21st Century Transparency Essay

1266 words - 6 pages

When the internet became public knowledge in the late nineteen-eighties few predicted that it would one day be held in the hand of nearly ninety percent of the American population. Today, nearly everyone in developed countries has some sort of internet using technology within an arm’s reach. While this sort of connectivity is convenient in many aspects, the internet also requires that its users sacrifice their ability to keep their information private. Privacy in the 21st century is no longer possible in using the internet personal information becomes vulnerable because of social media, technology evolution, and the inability of most to remain free of connectivity.
Social media and ...view middle of the document...

Additionally, the author provides an example of where information might originate and how quickly and easily it can be disbursed without the permission or fore knowledge of the original poster (pp. 425-426). The concept conveyed here is that the user had no control over their personal information once they have uploaded it onto any number of social media or networking sites. The data they provide becomes something outside of their purview and may be used and distributed across the internet without their knowledge. As a result of the linkage between many websites the transfer of data is instantaneous and often difficult to trace, so data can travel anywhere and is impossible to retrieve. Digital Privacy is an issue that can be mitigated by exercising caution when posting personal information online, or perhaps by negating the entire process. If an individual’s information never reaches the internet there is no potential for that data to be used against them.
In spite of laws and protocols in place to protect data on the internet, everyday seems to bring new ways that people are able to glean personal information that should be protected. Demetrius Klitou (2011) discusses the difficulties facing legislators in his article “Privacy by Design and Privacy-Invading Technologies: Safeguarding Privacy and Liberty in the 21st Century”, “Directive 95/46/EC, arguably the most comprehensive data protection legislation in the world, cannot begin to address all the present and future threats, which may result, for example, from advanced public surveillance and visualization technologies, neurotechnology, ambient intelligence and ubiquitous computing” (p. 298). Legislation has difficulty keeping up with the advances in technology and the prevalence in the world. Users are largely anonymous on the internet, therefore enforcing legislation becomes difficult without any reliable means of identifying offenders. In their article titled “Understanding Security Behaviors in Personal Computer Usage: A Threat Avoidance Perspective” authors Huigang and Yajiong (2010) state: Researchers have recently noticed that technology alone is insufficient to ensure security and have started to pay attention to the human aspect of security (p.395). The human element can play a major role in the security of information because in the end it is a human being that pursues personal data. Information control is already a complex issue, but with the addition of the ubiquitous nature of online information, it becomes impossible to enforce privacy regulations and secure user data.
Technology is pervasive and ubiquitous in the world today, resulting in having more information available and a surplus of potential privacy risks. Authors Huigang Liang and Yaijong Xue (2010) cite an additional source in their article which details the spread of internet technology, “as internet technologies have become more advanced, routine activities have become increasingly virtualized. Social interaction,...

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