What Is Online Privacy And How Has It Changed Over The Years?


Over the years, privacy has changed its meaning but definitely has not lost itsentirety. A decade ago, things that were considered extremely important and secretive is now transformed into pliable information.

It was obviously digitalization that has changed and reinvented the concept of privacy. The complexity of maintaining anonymity of oneself in this global digitalized village has increased over time.

For instance, if you use your bank card, your transaction details have instantly been shared with the bank or if you are checking your email, a lot many things such as your name, contacts, job role and many other things are shared with the site owner.

Today, we are trying to maintain our presence in the online world as well as keep the information confidential.

For this, the internet privacy commissioners have designed and developed policies and settings to keep information intact and discrete.

But what actually is Online Privacy?

It is quite a broad term that encompasses techniques and technologies used to secure private and sensitive data. This information is gathered during browsing, communication and other online activities.

It includes protecting your personal details, your medical records, your financial status, your preferences, hobbies and much more that if disclosed, can leave you at risk.

Evolution and De-evolution of Online Privacy:

The notion of online privacy is an ever-changing one as we swiftly communicate with anyone in the world through social media. This has led to government intrusion under the guise of internet patrolling thus subjugating the users’ privacy. They now, are snooping in our data that we intentionally or unintentionally share.

At times, we ourselves provide information through social networks and sometimes third-party are compelled to disclose our records. Whatever the reason is, today we are more than ever prone to privacy theft.

Programs and apps are developed and installed in our gadgets for online surveillance without the knowledge of the user.  We might know few of the things happening to us under the name of security provision but much is undisclosed.

All this is not limited to government, criminals, security agencies but we individual users expose not only each other but also ourselves in the online world.

We may have set our online profiles to private or friends only but any interaction with our contact leaves us visible to the third person who could be a total stranger to us. For instance, Tim posts a (friends only) status update and his friend commented on it; now that status update is also visible to John’s contacts (who can be strangers to Tim).

Not only this when we posts group pictures on social media then only we have a control on it and not the other members in the picture which leads to multi-party privacy issue. All these trends have made us immune to invasion of privacy.

As per a study only 9% of teens are bothered with the fact of third party access to their data on Facebook whereas 80% of the parents are anxious about it. This indicated that how privacy has evolved for us after the birth of social media as it also have paved way for multi-party privacy.

As we evolve, we hope the social scientists will come up with policies to uphold the sanctity of the term ‘privacy’ and protect us from government barging into our online life in the name of anti-terrorism snooping.



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