Born in 1991 makes me a resident of the digital era. As a digital resident my childhood involvement with the digital world was not encouraged as it is today. No one ever informed my peers and I of what is now common knowledge in the digital world, especially when it comes to internet privacy. Until reading this book I had honestly not put much thought into internet privacy, now I realize that internet privacy is major issue in our society today. There are many factors and concerns that arise with internet privacy that will greatly influence my future such as the growth of the “deep web,” the immergence of radio frequency identifier tags, and who is responsible for this privacy.
Before I began this book I had no idea that the “deep web” or deep internet existed and I am blown away to discover that there is a deep internet that contains extensive personal information about everyone. Experts claim it contains 100 times more data than the ordinary internet and anyone can access it anonymously with the appropriate software (Palmer, 2012).
The fact that anyone can find out anything about anyone is truly astonishing and is obviously a major invasion of privacy. The author mention a company called ChoicePoint which utilizes the deep internet to gather information about people and sells it to various buyers. In 2005, ChoicePoint was breached witch lead to over 800 identity thefts; the worst part is that most people didn’t even know what ChoicePoint was (Palfrey and Gasser, 2008, pg, 59). This was a real “eye-opener” for me in that it made me realize that anyone can become a victim of such privacy invasion without even knowing about it.
Acquiring this knowledge of the “deep web” will change my future digital behavior greatly because now I will be aware that any information that I give electronically will be stored in a place for anyone to access I understand that providing personal information online is unavoidable but I will certainly be more cautious than ever before, when I would not think twice before giving any of my information away.
My digital mindset has changed from thinking what I do on my personal computer is my business to what I do on my computer I everyone’s business, which will lead to more responsible decisions while immersed in the digital world. Along with the “deep web” that contains personal information there are radio frequency identifier tags that are becoming another way to invade ones personal privacy. The immergence of radio frequency identifier tags (RFID tags) is becoming more prominent in daily life. The initial applications of this technology were to track animals, luggage, and consumer products, but now they are being placed in humans with intentions of making life safer and more convenient. The tags have the ability keep track of ones medical records, banking history, insurance, preferences, location, and any other private information available. According to Bonsor and Fenlon (2007), “Some critics say RFID technology is becoming too much a part of our lives — that is, if we’re even aware of all the parts of our lives that it affects”.
One major convenience application of these tags is that they can work as an intelligent bar code that can track every purchase you make and communicate with ones bank to deduct the money for payment, which would make going to the grocery store hassle free. These types of application will not only change my future behavior but everyone else’s as well, as it is inevitable that our society is becoming more and more dependent on RFID tags. The privacy issue with the tags is that anything or anyone with a tag reader is able to access the information on the tag (Bonsor and Fenlon, 2007, pgi3). When I have children I will be forced to make the decision on whether or not my child should have an RFID tag. The decision will simply come down to is sacrificing privacy of my children worth the possible benefits that it might have, it may seem unfair but this is the reality that most of us will be dealing with in the future The benefits of this technology have the possibility of trumping the cons but in order for that to happen, laws and regulations must be implemented to protect the Vulnerable information contained within.
But the government is not primarily responsible for protecting our privacy; each individual must hold themselves accountable for protecting personal internet privacy. Lastly, who is responsible for protecting our privacy? Internet privacy is more vulnerable than it has ever been before and will only become more so in the future. With that being said there must be a cumulative effort from individuals, educators, government, and technology companies in order to keep the privacy of US citizens safe. Just as in the physical world, the most responsible person for protecting my privacy is myself. Until now, I have treated my digital interactions with a care-free attitude because I did not realize the negative consequences that can come from a breach in my internet privacy. In the future, I will be conscious of my digital identity and dossier just as my parents have taught to be aware of who I am and who I associate with.
The problem is that is very easy to change ones digital identity or have multiple digital identities and hard to excommunicate from them, That is why, as a digital resident and a future parent, I must consider my role in educating the next generation of the privacy issues as I wish someone had done for my peers and I. Limiting what kids can access seems to be the most widely used method of protecting kids from the dangers of the internet. But is that really teaching them how to navigate the web safely and responsibly? Most likely not, the better alternative would be to gradually share all of my knowledge of internet safety with them and make sure that they truly understand the consequences of poor decision making. This is the approach that I will take with my children with hopes that there will be laws and other privacy protecting policies by then. Even though most of the responsibility relies on our personal choices the technology companies also play an important role in protecting the information we give them by designing good interfaces that allow people to make responsible choices about the information they provide, and keeping that information from people it doesn’t concern is where the responsibility lies in the business world (Palfrey and Gasser, 2008, pg 72).
A quote out of the book from Palfrey and Gasser (2008) states, “The paradigm needs to switch from a firm- centric model, where companies choose what to do with the user data, to a user-centric model, in which ordinary people-not just the most tech-savvy-can manage themselves” (pgi73). This quote is example of how our society is changing from the industrial age to the new and rising digital era and everyone must adapt and change behavior norms in order to compensate for the new less private society. In conclusion, there are many factors that affect digital privacy with the potential to dramatically change my future behavior, in regards of how to protect the privacy of myself and the next generation, My newly gained knowledge of the “deep web”, which I had never heard of before this book, will make me much more conscious of the personal information I provide The immergence of the RFID tags will certainly alter ways of life, by making daily activities, such as grocery shopping and banking, more efficient and convenient Taking responsibility for my own digital privacy and convincing society to make a collective effort to gain more privacy will influence how I raise my children and potentially reduce the issue internet privacy all together.