When I was younger we would be taught ethical sayings such as “money is the route of all evil”, and you believe that this 3rd party object is what causes humans to act terribly. Now I understand that it is not money that is evil, the evil part is within human nature and the money is just an object which facilitates it; just like the internet has become a platform to facilitate negativity.
The “evil” I wish to focus on is a macro online privacy issue we are all at risk to it. I have mentioned the documentary “Terms and conditions may apply”; it explains how online privacy in the U.S has been violated and individuals have suffered because of it. Due to companies such as Google and Facebook having such monopolizing power over us, we have no choice but to accept whatever terms/conditions if we want to continue using their services.
I can guarantee not one individual reading this blog can tell me they have read every terms and conditions they have accepted. The documentary reveals how these companies not only allow themselves access to your digital footprint, but the ability to change these terms in the future to however they see fit. One day they might decide they want access to more and the use of this information is much scarier.
It was revealed that the U.S Government alone requested Twitter “users private data” 679 times in the first 6 months of 2012, and 12,271 times to Google in 2011 (Forbes 2012). As Glenn says: it is common for individuals to think they have nothing to hide (Greenwaid 2014); however there have been cases of innocent individuals being arrested for what they posted online. The video below states just a few cases where online posts have been interpreted dangerously and arrests have occurred.
The issue here is that the Government are being over precautious, and believe they are preventing crime; but after reading some of the cases you’d find these phrases said in real life would obviously not be taken seriously. What we feel would be acceptable in a private conversation is no longer acceptable in society; we must conform to the publics level of appropriate. It is sad that those who have bad intentions must create a world where we live in fear and precaution, we live in a world where we are always questioning our safety.
- Glenn Greenwald – Ted, Why Privacy Matters (2014), http://www.ted.com/talks/glenn_greenwald_why_privacy_matters
- Cullen Hoback, Terms and conditions may apply (2013), https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yzyafieRcWE
- Forbes, The U.S. Government asked Twitter to hand over user’s data 679 times this year (2012) http://www.forbes.com/sites/andygreenberg/2012/07/02/the-u-s-government-asked-twitter-to-hand-over-users-data-679-times-so-far-this-year/#4fa121841f7c
- Michelle Clark – Ted, Digital Footprints (2014), https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NlGyTp4Nd4M
- Mic, 8 Social media users arrested for what they said online (2013), https://mic.com/articles/54961/8-social-media-users-arrested-for-what-they-said-online#.6SaRNa7YD
- Peepso, 10 people who were arrested for social media posts (2015), https://www.peepso.com/people-arrested-social-media-posts/
- Powtoon, Tiffany To (2016), https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=66tGuyuLFgo&feature=em-upload_owner
- Piktochart, Tiffany To (2016)