Online privacy is dead – and Facebook proves it

With our ever-expanding array of social networks, most of our private moments are now becoming public; the new digital age is removing any right to privacy. But is online privacy dead? Or should we adapt our reasoning and no longer value privacy when we are online?

Facebook has developed new privacy settings in order for users to take more control over their privacy, but these settings are completely irrelevant considering that when you join Facebook, ‘you grant a non-exclusive, transferable, sub-licensable, royalty-free, worldwide license to use any IP content that you post on or in connection with Facebook’. So are we going to boycott using Facebook. I doubt it.

privacy petition

Paul McMullan previously claimed that ‘privacy is for paedos’ and William Hague stated ‘If you’ve nothing to hide, you’ve nothing to fear’. That said, internet providers will always know the sites we have visited and Google will remember every search entered into that mastermind search engine.

But with the developments in smartphone and Internet services, many do not realise their right to privacy is hindered when developing new technologies. In a recent study of 15,000 consumers, as illustrated by the EMC Privacy Index, when asked if consumers would be willing to trade some privacy for greater convenience and ease, 51% of people worldwide said no. What consumers do not realise is that the Internet is consistently monitored by the National Security Agency in order to try and prevent threats from becoming reality. Is it time to accept that ‘someone, somewhere, whether states, press or corporation is watching’?

The most commonly reported media content online is photos. 66% of people, surveyed by Pew Research, acknowledged that there was an image of them online, yet 68% of these people; believe that content should only be accessed by the user. If you are going to post a revealing image of Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, what’s to say that when it is leaked on iCloud, you have put yourself up for the embarrassment. People’s expectations are completely blinded by their willingness to partake in the online environment.

90% of people don’t trust their data online, but continue using the sites they have no faith in… Clearly indicating that people don’t value their privacy as much as they say they do.

When it comes to discussing privacy it is important to establish expectations, rather than a ‘right to privacy’, which inevitably ended as soon as the mass media were created. Online privacy is dead, purely because we have made it this way. Online users need to realise that they can’t have their cake and eat it. As Rick Falkvinge once said, ‘a secret told, after all, is not a secret anymore’.

Picture: DeviantArt – imlineking

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