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Personal Privacy And Companies Essay

1094 words - 4 pages

Personal Privacy and Companies

It is certainly a different world nowadays. You can no longer go on the internet and surf without the potential threat of your privacy being compromised and invaded. When the internet first became big you didn’t hear a lot about the issue of privacy and computers. Maybe it was because the public was naïve, but that is not the case anymore. This issue is fast becoming the heart of heated debates about how to save your privacy. Privacy is a term that is dfifficult to define, it’s different to everyone with about a zillion interpretations of the words exact meaning. So let’s take the time and gain a better understanding of it’s meaning. According to the Webster’s dictionary, privacy is seclusion or isolation from others – secrecy. On the surface this doesn’t seem like it would pertain to information systems, but think again. Everything we do on the Internet has the risk of being watched or observed. It may be from other companies or scary enough the government. This issue is fast becoming the number one concern from users of the web. How can these people keep tabs on me? Technology has been a definite blessing, it’s also has the potential to be dangerous. A good example exists right here on campus. We use our social security numbers for virtually everything, from registration to purchasing books at the bookstore. If this number fell into the wrong hands it could prove disastrous to the person of that number. They would then have full access to any and all information they chose to use. They could access your banking files, your credit report and credit card numbers. They could ruin your lives in a short period of time. So in this respect privacy means a lot more than just isolation from others. Some of the methods used use keep tabs on people are very High tech. Biometrics, database mining and compulsory databases are just a few but the most talked about.

Companies and other institutions are using the methods to learn more about people. Not all the information is being used for harm. Some companies will use the information to better serve the community but mostly all your hear about is the negative, so we will keep that theme. Some companies like Kroger and Wal-Mart use the information that they acquire from our purchasing habits to better serve the customer’s. They do this by catering to the customer’s needs, thought promotion and monitoring our buying habits. If you always buy ice cream with marshmallows, they may send you coupons that reflect your purchases. They gather this information through your Kroger plus card and use data mining techniques to find better ways to market their products to you. Other computer companies use similar technology like cookies to track what sights you use and how often you use them. When you go to a website or buy something over the web the sight send a cookie to your computer which track everything you do. This information systems...

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