CommTech: Privacy Sacrificed for Freedom

In class, we learned about privacy in the commtech world. We learned that quite frankly there is little to no privacy when you are using technology now-a-days. Our information is being found online, on our phones, our TVs, GPS, and wearable technology plus many more. It begs the question of whether or not we sacrifice our privacy to use things for free. in the article from PC World from our readings, the author names a few free services we take for granted: “This is the price of free: free email, free operating systems, free connecting with friends, free search.” When you think about it, everything we use in commtech is in some way free. When you buy a laptop, the operating system is already installed for free, free access to social media, and the list goes on. We sacrifice our privacy to keep these sites free. By allowing highly targeted advertising, it gets for revenue for those advertisements.

I try my best to have safe guards while using my laptop. I cover my webcam with wachi tape so if someone were to hack it, you can’t see me staring down at the screen. I also clear my cookies frequently because it not only makes the internet run a little faster, it can stop tracking from sites that have cookies enabled. The one thing that always concerns me about privacy is getting accounts hacked with bad intent. I get worried that my information will be stolen and used somewhere. This is probably because of my anxiety/paranoia, but I still can’t not be concern about what or who is looking at my info online.

In the article, it went through every social media platform to show you what all they take. Seeing it spelled out in words wasn’t shocking, but a little eye opening. All sites take something from you by somewhat sneaking in ways to access it without us really giving consent. It’s kind of disappointing to know that sites do this, but again, it’s part of advertising. Zuckerberg gives up Facebook for free, it’s only right that advertisements help pay for the site and the people behind it’s salaries. Same for Google and other free service sites out there. The privacy issues can be bad, but the companies use it to target the correct audience, get the most clicks, and the most revenues; it’s actually pretty genius.

As a society, I do think that everyone in general should raise concern about their online privacy. You never know who is watching, what’s out there, or what people are saying about you. Having the Internet can make it blatantly clear as to what all the answers to the questions are like where you live, what’s your income, do you have kids etc etc. It’s when “Big Brother” crosses the line like they did with the Snowden/NSA controversy that I think it’s a bit much. After the Patriot Act, the government got permission to spy on phone calls, online activities, and text messages. This is all something I’m down for, I believe it’s helpful. But doing it to every civilian is wrong and I hope we never see the day that that happens. One thing that disappoints me about the use of the information is that it’s for sale. We give away our info so other can give away access to online services; why is it being sold if it’s already free? I  like to say it’s greed, but others may think other wise.

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