Privacy in Today’s World

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We live in a world where just about everything we do involves the Internet. What we sometimes forget to notice is that the majority of things we post on the web are not as private as we assume they are. In a complex world where people are trying to figure out who they are privacy is a matter of protecting your tweets on Twitter, hiding your Facebook from the strangers point of view, or even making people request you on Instagram rather than just letting them see your pictures.

Privacy is something most of us want, but are very far from getting. Taken directly from Time Magazine, Joel Stein stated, “You know how everything has seemed free for the past few years? It wasn’t. It’s just that no one told you that instead of using money, you were paying with your personal information.” Personally, this statement shows how times are changing and the world is evolving. Being private is something you chose to be, but even those of us who aim to be as private as possible still are not. Don’t believe me? Well, according to Michael Arrington from, just try typing your name into and see if you’re still as private as you thought. Next time you want to say you’re the most private person around, search yourself and you’ll find a lot of surprises coming your way. Because of this, I find it hard for anyone to be truly private, unless you live without any social media, email, cell phone, or computer. Basically you’re disconnected from the social world.

Looking at a public aspect rather than private the one website that pops into mind is Youtube. How many viral videos have come out over the years? I’m sure one just popped up in your mind. If you have never watched a viral video, here’s an example of one. About 20 years ago, nothing like this would have happened. People display their lives on Youtube. Ranging from cooking, fashion, or makeup blogs, to how to do skateboard tricks. People display their lives for the world to see as entertainment, but they don’t consider the privacy of their lives while doing this. This can lead to serious problems down the road. Just remember not to give out any personal information, because thats when the trouble starts.

Our world is continuing to evolve and the issue of privacy is going to keep coming up as social media and the Internet continues to become a way of life. Do you think that over time privacy settings on websites will become more secure? Also, do you think that people will start to monitor the information they give out to the public?


23 thoughts on “Privacy in Today’s World

  1. Internet websites are a business, even ones we don’t think are really are. They’ll do anything to make money. So if a website claims it’s secure (like a lot of them do) log into your email and see what advertisements pop-up on the side. It probably relates to what you were searching on that site. As long as money is involved and marketing is a way of getting the customer to notice and buy a product I don’t think website will become more secure. The web its self is a giant code, any information you post, even your bank number can be stolen if someone knows the right combination of 0’s and 1’s. I hope people will start to monitor what they themselves post online, that would be the best and most strategic move a person can make living in an era where everything is so public and people know what time their neighbor went to the bathroom at. I don’t think they will, but I believe they should.

  2. History has showed us that as new things come on the market there is a period that they go unregulated. It’s always been a kind of free for all, if you will, on new inventions, products or services. The pharmaceutical industry wasn’t regulated until 1900’s and then it slowly evolved to what it is today. Before the regulations anything could be and was sold as medicine. Cocaine, for example, was sold as the wonder drug and lotions containing mercury, hair dyes with lead poising or blinding eyelash dyes were sold to unsuspecting consumers, who began using them with without reservation.

    Not unlike where we are today with the Internet and all it’s glory. We, the unsuspecting public, have jumped into the new industry with reckless abandonment. It is inevitable this industry will begin to see more regulation, particularly stemming from the privacy issues.


  3. I think the only way for people to become more conscious of what they post online is if something bad happens to them. That is really the only way. I do think that these stories we hear of, with people getting fired and whatnot sort of already scares the public, but of course that doesn’t work for everyone. So I think something dramatic must happen for a person to monitor what information they are disclosing. I think that privacy settings change all the time. So yes, I would say they are trying to become more “secure” though it doesn’t necessary mean much.

  4. I think privacy settings on websites are constantly evolving. Websites need to adapt to the growing use of technology and they want their consumers to always feel safe about what they are using. I recently noticed that Youtube and Yahoo ask if you want to add your phone number to help verify your account, which I remember wasn’t the case when I made accounts on those websites a couple years ago.

    In regards to people monitoring what information they give out to the public, I think people should start to be more cautious. There are so many cases on the internet about people being careless on what they post on Facebook and twitter, and I’m sure everyone hopes that they aren’t they next victim of any social media mistakes.

