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Internet privacy simply refers to having one’s information held confidential and not distributed, stolen, used or hacked into without any permission. Frederick Lane, an attorney and author of ‘American Privacy’ reveals that, “When we talk about a right to privacy, what we are really talking about is the right to control information we consider to be private.”(CBSNews.com)
When the World Wide Web was first released to the public in 1991 many were in jubilation and the future was bright as new discoveries were made to expand on internet usage and availability. One thing however that was first compromised was individual privacy.
Many today would rather argue that internet has done more good than harm in terms of communication and speed of message delivery. It is undisputable that internet is the number one media used globally in regards to news updates and socializing. The downside to this is that, when all your information is uploaded on the internet, such as videos, photos, addresses and everyday task updates, then these can be accessed by anyone on the internet hence, lack of individual privacy. Consider the case of a public high school English teacher who was fired from her job after a few pictures had been viewed by one of her student’s parents and complains sent to the principal. These pictures had been taken while she was on holiday in Ireland and was enjoying a glass of wine in a restaurant. In this scenario, Ashley’s private life led to her losing her career. (CBSnews.com)
Internet privacy in the 21st century is in a sad state of affairs. With thousands of hackers, paparazzi and people disregarding copyrights, there is absolutely no regard for individual rights. According to a report on Australian Government site, for one’s information to be accessed it is just a matter of clicking the mouse. It states “Information about you or your activities can be collected without your knowledge or consent through cookies, HTTP, browsers, search engines, e-mail, spam and chats.”(Australian Government)
CBS News. Did the Internet Kill Privacy?, 6 February. 2011. Web. 22 November. 2011. <http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2011/02/06/sunday/main7323148.shtml>
Australian Government-Office of the Privacy Commissioner. Protecting Your Privacy on the Internet. Protecting Information Rights – Advancing Information Policy. n.d. Web. 22 November. 2011. <http://www.privacy.gov.au/topics/technologies/privacy>