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I am not sure if I have written a blog post about this so far, or not, but I find that the lack of digital privacy nowadays is absolutely disturbing. I have developed a popular digital persona over the years, and I am daily impacted by the fallout of being active online and having to deal with the transparency of today’s world.
I think a lot of people are living through this.
The way I protect myself mostly if trying to separate my personal life from what I allow others to read about me. I have always been like that over the years. I find it to be scary if people know that I am out of the house at the moment attending an event, or in fact staying somewhere and leaving my house unattended. I worry about the safety of my children and ensure that their digital footprint is secured.
This is really a problem of our whole generation and time. While we love the accessibility of information on the Internet, and have a constant need to share what we are living through with our friends and relatives, it is important to be vigilant of putting your whole life out there, and allowing virtually anybody to access your preferences, likes, and dislikes, and personal information that sometimes you don’t even know yourself that you are allowing others to see.
Any step you take in the virtual world is recorded somewhere, and may be tracked by dishonest organizations trying to impact your life and enrich themselves. It is important to realize that in the digital world, no matter how much we try to protect our privacy, it is ultimately open to third parties because of a lack of legislation limiting sites and social networks we frequent to distribute the information that they are collecting about us.
It may sound paranoidal, but it is an idea that many people now share based on what we are learning in the news about, and how we see companies function online. Seems like all and everything that we do is up for grabs. I have just read an interesting study by Digital Citizens Alliance about how digital platforms are reacting to the public outcry, and how they are dealing with the malicious content that they continue to distribute to us. The study is called Digital Platforms in Crisis: a Decade in the Making, and it describes exactly the reasons why people are not trusting digital platforms any more, and what major social networks and sites are undertaking now in order to mitigate the problems we are all facing.
We hear some people now asking everyone to boycott Facebook because of all of the recent leaks and reports stating that Facebook has been sharing all and every data piece that they hold on you and your friends with third parties. This potentially created a possibility of going as far as swaying past elections in the USA, and created a huge problem for all of us having to realize how really vulnerable we are as a society.
The study Digital Platforms in Crisis: a Decade in the Making exposes the results of surveys conducted in the US stating that lack of regulation is a real problem for continuing using social networks, and there is a very real tendency of people leaving platforms they used to frequent due to digital companies being irresponsible towards people’s privacy and personal data.
There is a clear disconnect that we are all feeling with what we know is harmful, and what digital companies consider harmful, and how quickly they are able to identify and stop harmful information from spreading. There are countless videos and posts available online that promote illegal activities and inappropriate content. It is very common to see thousands of dislikes on videos, yet these videos continue to be available online showing scenes and ideas that should not ever be allowed to be publicly available. Moderation efforts are often misplaced, and in the general desire to gain more profit, make money on more ads, we all notice how profits become more important than public safety.
“Digital Citizens Alliance Calls on Companies to Accept Responsibility and Take New Steps to Clean Up Platforms and Restore Trust” There is a new report that has just been published by Digital Citizens Alliance that shows Profits Before Trust: “Digital Platforms in Crisis” Report Details How Facebook, Google and Twitter Put Business Growth Ahead of Consumers. This report details the behavior of several digital companies that seem to be placing profits above and beyond decency and appropriate behavior when you are dealing with people’s private data, as well as providing people with information as a mass media resource.