How Has the Internet Affected Your Privacy? Part 2

336 words | 2 page(s)

In reviewing the class work and discussions on the Internet, I realize how wide the range of possibilities is in focusing on a single issue, even narrowed down to privacy. Since everything we do online involves some form of commitment from ourselves, privacy is a concern in all Internet interaction. We are always “revealing” something because, online, we are always setting our presence out there, and there is no other way to actually generate the responses or information we want.

This factor tends to generate concerns about invasion, or abuses of personal privacy. The range here is enormous, from cyber-bullying to hacking of financial and personal information. I am inclined, however, to take a different approach because I am more curious as to how this Internet activity changes our own ideas of what privacy actually is, or the values we attach to our own. Put another way, I am wanting to investigate how the Internet encourages us to weaken or eliminate privacy barriers traditionally in place.

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Given the theoretical approach of this question, I believe research will lead in various directions. One avenue I definitely think worth exploring is the well-known “surrender” of privacy when people text, email, or interact online in public spaces. Is the privacy discarded or is there a belief that others should actually provide it in these public situations? Another is how far we are willing to go in terms of honesty when interacting online in personal ways because we may feel that giving up privacy allows us the right to be less than honest about who we are.

This in itself suggests a new way of identifying privacy. It also relates to efforts to be anonymous: are they valid as privacy protections or, given how privacy is surrendered by so many, are they seen as actually unethical? Basically, I will be researching any behavior identified with the Internet that indicates how people surrender privacy today because the Internet has changed their ideas of its value, and in ways lessening that value.

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