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What Is Privacy? What Does Privacy Mean When So Much Information About Us Is Collected With Every Keystroke?
In a modern world where everything is put on display, the concept of privacy seems like a foreign one. Does it even exist anymore when FourSquare users post every location, and Facebook users tell everyone what is on their minds? Despite uploading all information on the Internet for various organizations to track and record, privacy is still very real. People need to take the proper precautions to protect it.
According to the International Association of Privacy Professionals, privacy is “the right to be left alone,” free from intrusion and interference. In the physical world, it can be as simple as shutting the curtains and closing the door. But what about our information on the World Wide Web? The recent issue with Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook, shines a light on this.
The Facebook founder and CEO have faced controversy in the year 2018 over issues with data privacy “following the news that political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica may have gained access to the personal data of up to 87 million Facebook users”. This happened because of a third-party application in the form of a Facebook quiz. To take the quiz, users allowed the application access to their Facebook profile and public information. This allowed the application to build detailed user profiles, which the developer passed on to Cambridge Analytica.
The action performed by the developer is against Facebook’s policies. Even if Facebook should have stricter rules on developers who are given their users’ data, it happened because users authorized access to the third-party app so they could take the quiz. In 2004, Zuckerberg said that “You can limit who can see your information, if you only want current students to see your information, or people in your year, in your house, in your classes. You can limit a search so that only a friend or a friend of a friend can look you up. People have very good control over who can see their information.”
This does not apply to Facebook alone. Internet users should be more aware of who they give access to their information since platforms they use, such as YouTube and Twitter are public. The privacy settings on these websites exist for a reason. People often overlook this, just as how they do not bother reading the terms and conditions of various websites.
People should take charge of the information they put on public platforms in the World Wide Web. If a third party misuses an individual’s information, one can always file a case. But the initial responsibility always lies with the individual. Privacy undoubtedly exists in this world, where almost anything can be accessible online. One must merely take the precautions to protect it.