Privacy Betrayed in Internet

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Two superpowers are colluding. The age of information technology has brought two parties together, that, when united, pose a great threat to the very notion of individual freedom. Large, private companies and the government are behind the massive curtailing of society’s right to privacy because they have financial incentives to collect and share user data, and they use security as a guise for abusive access to people’s private information.

Many large, private companies in the twenty-first century have revenue models partly, if not entirely, dependent on how effectively they can allow third parties to use their gathered data on their product’s users. According to some civil rights activists, cell phone companies are exploiting the minimal amount of privacy policy regulations in place by charging law enforcement agencies for various surveillance products, including text and call tracking and cell phone location services (Blain, 2017). The fact that a person’s sensitive information is handled at the whim of a corporation’s financial agenda is tantamount to other crimes against humanities. An eerie comparison can be drawn to the dawn of slavery, where one person’s appalling quality of life was another’s source of income.

Other companies, such as Google, act as double agents, offering people access to a wealth of information right at one’s fingertips, but ultimately serving themselves and their data-hungry clients who seek to understand people’s interests, spending habits, and behaviors (Popken, n.d.). Unbeknownst to most search-engine users, there is a massive, profit-driven corporation peering over their shoulders, analyzing every click, decision, and action that they make. These undercover spy missions not only find specific demographics and people for advertisers to target but also report information such as how to optimize web pages to better manipulate visitors’ attention.

While some argue for the paramount protection of people’s lives, the government has historically performed intolerably egregious searches and covertly peered into its citizens’ lives in the name of this value. An urban mom in Long Island had a traumatic experience when six joint terrorism task force agents surrounded and blocked all exits from her house and demanded entry to investigate the rooms because her internet search history included “pressure cookers”, “backpacks”, and “how do pressure bombs work”, despite having also searched a myriad of other innocent things, such as “how to cook quinoa”, “has A-Rod been suspended yet”, etc (Gabbat, 2013). This event was the result of the government’s continuous monitoring of its citizens’ activity and ineffective protection against unwarranted searches, an embarrassing contradiction to one of the core reasons why thousands of American patriots gave their lives to revolt against their original, oppressive government. Now forever fearful, this family joins the list of all who have come to face the harsh truth that their private lives are not as well protected from foreign, unfamiliar eyes as they once would have thought.

However, the government’s efforts to enforce security are not merely one-time incidents; many large technology companies, including Google, Verizon, and AT&T, receive tens of thousands of police requests annually, and some grant data over half of the time (Hurley, 2018). When granted permission, law enforcement may eventually access all types of data reported by all devices within a certain area radius (Hurley, 2018). For just one criminal case, thousands of innocent people’s information can be scrutinized, which has even led to some people being wrongly convicted and forced to pay the price of 10 years in prison for a crime they did not commit. This slippery slope of injustices can be traced back to the fact that the government is able to access our data in the first place.

Ironically with all of the technology available to improve our quality of life, our right to privacy has been seriously jeopardized by the combined forces of large corporations and governments. When their priorities lie in maximizing personal gain through data gathering and using the guise of security for illicit information access, society as a whole sees the destruction of the concept of “privacy”.

Cite this paper

Privacy Betrayed in Internet. (2021, Oct 04). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/privacy-betrayed-in-internet/

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