Internet Privacy: How it’s Decreasing Through the Years

The internet is a very big place filled with a lot of different stuff. You can find everything from recipes, to profiles of your classmates from high school, to random videos of who knows what. Because there is so much you can do on the internet, it is important that you monitor what you’re doing, and how you’re doing it.

So many websites or apps that you can use require you to create an account, where you then have to give away chunks of your privacy. When you’re making your account you’re thinking, “what are they really going to do with my name and my email?” but there’s a lot that they can use that information for.

If you “connect” to an app through Facebook, you could be potentially giving away a lot of information about you, and all of your friends, with just the click of a button. I know when I’m signing up for things I just want to expedite the process as much as possible, so I click everything they ask me to without doing much reading as to what I’m really agreeing to. This is scary because they can put the most random stuff in these agreements.

A news study used a fake app to prove this. They created an app called “NameDrop” and in this app they had hidden clauses that everyone was agreeing to without actually reading, one of them stating that they had to give this company their first born child, and if they didn’t have any yet, the clause was enforceable until 2050 (Dyches). They also talked about how of the people that signed up, 74% of the people skipped reading the policy altogether, and the ones who did read only read for about 73 seconds, which as they say isn’t long enough to read a policy that should take 30 minutes to comprehend.

This isn’t the first time this has happened. Dyches talks about how in 2014, UK customers unknowingly signed away their first born for a free WiFi hotspot, in another study customer’s were signing away their immortal souls. Although this could be avoided if everyone just read what they were agreeing to, it’s still an invasion of privacy.

This isn’t this only way that people’s online privacy gets violated on a daily basis. As the internet and social media become more prominent in day to day life, and in the work force, employers are becoming more concerned with what their employees are posting, and how they’re using their accounts in general. Because of this, “A growing number of employers and schools are demanding that job applicants, employees, and students hand over the passwords to their private social networking accounts” (Social Networking Privacy).

This is wrong on so many levels to me. It’s one thing for your employers to be able to see what you post and share on your social media, but a completely different thing for them to require your passwords. Employers would never be able to open your person mail, or read your diary, so why should they be able to read your personal social media accounts. Overall, I am nervous for the future of the internet. If you have no privacy, that’s really going to prohibit what people post, and may end up ruining social media, and the internet for some people.

 

Dyches, Christopher. “Study: 98 Percent of People Agreed to Give Away First Born in Fake App.” WNCN. CBS, 16 July 2016. Web. 11 Sept. 2016

“Social Networking Privacy.” American Civil Liberties Union. ACLU, n.d. Web. 11 Sept. 2016.

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