Concerns about sharing information in digital age

philipcheng

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We live in the Information Age, where we can access more data than people before, with just the click of a button. There are many benefits such as the ability to look up information or directions online through a desk top or a handheld device. However, there is also a downside: according to techcrunch.com, our everyday activities –– web searches, status updates, ‘likes’, tweets, and comments –– all leave a trail of data behind which we tend to see as ephemeral or throwaway.

Before private information such as where we are or our habits was left unknown to other people. But with digitization, peopleʼs private information can be compiled and become data metrics. This decrease in privacy is happening everywhere. For example company known as Check Point has recently developed a spy chip that can be put into clothing. Many people likely would not even notice this spy chip as they take off and put on the clothes. There is also a computer software program that allows users to access traffic cameras. These cameras can tell you another personʼs driving habits, seat belt usage and the ticket they owe.

More information at first seems like a benefit to society. But, as more things about people are revealed to the public, the problem is that we all provide our personal information and leave it at others’ disposal. Companies like Google have been using this type of information for targeted advertising. The opposite happens, too, at carpooling.com, a European site that allows people to find others to carpool with. At this site, users rate and comment on drivers and carpool partners. You as a customer can pick to drive with anyone on the site. With so much information, you can make the best choice possible. However, with so much personal information out there, people are more likely to have their identity stolen or to be stalked. The main issue is that people can use that information for their owe advantage; whether it hurts you or not is a different story.

Though people may fear that individuals will target them, another thing to worry about is how the government or business monitors a person. Although there is a significant downside, people are tending to share more information. An example is seen in GPS, which is becoming more and more common. GPS is becoming common in cars and many phones are starting to have GPS for emergency purposes. Another example is technology based surveillance. In the future, this technology can view people and allow the viewer to access a personʼs personal information and background. Though it is not very common, there are traffic cameras in Europe that serve this purpose. However, much of this change goes unnoticed because it happens gradually.

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