So much attention is focused on the benefits to online privacy, we often forget about the drawbacks. Of course, the big gurus such as Facebook and Google are always reminding us not to wish for too much online privacy too soon – but people are quick to assume that they just want things their way. But do they have a point?
Currently, the internet works in a unique but sneaky way. Yes, your online usage is tracked. That’s why when you log into your Facebook account for example, you see ads that relate to YOU. In fact, this computer tracking software is so intelligent, I’ve noticed that simple words you type to a friend (i.e., zoo, water park, etc.) is sensitive enough to trigger ads.
But there are many wonderful things about having an uber-intuitive machine at your hands. By giving up a slice of online privacy, my computer can do a lot for me. If I can’t remember a particular site I visited several days ago, Google will remember for me. Google also knows what I want to type before I even type it – case in point – all I have to type is “how much medi – ” and “how much medicine should I give my toddler” will come up immediately.
And thanks to weaknesses in online privacy, I can look up any address without having to call a family member for it – again – and skip out of a high school reunion because I already know what’s going on in everyone’s lives. Most importantly, I feel like I’m using an internet that is specifically tailored toward me.
Not that I don’t have concerns over being tracked, but there are many advantages to giving up some online privacy. Before we get too ahead of ourselves, it is important to remember some of the good that publicness offers.
Image Source: gigaom.com