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Privacy Theft: Internet Companies Stealing Users’ Information

2088 words - 9 pages

The Internet is being used by almost all the people on Earth, 7.1 Billion, (Wikipedia) and gains new users every hour. The users of the internet visit Google and Facebook the most and they share all sorts of information with these companies, such as their name, birthday, address and even banking information! Unfortunately for these users, these companies are not protecting their content and information. They use their information to sell ads, make profit, and even present the users’ content free of charge! These hideously terrible problems that are mainly caused by Google and Facebook are caused for the relentlessly obvious reason that many users refuse to read the privacy terms of such ...view middle of the document...

Facebook uses advanced and complex algorithms to filter out advertisements so they match the users liking. These algorithms are very advanced and they are also pretty accurate. For example, if a user likes a certain clothing store page, Facebook will begin to show ads related to that store, such as discounts and new items. This does not sound so bad after all, however, the problem arises when Facebook uses a specific users’ information, pictures and content to sell ads to another user. Facebook uses a user’s post that is relevant to a product as an ad and presents it to that user’s friends with similar interests. For example: If a user posts a photo of some food that he/she has eaten and gives good feedback, then Facebook will use that photo and the user’s post and show it to a friend of that user who is looking for some good food. This does not seem bad at first, however, Facebook can and chances are already has used your information and posts in advertisements. This problem is outrageous and has caused many users to point their finger to Facebook and blame them, yet Facebook has a very continent answer and that is: “You agreed to our terms!” They are absolutely right and there is no legal way of blaming Facebook if they use your information for advertisement! Facebook even has an opt out solute on, but it is hidden under the layers and layers of options and tweaks found in the settings page although the user would know how to opt out if only they had read the 15 page terms of service and agreement!(Victor Luckerson)
Google has a similar case. Google also uses algorithms to identify users with similar interests. Google looks at a user’s search history and what they shared on Google+ and then shows relevant ads. For example, if a user constantly searches for new basketball shoes, Google will eventually show ads related to basketball shoes. Not only will Google show you related products, they will show posts and reviews by the user’s friends and therefore promote products. Users might not realize how problematic this type of advertisement is. A user might sarcastically write a good review for a certain place, and his/her friends visit that certain place hoping for a good time, however, they expect to have an enjoyable time, relying on their friend’s post. In this scenario, friendship comes at risk for the poster’s friend did not know that the review was sarcastic and his/her friend indeed detested the place.
Google causes another problem, and that problem is giving out users’ content free of charge. (Adam Henige) People around the world have different passions, interests and ideas. Many of which actually spend most of their time daily working on their idea, passion or interest. Young entrepreneurs who are between the age of 15 and 25 create a big percentage of this population! After many years of work/production, these passionate people have made products, pieces of information, content and many other things that took them many years to...

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