The Scope of Internet Privacy and its Positive Impact to Global Users
If we talk about 2018 alone, you can understand the scope of internet privacy. Internet privacy has always been of crucial importance, but with recent Facebook/Cambridge Analytica scandal that surfaced, it served as an eye-opener to the general public where users’ data was hacked.
Earlier this year, Mark Zuckerberg was summoned in front of Congress to answer in his depositions as to why Facebook is gathering data on its users without their explicit consent. However, ironically, it is us that are willingly handing over our information to Facebook.
Why do you think depositions were held in the first place? They took to address the ill of online privacy violation specifically. We all saw how at a loss Mr. Zuckerberg was in his responses.
It was established that he spied on people who didn’t even had a Facebook account let alone those – the data of whom were sold to third parties for advertising purposes without them having any knowledge of it.
Introduction of GDPR
Hence why the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) law came to pass that is presently governing the whole of EU and encompasses regions outside as well. All online companies are since required to disclose whether or not they will be selling data to third parties by asking for consent from users, upfront.
Certain penalties have been outlined for those who will fail to comply. Not very long ago either, user data of Cathay Pacific airline users was hacked, but thankfully, the data was not of financial nature, or the compromise would have proved disastrous for the airline. The point is, internet privacy cannot be taken lightly.
Is It As Alarming As It Sounds?
Online user data breaches have become a commonplace. So is cyberspace as dark and gloomy as it is made out to be? In all honesty, it is. The biggest concern for the public is data harvesting which pertains to their shopping and traveling habits, in addition to chatting which we so willingly share online.
That data is inadvertently stored online. It is the age of computing and cloud, and while the former can be hacked, the latter is proving to be the place where most of the user data is recorded.
Numerous surveys and studies conducted in the past screams of public dissatisfaction over online privacy. But there is nothing which they can do about it. For reasons such as the convenience, it bought them, no matter if it comes at the price of privacy invasion.
Retargeting Is an Actual Thing
People who use social media are constantly bombarded with ads and connection suggestions based on what they have searched for or whom they have as contacts in their phones or are part of same college/workplace they go to.
And according to data, people tend to either delete suggestions or mark them as uninteresting, respectively. Not much happy are we? Google, for that matter, needs personalization to bring you the relevant information and assistance that we crave.
Still, there ought to be a line drawn between personalization and just blatant invasion of privacy. Therefore, our data is at constant risk. Same is the case with smartphone apps. They are no different from Facebook or Google.
They tend to hear you, interact with other apps via APIs to learn about your habits and thereby capitalizes on offering you customization but again, the trade-off is the invasion of your privacy.
What to Do?
It is advisable to read the dialog boxes which pops up when you are granting permissions to certain apps. Not every permission has to be granted. The basic permission which requires the app to function can be allowed but other than that, a user must ponder (whether or not he wants to).
Can we get Congress behind it to maybe pass a bill or something? Or should we trust GDPR and allow the body some time given the law became effective this past May only? Well, all these matters aside, in the meantime, you can employ a decent VPN service to start caring for your online privacy.
VPN can help you mask your IP address which is why when you are online, you go anonymous. By staying invisible to the prying eyes and data snoopers online, you can guarantee your protection.
Be it shopping, streaming or surfing the internet, all you will have to do is to buy VPN, meaning a paid subscription. With that in place, you connect to a different region from the app so any hacker that might be seeking to tap into your information will never know your true location/identity.
We are not saying that it will be a complete solution to the privacy problem but at least, it’ll help curtail the ill to an extent. So while internet privacy issue remains at large before an actionable resolution is offered, the public can bask in the safety of VPNs until that time.