Internet privacy, in its basic form, refers to the protection of users’ personal information from spiteful use and access by unwarranted individuals. Since its advent, the Internet has grown to become one of the most preferred means of communication by consumers, its preference increasing by the day. However, as instituted by research, the Internet, besides the numerous benefits accruable from its usage, is accompanied by a number of inferential setbacks with the privacy issue arguably being the most encountered. The all-encompassing concerns with regards to Internet privacy predominantly revolve around issues like access of user information by web operators as well as surreptitious email spying by the government. In essence, the lack of apposite stipulates such as well defined regulations and articulate privacy policies stand out to be the overarching promoters of the Internet privacy infringement.
Internet mob involves linking with people worldwide to provide news of what one has done without one’s knowledge by parading group behavior though in an electronic realm. A conspicuous example of privacy infringement posed by Internet Mobs is where Chinese Internet browsers resolute to consider the foregoing actions of a Chinese woman committing suicide in 2007 (Greenemeier) who came to notice her husband’s infidelity, his name and personal details on how he undertook his mission. This information spread with the help of the victim’s sister to appoint that the husband is unable to challenge the filed cases against Internet sites associated with the information. China’s Internet use has actually intruded privacy of many ignorant people who participate in crimes. These people think they can go Scott free thus helping in curbing criminology.
It is a pinching case and is creeping slowly into the world as majority new, naive technology users are unaware of the phenomena. This one depicts himself under the mask of legal prominent corporation’s official sending email messages to Internet users with the purpose of attaining their personal profiles. These are then used against them in retrieving even cash from the bank accounts pretending to be insurance companies. Learning this, in 2005, the Japanese government enforced its “Act on the Protection of Personal Information” to safeguard the welfare of their natives. This entailed; first before any form of the transaction is undertaken involved parties ought to attain consent from the client by ensuring precise and accurate time (Greenemeier).
Unreliable Internet security has resulted to many Internet users loosing confidential information to Internet hackers who use it maliciously, therefore, breaching privacy. Online commerce has been one of the usefulness of the Internet. This too, has exposed many users to scammers and other online criminal activities, resulting to the loss of a lot of money from unsuspecting users (Camp, 31). To most users, the Internet seems like a risk because it has served as an avenue that threatens the security of their information and privacy to an unknown world. This has left a majority with no option but rely on it for the sake of their online needs. The social lives of people are exposed because of Internet use. Social websites have made people reveal information that is to be private. Most sites have required that subscribers feed in some detailed information about them, some of which is targeted by hackers.
Most people face personal issues that may cause stigma in their lives, therefore, end up seeking online emotional support from sources that are not trusted. The stigmatized individual in most cases avoid seeking help from professionals in terms of health care and education with an inclination to seek help from the Internet. The process of seeking help from the internet entails giving out some information about their health, marital standing or their financial status. Moreover, people living with the HIV Aids virus have had to seek emotional support from online medics or counselors, and this has exposed them to unknown users on the Internet who have gained access to their private lives (Bidgoli 23) not to mention Investment and financial advisers also accessible online. Most Internet users can log in some sites to obtain consultation on various issues in their lives. Investors seek advice from online consultants, but in most cases, they end up exposing so much information about their lives, families or career life to strangers online. Most users are not aware and only realize this after falling victim to Internet crime. Indubitably, the internet can appear to be like a form of an outreach through which such people can seek advice and company, but such people should understand the risks involved when they reveal such determinative information to people that they hardly know.
Currently, employers, after interviewing recruits, surf Internet with the underlying intention of accessing personal profiles of the recruits as a means of further assessing their capabilities. They also check their social life to know their language prowess, their academic versatility and the type of friends one has. Conventionally, their privacy is thwarted and this deprives the recruits the chance of being considered despite appealing presentation and formal qualification during the interview. Sometimes the employer may dubiously pose as potential chat friend and ends up attaining recruit’s private information towards the employer to be. Also, they get to know information regarding recruit’s attitude towards the attainment of firm’s goals. On the same, employers behind scenes get to know the state of existing workers and evaluate who are loyal to the company and deserve promotion.
Cyber crime is a common practice by most Internet hackers. This security breach totally risks the privacy of people and their information enabling the hackers to unscrupulously access a plethora of private information of the internet users. Tracing hackers and stopping them has proven to be a hard nut to crack, warranting that users continue experiencing such Internet assaults (Bidgoli, 331). Although a manageable crime, most Internet Service Providers (ISPs) find it difficult to execute credible measures against suspected hackers even with the existence of measures that can be put in place to ameliorate this situation. Surprisingly, the dangers of cyber crime have been so severe, but this has not deterred Internet users from using it.
The increase in the usage of interacting sites, especially Facebook and MySpace, is yet another contributing factor to souring increase in the leakage of much personal information to a diverse people who might have evil motives. This is evidenced mostly in Third countries like the countries in the Middle East where majority has no access to Internet except the only few. Only the oil-rich people can afford a computer and access Internet, thus the issue of protection and privacy is not a problem. Despite this, the social sites users suffer a lot in these areas since most of them are not familiar with concealing their privacy when chatting with their aides. Whereas the internet has resulted to positive accounts and fast communication as a whole, it has also failed to adhere to individual’s privacy policies. Without effective use and measures put in place to cub privacy violation online, there will still be violations and social issues owing to the desecration of individuals privacy.
In a nut shell, there is a scintillating need for ISPs to enhance Internet users’ privacy as the only way of curbing the current privacy threat that the users expose themselves to as a result of using the internet. The users on their part should refrain from disclosing their personal details to unknown people they meet in the internet. Furthermore, government should for enforceable standards as a means of saving the innocent citizens from losing their privacy as a result of using the internet.
Bidgoli, H. The Internet Encyclopedia, Vol 2: Making the Internet Forensic. New Jersey: John
Wiley & Sons, 2004.
Camp, J. Trust and Risk in Internet Commerce: Commercial Transactions. Massachsetts: MIT,
Greenemeier, Larry. International Report: What Impact Is Technology Having
around the World? Retrieved on 18 April, 2011 from