October 1, 2018
Privacy on the Internet
In 2014, a start-up with mobile app declined a $3 billion offer from Facebook, and within three years, the company gained its value to over $24 billion (Molloy). This company is Snapchat, an image and video messaging application created by Evan Spiegel, Bobby Murphy and Reggie Brown in 2011, which pictures and messengers of users only available for a short time. It increases the privacy of users and saves resources that spend on keeping things are unnecessary. Today, Snapchat is used by 18 percent of U.S social media users, and over 3.5 billion Snaps are sent daily (Newton). The development and influence of the internet are obvious nowadays, but it also has other side that may make people feel uncomfortable by using the internet. More and more people pay more attention to the privacy of the internet. There are several logo that show the internet may not a place for privacy.
First of all, there are many ways to access a personal device in this technology era. For years, many stories, news, or articles that warn people about the internet. Today, the development of technology let people do everything on their smartphones, such as, send money, paycheck, take notes, or take photos. Hackers can easily steal that personal information when people click to an advertised link, connect to a strange Wi-Fi, or put a flash device to their laptop. They can attack any organization, such as, NASA, State agency, Facebook, or Microsoft, so what will stop hackers from attack personal users when it benefits them? In addition, people are like to share their daily life on social media. Posting photos or videos about daily routine are becoming popular nowadays. However, people can take advantage of the information that is shared for their purpose. Based on the information users post on social media, a stranger can know how many people live in that house, what time they get out/ in their house, or maybe their plan to travel on holidays. Most people will carry cash when they travel overseas, and it is easy to rob them when they are on the way to the airport.
Then, most of the applications on the internet today are free, but the companies like Google, Facebook, or Snapchat still make billions of dollars on revenue every year. They have several ways to make money on the internet instead of charging users to pay for the site. As result, these companies will pay more attention to their major customer who needs advertising services. Most of the applications today will ask their users for app permissions which allow them to access some information on user’s devices, such as, contacts, locations, or photos. It is a way for the companies to collect customers’ data and have a prediction about what they want in the future. People will have to see a lot of advertising on social media today, but it is not shown randomly. It is relating to what people look on the internet daily.
Finally, the risk about privacy can be from the internet providers. “The latest from the Edward Snowden leaks show that Obama eventually told NSA to stop collecting your email communications in 2011” (Greenfield). Collecting and updating users’ data is one of the major jobs of internet providers. “There are countless free services on Google that turn those numbers you give the IT guy into your extract location” (Greenfield). However, they may not do it only for users’ benefit. There are many rules that stop the internet providers to make money on users’ data. Everyone knows that is a billion-dollar industry, and nobody can stay away from it.
In brief, the development of the internet is obvious and convenience, but it also is the danger. It can be from other users, the applications, or the internet providers. It may make people feel uncomfortable when they use the internet, but they also can find a way to protect themselves.
Greenfield, Rebeeca. “What Your Email Metadata Told the NSA about you.” Andrea A. Lunsford, John J. Ruszkiewicz, Keith Walters. Everything’s an Argument with Reading. Ed. 7th. n.d. 746-750.
Molloy, Mark. “Telegraph.co.uk.” 25 July 2017. Telegraph.co.uk. Document. 1 October 2018. .
Newton, Casey. “Theverge.com.” 29 November 2017. Theverge.com. Artical. 1 october 2018. .