Social Networking Privacy Policies

Social Networking Privacy Policies

Introduction

Lori Andrew in his essay “George Orwell…Meet mark Zuckerberg” speaks of a time when “Big Brother” will always be watching and keeping its citizens under scrutiny (Orwell, 6). They keep track of the entire populations and everything they do and report back every detail to the authorities. In a way, this world has come to be (Abraham, 47). There are big companies that collect data from social networks. Personal information that users post online is sold to behavioral advertising companies with the excuse of doing research when this might not actually be the case. These companies keep track of every aspect of our lives while this information remains unknown to us (Furht 213). The impact of social networks may be viewed as positive by the public, a discernment which is somewhat determined by the social media itself. Social networks have negatively affected the society as it takes away the need for human being to interact face to face, as it weakens family ties.

We live in a time when by just one click you can easily reconnect with a long lost friend or classmate, share photos or videos of how your day or holiday was and for some even find love online. We can declare that perhaps social networking has to be one of the greatest inventions of all time. Yet despite these entire advantages, social networking still comes with a price, privacy. Social networks, such as Facebook, Twitter, You tube, and My space are no longer the safe haven they were where we could escape the boredom in our lives. They lower our privacy expectations as human beings on the need for privacy and allow the upbringing of a generation with no value for their privacy in their social or professional life.

Through the internet and social networks, a dapple ganger is usually created. One may even claim “your evil twin”. This may not matter to businesses and employers who may choose to use the information you post online as a way of short-listing their candidates (Colombo 93). Some information we post online may be for us to appear witty as we try to impress our friends and colleagues yet in the end this information may turn to bite us in the back and severely impact on our career opportunities. Social networks have become and avenue through which most people keep in touch with their family, friends, and workers all across the entire globe. Although it has its advantages, social networking also seems to have its negative effects when it comes to security and privacy concerns (Colombo 87). People just gladly give up their personal information to strangers in these social networks unaware of the fact that these individuals may have their ulterior motives and use this information wrongly or take advantage of them using this information they provide.

Most people who use social networks are not aware of how much detail about them is collected online to help in behavioral advertising. In fact, most people are actually in the dark about the existence of behavioral advertising. Some actually consider it a myth and may imagine only someone paranoid would believe that behavioral advertising actually existed. The idea that someone might be collecting information about them online repulses most people to the extent that they may opt to seek legal solutions. However, not all the information gathered about an individual has to be necessarily in a social network (Abraham, 71). In some instances, companies may actually resort to such extreme measures such as going through your work computer to gather information using which they will judge you.

The information one chooses to search for in the internet may rob you of opportunities unknowingly. For instance, you may be judged wrongly by your employer based on a certain search for in the internet or the sites that one visits during their free time (Colombo 95). We may do some things in the internet imagining that it goes away not knowing that once you post something online it will always remain there. How advertising agencies choose to use this information against us affects our lives in one way or another. As human beings, we have this need to belong somewhere. We feel like we have to prove ourselves to other people. Additionally human beings are just competitive in nature. Now people use social network as a way of monitoring their long lost friends just to prove that they are doing better in life than their friends. Facebook users hare used as lab rats only instead on getting food pellets as a reward for their good work they more likes which to them would mean more attention from their friends. And as it is already apparent attention is what drives most human beings. Maybe it’s the fact the number of likes they get on their facebook photos make them feel better about themselves.

The internet in a way has also limited our thinking capacities. You open a site and the first thing is news only not the kind of important news that actually affects you but mostly gossip about celebrities and their social lives. We currently live in a world where people idolize celebrities so much they almost appear to be gods (Abraham, 78). If you were to just simply walk out of your house and purchase an actual newspaper, you would actually get a grasp of what is actually going on around the world. These news will in the end prove to be more important than mere gossip about who is dating who, who broke up with who, who is currently trending and so on and so forth.

Conclusion

Most researchers have come to the conclusion that the privacy statement policies in social networks are actually a façade and do not actually apply to the privacy controls that they have set up in their sites. If everything was truly private as the owners of these social sites want us to believe, then they wouldn’t have anything to capitalize on realistically. Studies show that the poor privacy settings lead to a lot of leakage of information and therefore it would be advisable for users to be extremely careful about what they post about themselves online (Abraham, 93). There are a lot of online predators out there who are just looking to take advantage on naïve and gullible online users. Some social networks such as facebook give leeway to the 3rd party application to access personal information from its user’s accounts (Abraham, 103). Once the users allow the 3rd party application access to their information they can easily retrieve all the individuals data. We may have no power over who accesses our information online but we do have the choice when it comes to the amount of information we leave available for random people on the internet.

References

Abraham, Ajith. Computational Social Networks: Security and Privacy. London: Springer, 2012. Internet resource.

Furht, Borivoje. Handbook of Social Network Technologies and Applications. New York: Springer, 2010. Internet resource.

Colombo, Gary, Robert Cullen, and Bonnie Lisle. Rereading America: Cultural Contexts for Critical Thinking and Writing. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2007. Print.

Gardner, A. (1987). George Orwell. Boston: Twayne.

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