Privacy Invasion

Posted by admin on Nov 16, 2009 in ICM 501a, Module 6: Legal Issues |
I want privacy

I want privacy

Technological advancements, in today’s world, have enabled many people to live decently. Numerous inventions and innovations have improved the standards of people’s life. The invention of the Internet, for instance, had a major impact on everyone. Who could possibly imagine that the internet will evolve to be one of our daily routines? In addition, certain internet laws were created to accompany the rapid growth of the Internet. For instance, the war over intellectual property, nowadays, has gone far away more than anyone could expect. There is, absolutely, countless legislation that protects the intellectual rights of the companies, for example; however, nobody cares about the massive collection of personal data that being gathered by many companies. In this post, I am going to discuss two points; the first one is the invasion of people’s privacy and the second one is an argument about the importance of storing personal data.

Privacy invasion

Louise Story (2008), in her article, “To aim ads, web is keeping closer eye on you“, indicated that there are certain companies that collect personal information of the vast majority of the users who use the Internet and “use that information to predict what content and advertisements people most likely want to see”. Additionally, she mentioned that “people who spend more time on the Internet, of course, will have more information transmitted about them.” Well, most of the corporations, including huge corporations, such as Google, are invading the privacy of online users. In fact, according to the Big Brother, Big Business video, from CNBC, many people believe that “if they obey the law and mind our own business, there is no reason for any one to pay much attention to them”. On the contrary, “details and personal information is being collected everyday and used in a way we cannot imagine”. I was stunned to know that even the “internet searches are being recorded” and the emails. I totally believe that what these companies should be sued and questioned. There is no need to keep the “user’s emails after the user deletes it” (Big Brother, Big Business, CNBC). 

Storing personal data

On one side, according to the Big Brother, Big Business video, some people claimed that certain huge companies, such as AOL, that store personal data help governmental agents, such as the FBI, to identify certain criminals. For example, AOL usually helps to enforce the law by storing personals data, such as emails, for two months after the user deletes it, according to the Big Brother video, CNBC. The fact that AOL, and other companies that store personal data, helps to eliminate the mystery of certain crimes is really astonishing. On the other side, Michelle Kessler and Kevin Maney (2006), in their article “AOL’s tech chief quits after breach of privacy“, indicated that “AOL said it is creating a task force to re-evaluate its privacy policy. The team will debate how long AOL should save search records and how to further protect records by, for example, removing all sets of numbers that look like credit card numbers”. Well, there are certain concerns with storing personal information about any user and one of them is a security breach can always happen to any database. These breaches can be conducted by employees who work with those companies. In fact, this is not the first time that AOL has a breach; Michelle Kessler and Kevin Maney stated that “AOL has run into privacy trouble before. Last year, an ex-employee pleaded guilty to stealing 92 million customer e-mail addresses, which he sold to spammers”.


To sum up, I have indicated that the privacy of most users who use the Internet regularly is in jeopardy. Most of the online users have the right to have privacy of whatever they do online. I believe that normal people who obey the law and don’t violate it should not be monitored. In addition, I believe that companies who store private data without the permission of users should be sued and questioned. Moreover, I have indicated that there are certain advantages of storing these kinds of entries; for example, these data entries helped to enforce the law and detect certain criminals. On the contrary; the disadvantages are even greater. A single breach to the databases that contain the data could murder the privacy of several users.  After all, I strongly believe that privacy laws that protect people or online users should be strongly changed. 


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