cent) of Internet users made their information public. One-in-ﬁve people admitted to sharing sensitive data with people they did not know well, and with strangers. People are exposing themselves to identity theft or ﬁnancial attack by sharing ﬁnancial and payment details (37 per cent), scans of their passports, driving licenses and other personal documents (41 per cent) or passwords (30 per cent)” (Young People Most at Risk of Sharing Personal Information Online). Everybody can access to the information that are sharing on the internet, so it is hard to control the ways people using the information from the internet. “If we cannot control the spreading of our private information, it can be open to public access and turn into a valuable resource for open source intelligence” (Şahin 63). People can track anybody’s daily routine base on the photos or statuses that were post on social media. They can know when a family leave their house, where the children go to school, or when the family go out for a long vacation.
Despite the risks of using the internet, some people still believe in the safety and benefit of the internet. The internet has been connected all of the aspects of the society together and change the way they interact.
- Francis, John G., and Leslie Francis. Privacy: What Everyone Needs to Know. Oxford University Press, 2017. 5 Novenber 2018.
- Mark S. Merkow, James Breithaupt. The E-Privacy Imperative: Protect Your Customers’ Internet Privacy and Ensure Your Company’s Survival In the Electric Age. Amacom, 2002. 6 November 2018. .
- Quinn, Kelly. Why We Share: A Uses and Gratifications Approach to Privacy Regulation in Social Media Use. Vol. 60. Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media, Mar, 2016. No. 1 vols. .
- Şahin, Serap. ‘Privacy Issues on Social Networks.’ International Journal of Information Security Science vol.7, no. 2, June 2018: 60-66. .
- ‘Young People Most at Risk of Sharing Personal Information Online.’ Education Journal (2017): P.18. .