  5. I cannot stress enough about the value of information and how it will become even more valuable in the future. Most of us have at one point in time signed up for something we thought was free but in life nothing is truly free. The information we entered is valuable to a lot of people out there not just businesses. With the emergence of Youtube people have shown to being more comfortable with sharing their lives so that the world can not only see but comment as well. For the most part the people of today enjoy sharing their lives with others but only if they can choose what they see. We can all set our Facebooks to private but if you’ve created an account that means you’ve entered your information into cyberspace. Overtime people are going to have to think of ways to combat this problem by making privacy settings on social media more secure. I believe they are trying at this very moment to add more privacy options for social media users and others. On the other hand people need to be more careful about what information they share. As we have all read this week Twitter has gotten people into trouble with their jobs but even something as innocent as signing up for a free version of Winzip can get your information sold. I assume that most people who know better already do monitor what they give out to the public to a certain degree. It’s not that people aren’t monitoring but perhaps we are more willing to share this information as long as it comes in a disguised package.

  6. I people are not already monitoring what they put on the web they are in for a world of surprises. I have always thought that you should think twice about posting that status or make sure that a picture does not release to much information about you. Just take a look through Facebook, it will blow your mind when you see how much you can learn about a complete stranger. Then take it back a few years and realize that originally on Facebook there where no privacy settings. When the site first came out any stranger could go on and learn just about everything about you off of a single site. I find it incredible that people post so much information on their profile for the world to see. If you have not already I would suggest changing your privacy settings to friends only, and even then do the people you went to high school with who you haven’t seen or spoken to in years really need to know your address? Just look at the things that you are asked about by Facebook.

    Your Name?
    Where you are from?
    Where you live now?
    Where you work?
    Where you went to school?
    Phone number?
    People that you know?
    Family Members?
    Email address?
    Date of Birth?
    Music Tastes?
    Favorite Books?

    The list goes on and on and on. Do people really need to know all of this about you? I feel like my parents (the people who raised me) could find out stuff about me from Facebook if I filled out everything that they asked for. What is next your deepest darkest secrets, your secret life ambition, a confession to the world? The idea has gotten way out of hand.

  7. I basically agree with you on every point you’ve made here. As time goes on and more social media trends pop up, more and more people are putting themselves out on the web.
    I’m a private person, but I have Facebook and Twitter (only for this class) and I use them a fair amount. It’s how I stay close with family and friends who aren’t near and on my friends lives as well. I block about 70% of my personal information on there. Sometimes I don’t even put my full name. If there is a site I’m thinking about joining, the first thing that goes through my mind is “how much of my information do they want from me?” If they want things that I’m not comfortable putting on there, I usually don’t join.
    I’ve also looked at and I’m not on there, which I’m really thankful for. However, I’ve found similar information online for different sites that makes me uncomfortable. Again, back to data mining, I don’t think it’s right that these websites can do that without our consent. They don’t know us, or own our information, but they can make a profit by charging people to access the information. That should be illegal in my opinion.
    As for your mention of viral videos, it all has to do with everyone wanting their fifteen seconds of fame. Society has basically taught us that if your not this or that, you’re nothing. So people put themselves out there to be know, to show the world what they can do. Usually, it’s something short of being spectacular, like falling down or doing something stupid. They pay for what they get; they wanted fifteen seconds of fame and that’s exactly what they get. People talk about them for a week or two and then they’re gone and people have moved onto the next trending video. I think it’s stuff like this that will cause our society not to watch their information as we continue to move forward. I think people in my generation, (late ’80s, early ’90s kids) will watch their information, but kids that are being raised today, not so much. Again, they are raised in the world of internet information and where people will kill to be internet famous. They need to learn now that putting yourself out there isn’t always the best idea.

  8. I think that over time privacy settings on websites will become more secure. Social media websites will most likely offer more settings. The best option would be to have a range of choices. For example, you can set your page to super private, very public, and anything in between. The problem is, as more privacy settings evolve there will be more people trying to get hack or get around these settings. I feel like people will find there way to access private information on the internet.
    I also think that more problems will come up where people feel their privacy is being invaded on the internet and for this reason more people will monitor and control what they share to the public on the internet.

  9. No I don’t think so. People make money off settings not being private. They are able to sell information and I am sure they get some benefits from it. Even if they do become more secure, someone will be able to find a way around it. There are computer wizes in this world. Those people are able to crack any code and be able to acess any information they want.
    I hope so, I know I have. When I go on vacation now, I stopped posting pictures and checking in where I am. Even when I am in town and going out, I still have stopped updating my locations. I have become more conscious and don’t like that people know every thing I am doing. This year, my sister had checked in at a place we were at a view days later someone mentioned to me “oh I see you and your sister were at whatever place we were at”. My response was how did you know I was there? And their response was facebook. I got mad at my sister and told her to stop checking us in every where we go.

