Why We Need Internet Privacy Essay Example


The right to privacy is essential freedom to protect in today’s day and age. With tech companies asking for more and more personal information, consumers should be educated on what is going on with that data, and where it is being received. Identity theft is the illegal use of someone else's identity for selfish gain, and it affects people daily. Theft of identity can ruin someone's life in the span of a few days. The freedom that we once took for granted is secretly being taken away.

Companies are collecting unnecessary data and sharing it with other companies. When users are prompted with the terms and conditions of a program or site, they rush to click accept and move on with their task. Although doing this may be the easy way out, it is not a wise decision. Companies know that their users will rush through them and some companies may take advantage of the act. Last year, Facebook was involved in a scandal where they were caught collecting excessive data and giving their users’ data to an advertising business. An article on CTV News titled “Facebook privacy scandal explained” states, “On Wednesday, Facebook said that as many as 87 million people might have had their data accessed -- up from the 50 million disclosed in previously published reports...On top of that, some users who logged in to Facebook through Android devices discovered that Facebook had been collecting phone call logs and text histories”.

Although it may be frightening that personal information can be seen by strangers, taking a few precautions can help users stay protected. An individual can keep highly personal information to oneself, such as full names and addresses. They can look into the privacy settings on the specific social media site to see if there is anything they do not approve of or want the company to know. On the site Norton, it mentions ways one can stay safe while using social media, “Many sites push you to agree to terms that are best for them—not you. Take a moment to wade through any legalese. Some of it may exceed your personal comfort limit. Make sure your permission choices are right for you. Keep your full name and address to yourself.” 

Identity theft is another way of how we are losing our privacy in the 21st century. It is when online thieves can access a person’s private information. Identity theft is connected to the previous reason of how companies are giving away personal information. When personal information is given to other companies, it can get into the wrong hands and be used to commit the crime. Going back to the Facebook scandal, it is believed that Russia used Facebook’s information to meddle in the recent presidential election. On CTV News it talks about the confusing situation, “ It comes on the heels of a revelation that Russia used the service to meddle in U.S. elections. It has also deepened concerns about the social media network's ability to avoid being exploited to spread propaganda and sway elections”.

There are many ways citizens can protect themselves from identity theft; all they have to do is be educated. When one is educated on the ways how thieves can get information, they are safer. The site Experian talks about wise strategies, “To better protect your personal data against identity thieves, take some forward-thinking steps that minimize your odds of being victimized. The goal is to build as many effective obstacles and tripwires as you can with your personal data. That strategy will frustrate and discourage identity thieves and drive them toward other targets whose data is easier to fraudulently obtain.” To conclude, identity theft is a key reason why the right to privacy is threatened. 

In summary, the right to privacy is important because, without it, people can lose their identities. The freedom can seem like it is violated easily, but as long as consumers stay educated, everyone can be safe.

 

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