Saturday, April 17, 2010

The Internet: A Great Tool...or a Dangerous Weapon?

Privacy. Does this word still exist? Does it hold just as much value and respect as it did 20years ago? 10 years ago? Or 5? Hell, what about 2? With the endless help of the Internet corporations people can find personal information on individuals. This means your boss can google your name, find your facebook page, and see pictures of you getting drunk and dancing on a stripper poll in Cancun, Mexico. And this goes beyond risky pictures, people can find addresses and phone numbers of whom ever they desire. So ladies that guy that you don't want to give your number to can easily obtain it through the Internet along with your address and all your last month purchases. Yikes! Although the Internet is identified as a great tool, it can also be used as a dangerous weapon.

This topic reminds me of the movie Mr. Brooks (awesome movie!). It told the story of a man that had an obession with killing people, played by Kevin Costner. The character went about stalking his victims by using what? You guess it...the Internet. By doing so he gathered enough information to determine when and where his prey would be, what they like, what they purchased, and most importantly where they lived. Soon after Mr. Brooks would kill his victims, take pictures of the scene, then move on to the next set of victims. Just imagine a real life Mr. Brooks walking down your street. I don't mean to scare anybody, but this is definitely a matter many need to consider. According to an article, Google states that "privacy is still alive" and they are doing everything to protect it. Well thanks google for being so considerate, but what about the websites that are found through "your" search engine people can go to find personal information about me? Those websites can not be blocked...or can they?

So of course I did what many of you would or have already done, I googled myself. What came up was all of the sites I am affiliated with, and off to the side of the search engine it read "want to know more about Cierra Mooney?". I clicked on the link and it took me to a page that display my name, my relatives, and if a fee is paid the site will disclose my address and other personal information.
Along with privacy we must also consider censorship. Three executives at Google were prosecuted in Italy for not taking down a YouTube video of a young autistic boy who was being physically abused by a couple of bullies. Two out of the three was convicted of privacy violation and the other was acquitted. Many believed Google should have taken the footage down as soon as they were aware of the video. Although they video helped people to identify the bullies, who were later convicted to Juvenal, it was still identified as an invasion of privacy. I believe this was a far trail. The executives at Google should be cosiderate of our privacy and censorship. One should not be expose to the world. Some should take the fall, why not the ones that out us there.

I believe we have to protect ourselves in cyberspace, we cannot depend on Google, Yahoo, or any other site to protect us. Some of the steps we can take is becoming more conscious what we put on our social networking site like Facebook. For instance i do not disclose my family members, address, or phone number on my page. Also i do not post any pictures that I would have to explain later. Plus whether we like it or not our boss CAN access our facebook page without our consistent. My dad is executive at a very known company and he has no problem accessing his employees blocked pages if he desired. Fortunately he respect privacy so he does not do that, but whose to say his fellow colleagues would. I've personally have spoken to an executive who admitted to viewing potential employee's pages. They said it gives them insight on their character and whether they seem reliable. I found that to be unfair and critical. Just because someone enjoys having a little obnoxious fun on the weekends does not mean they can't be a reliable employee.

As for the young generation that is growing up in the mitts of privacy and Internet, they may have different expectations. Due to the fact that they have not experienced pre-Internet privacy, they will be a accustom to the little privacy they will have. However, I do believe with the help of their guardian and/or mentor, they could be educated on possible necessary precautions that could be taken in order to not only protect but also value their own space.

The world was never a safe place, but with advance technology it is becoming even more dangerous. Some of you may feel as though this particular post is a bit harsh and pessimistic, but we need to always consider the disadvantages as well as the advantages of the Internet. Do not rely on Google or any other site to protect you. Take the necessary steps to secure your safety, identity, and privacy, because at the end of they day no one is responsible for well-being but you. Go forth and prosper with precaution. TO INFINITY AND BEYOOOOOND!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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1 comment:

  1. Loved the first video, I actually found the same video about the girl and Virgin Mobile and posted it on my blog as well. How crazy... what this world has come to, we can't do anything without being watched! Just goes to show that you really have to be careful about what you do and what you post. Nice blog!