  10. Realistically, I don’t think that most websites would have any incentive to guard the searches of their users. Wal-Mart shouldn’t have to hide the size shoe you searched for, and IMDB shouldn’t have to hide the kind of films you like to watch. Personally, I think it would be nice if Google would keep your searches private because thy have the most information about almost everyone, but I know this will never happen. Google basically pioneered the monitoring of searches by webpage visitors as we know it today. . When Google changed their privacy=y policy drastically everyone was afraid and disliked the idea. I think most people have forgotten this really ever happened by now. Where I do think websites must remain secure and further develop is in the financial information and sales area. I still don’t feel 100% safe buying online from certain sites, but I think a certain level of security will be easily available on websites of this type in the near future. . Here’s a link to an article on a newly introduced type of financial site, which I think is worth a mention in this blog. I honestly don’t think that people will start to truly examine the information they release online until it affects them negatively. Until someone loses a job or gets into legal trouble, they have no reason to watch what they say.

  11. You are right about the fact that we live in a complex world, surrounded by different types of devices and ways to communicate with friends in seconds (ex. Twitter, Facebook). Sometimes we don’t even realize who is looking for information about us; you probably think that because you don’t see information about yourself in any social media areas, your private information has remained private but it has not. There are times that you think you know a person, like a neighbor, but in reality you don’t know anything about that person. Don’t believe me? (Watch this video from O’reilly fox news show
    Sometimes you receive in the mail or in your email that you won a prize, a gift or a free magazine subscription, but in reality you are positioning your private information within the public’s reach. In order to get that gift or free subscription, you have to a complete a survey which asks for your personal contact information, your shopping preferences and even your monthly income. Sometimes, those survey companies sell your information to marketing companies. As I result, your information if now out in the public more than what you originally consented to during the initial phase. Personally, I never give out my personal information.
    Yes, as you mentioned, videos didn’t go viral 20 years ago like they do today. We have to be careful what we post. For example, there are lots of harmful videos in YouTube like that can brain wash someone’s mind if he or she is not aware of the consequences. However there are good viral videos, instructional or educational, that can help us, like.
    To answer your first question, I believe the more information about you on the internet, the more chances for people to find information about you that you didn’t want them to find out.

  12. Privacy settings are already pretty secure. I have very little actual personal information available because of the settings of sites. They can’t really do much more to make them secure. If you don’t want your information plastered on the web, don’t give people access to it. Its as simple as that. I feel the people who complain that people know too much are the same ones who are putting their phone number, their address, and every other bit of personal information available for all to see. This is just asking for trouble. I feel like once people actually have trouble with someone using their information then they will worry about it. But until then they don’t see a problem.

  13. While I think privacy settings are somewhat secure, they’re far from being completely secure. For example, the way Facebook privacy settings work. There seems to be a new update for changing your settings every other week. While the customizable security controls on the site has been substantially changed for the better over the past few years, it’s hard to keep up with. Things become public that you didn’t want to be public.

    I didn’t even realize that my work information was public on Facebook until we did the first project. I thought I had that for friends only. It’s difficult to regulate what stays private to whom when things keep changing this quickly.

    Also, there are so many glitches. I mean even Mark Zuckerberg has had issues with them.

    I guess people should just know that anything posted, bought, or looked at online is fair game.

  14. I think the information people give out to the public will essentially be the same. Giving your social security number away online will always be a bad idea. But in terms of facebook information, it really is hard to say. People seem to have no trouble showing what their interests are, as that is more or less something you WANT people to know. But things like where you live and work are maybe things that people will do less of. It’s almost like the web knows where you are, and you know it’s everywhere.
    As for internet security, I doubt it will improve. If you put something online, it really is your own fault. Nobody makes anyone put anything online. If your address is on facebook, that’s your own fault.

  15. In order for people to continue visiting sites , these sites will have to upgrade privacy settings. This is because hackers are constantly evolving and in the future they will do nothing but get better. Also because consumers are becoming more and more aware and at time victims of these hacks, they will expect the sites visited to protect them.
    I do think that as people become aware of the severity and consequences of putting their information on online

  16. Shopaholicshauna,

    I agree with your reply. Facebook settings do constantly change every week. You have to either keep up with the settings, and if you dont like them then just delete your facebook. Thats what I did.

  17. Monique Johnson,

    I agree hackers are constantly gaining access to sites. Privacy settings must be updated regularly to keep up with the changing times. Nice Reply!

  18. cmatouk19,

    I like the perspective you came from. Some websites do make money from leaving their privacy settings not that strong. A lot of people like this because they are cashing in on it even though the settings they supply are not strong privacy settings.

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