Privacy in the Modern World of Technology
Each day, it seems that we are hearing about a new form of technology. For example, NASA has recently sent a helicopter to Mars! Ten years ago, this technology wasn’t available to us. Since technology evolves so quickly, it can sometimes grow at a speed that makes it hard to understand. With every new wave of fantastic technological advancements, we open ourselves up to new concerns. Many Americans have expressed particular concerns about a growing lack of privacy that has come with increased internet usage. Studies have expressed that six out of ten Americans don’t believe that it is possible to go through daily life without having their data collected.
Companies like Instagram, Google, and TikTok have been accused of overstepping privacy policies to gain more information and data on their customers, and some cases have even been sent to court. These court cases only shine a brighter light on the larger issue at hand: the lack of privacy when accompanied with extensive technology.
Instagram was accused of viewing users through their phone cameras without expressed consent; Facebook (the owners of Instagram) responded to the lawsuit by claiming the issue to be nothing more than a bug defect. Despite Facebook’s response, Mark Zuckerberg has used tape over his laptop’s camera in the past. Many interpreted this as Zuckerberg’s own distrust of technology.
Google, a product which 90% of people in the world use as their primary search engine, has been sued for $5 billion for tracking users, even while in Incognito Mode. Google offers Incognito Mode as a private way to browse the Web. Chrome’s Help section assures users that “…[N]one of your browsing history, cookies and site data, or information entered in forms are saved on your device”. A misleading concept is that Incognito Mode — or any other private browsing program — keeps you completely anonymous; however, this is not the case. Your data and personal information are not kept private during these Incognito sessions. Websites can find out where you are through your IP address, and figure out who you are from there.
Why Data Collection Happens:
Why would enormous multi-billion corporations want your data, anyway? Well, if these companies can figure out what you, as a consumer, would be willing to spend your hard-earned money on, then they can place targeted advertisements in front of you, which could earn them money from advertisers. Your interests, buying behavior, and even your political affiliation can be gleaned from your consumer data.
Precautions You Can Take:
Because the Internet is a relatively new frontier, very few laws surround your online privacy. So, what can you do as a precaution? It all starts with what you willingly post on your social media: sharing locations, names, addresses, phone numbers, birthdays, and even pictures of yourself could lead to identity theft or a breach of privacy. We recommend using a VPN (virtual private network) when browsing the ‘Net to maintain anonymity, and antivirus software if you’re concerned about hackers easily accessing your computer.
As a new wave of technology is explored each day, the need for security and privacy becomes more apparent. If you’re concerned about your online privacy and security, give us a ring at (843) 324-5824; we would love to help you learn more!