Internet privacy consists of privacy over the media of the Internet: the ability to control what information one reveals about oneself over the Internet, and to control who can access that information. With the rapid growth of technology, especially the internet nowadays, it is only normal that general information of generally most people can be found on the net with a single click. Have you tried Goggling your own name? Most of the time, people will straight away be connected to their Facebook page, Twitter profile, MySpace, or the good old Friendster page. It is easier than ever to get connected to friends and family, but at the same it is also easier for people who do not even know you, to know almost little thing about you.
Mary Madden, a senior researcher at the Pew Center’s Internet & American Life Project, said with social networking becoming mainstream, there are bound to be missteps by Web sites that will challenge users’ views of privacy online.
The vast amount of content available on the Internet is overwhelming. And with no strict rules to control them, the actual usage of the internet would be so terrible it would not be safe to let our kids surf the internet alone. Kids love to learn about new and exciting things. However, there are many sites that contain material that would be deemed harmful to children such as pornography, sex, violence, and hate groups. It is easy to accidently pull up a site that contains these items. Some of these sites are just there a click away, with attractive cartoon moving images and music, inviting not only children, but most of the population, to go and check it out.
Facebook had an issue with its privacy setting starting last year, and it since had changed its setting several times, now including limiting the people who can see your profile and pictures. But how does this affect the privacy? When we are connected to so many people on the net, most of them are the ones we know nothing about, would you care if one or two people would not be able to see some of your pictures? Your pictures can somehow still managed its way to be a funny emoticon used by random people, or worse, on a porn website page. This is what scared the Japan government so much that when a picture of their royal princess was taken and posted on the net they intended to take a legal action to the poster.
With the rules present in the current situation, internet users need to still be very careful to post any information of themselves on the web. Now that “Google” is a verb, there is virtually nothing people cannot find once they “Google” it out.
1. Hobson, D 2010, The Fall of Some Social Networking Sites, Press Distribution, June 11, 2010, viewed on June 14, 2010 at http://www.pressdistribution.net/10217/the-fall-of-some-social-networking-sites
2. Kang, C 2010, is Internet Privacy Dead? No, just some more completed: researchers, Washington Post, June 14, 2010
3. Marx, WD 2009, The Fear… of The Internet, NeoJaponisme, viewed June 14.2010 at http://neojaponisme.com/2009/05/19/the-fear-of-the-internet/