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Can We Trust The Internet? Essay

1511 words - 7 pages

Internet Privacy Crisis
What is privacy? Many people are aware of the term but do not understand what it means. Warren and Brandeis defined privacy in 1980 as “the right to be alone”. Buchholz and Rosenthal defined privacy as “the concept of being in control of information that is available about oneself”(2002, Jan). Whereas most recently Boscheck determined the meaning as “one’s ability to isolate oneself from others and their views. To have no privacy means to be exposed, out of control and possibly open to coercion” (2011, Oct). The use of privacy term can be related to many other terms such as confidentiality, isolation, and secrecy.
Due to advance in technology, website are able not only to track users and their records but also to build a sequence of their online activities. (Dhillon, Mooes, 2001, Dec) In fact, most search engines such as Google and Yahoo collect information through users search to promote specific advertisement. Where other companies tracker users activities through cookies, which is stored into the user web browsers, to gather information and store them into their servers. “In July 2010, the Wall Street Journal examined the 50 most popular websites in the USA. In total, the 50 sites placed 3,180 tracking files on a test computer used to conduct the study; only the encyclopedia Wikipedia.org installed none”(Boscheck, 2011, Oct). Therefore the process doesn’t request users permission to collect information, which is considered as invasion to user privacy.
However, users are more concerned over their personal information, and how it’s used. Where the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) conducted a survey of more than 1,400 website, and according to their finding 85% of 1,400 are collecting users personal information such as name, age, address (1998). For example social media website such as Facebook and Twitter requires user to provide personal information to access their services. The users has the to choose weather to participate and share personal information or not to participate. At the same time users can decide to provide incorrect information to increase anonymity. Hence to access the website services a user must share information whether its real or fake, to be able to receive the service.
On the other hand, security is every important for users who share their personal information. However, the Internet is an open environment, which leaves room for criminals to exploit systems vulnerabilities. Once the attacker is able to access an organization system, all the information stored is extracted and shared publicly (Rezgui, Bouguettaya, & Eltoweissy, 2003). For example, in September 2013 a security researcher managed to access the database of the popular application Snapchat, where the researcher managed to extracted 4.6 million users information and published the data publicly to raise awareness (Foster & Jackson).

Internet Privacy Threats
The Internet provided millions of users with useful information and connected...

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