Wednesday, July 13, 2011

I'm here but Move Along. There is nothing to see...

The advent of social networking has completely changed the world in ways that people have never even dreamed of. Photos are uploaded, shared and virtually stored in the internet forever. Events around the world are reported as they happen. Mothers track their baby's growth online and get expert advice on nutrition or clothing choices. People buy, sell, meet online and share even their most intimate details. Almost everybody uses the internet they do not even care if complete strangers see their photos, know their whereabouts or even know their names.

We all leave a footprint when we use the Web and the general populace is hardly aware of it. They use Facebook to share a ton of information on themselves and yet it can be used against them if they are not careful. One news article told the story of an employee who got fired because the company saw her Facebook page and showed that she was on vacation instead of on sick leave as she claimed. Human Resources also use Facebook to do a background check on potential employees. The Web stores information on ourselves and use it as information for companies to target us on what products we are most likely to be interested in. Our email addresses can be used to track down from what terminal we used to log in and send it. Photos once uploaded can be seen by anyone or stolen just for the of it.

There are several websites out there that help you erase web data about you for protection and privacy. There are companies out there that see this niche wherein there are some people out there who are not comfortable to be seen just by typing their name in. I see the prudence of these websites and would gladly avail of their product when I need it. I do doubt however, if they can truly erase me when there is a CLOUD that is a safety net for information out there. These footprints are permanent whether we like it or not. We cannot control what people can see about us and that is a troubling idea.

The Web is full of wonder but it can also trap you and getting out would be hard. Internet privacy has a long way to go and regulation would be an uphill climb. I am not ready to share myself to the whole world just because I use the Internet. The right to privacy will need to be reformulated or redefined in the Digital Age and our Congress is not at that stage to fight for it. There is no adequate machinery yet to help enforce the right either so that is another problem. Is our society willing to protect it or does it not see the need yet?

Entry #4

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