There have been some interesting debates regarding the issue of online privacy as of recently. From the White House to the general public, this topic is always at the forefront of discussions revolving around the internet.
Just as recent as last week, the FTC stated that it would be proposing stricter laws for the online privacy of children. Most people are in agreement with these tighter laws, as they feel that their privacy is being compromised by such sites as Facebook, Google and online phonebook directories.
What is most interesting is that while people stand by demanding more privacy – and now – these very same individuals continue to pour information over the internet.
Take personal blogs for example. Some of them get very personal – I’ve come across some that document the pain of losing a child, battling with cancer or going through a divorce. For people that want more privacy, it seems a bit contradictory to share their life struggles with a public audience.
Then there are the online users that demand privacy, but are photo-liberal with their kids’ photographs. We know that posting photos on social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook is always a toss-up. You just never know whose hands the pictures may find themselves in.
Yet users fight back saying that they want to connect with a specific audience online – not have their information shared with everyone. And it also depends on the type of information that is being made public. For example, a blogger may want to share an experience with others that can relate, but not have her home made public via satellite images.
This is perhaps what is so difficult about establishing rules for online privacy; it’s hard to know where to draw the line, as we’re unsure ourselves. The internet is our greatest communication tool and allows us to build relationships and connect with an audience. Yet it’s these very factors that make us most vulnerable to security threats. Until we know what we really want from the internet, online privacy will always be up for debate.
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