The Illusion of Privacy

Facebook, Russia, and your phone

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As technology continues developing at a rapid rate, we are becoming more and more dependent on it to live our daily lives. This means that whoever who has some level of control over it, have it on us as well. That leads us to a vulnerable position in a personal perspective. Just think in how much information could be stored in your phone, your social media, bank account, you get it. Get that information into the wrong hands and you can be in serious problems.

 

Privacy is a natural right we all have to have, at least on a personal level.  Sometimes we chose to give it up for security purposes, or without even knowing it. But what happens when other people use your information for personal gain? Well, there are lots of places that sell your information on the internet. Take a look at Whitepages for example. If you go there, you will see a search engine that will find your personal PII

 

What is PII?

(Personally Identifiable Information) is information unique to you that describes and identifies who you are. It’s all the information you need to protect, and monitor in case it is accessed without your permission or knowledge.

 

Full name Home address
Birth date Email address(es)
Social Security number Passport number
Driver’s license number Credit card numbers
Login credentials such as screen names and passwords
Birthplace Medical records
Military credentials Insurance information

 

There are companies that gather your PII and put it in virtual packets to then sell it to other companies. They gather this information in many ways, this happens when you agree to all those terms and conditions that you never read and just agree and skip to move to the next process. Be honest with yourself, have you ever read everything that those terms and conditions say? I never do it.

 

Take a look at Facebook, for example. CEO Mark Zuckerberg faces the law and testifies about this kind of issues with it. Facebook owns Messenger, Instagram and other small apps that have become part of our society. One of the evidence presented during the trial was the terms and conditions for the Messenger app, possibly over a hundred pages that most people will never read. And if they did so, it must have been very complicated to read due to the technical language involved.

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During the trial, he seemed to not be very aware of what was really happening into deeper levels of Facebook. This social media app has reached so many people. This kind of influence can be used for good, but some people might use it for dangerous porpuses.

 

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The Russia interference during the Presidential elections might have been mainly through Facebook using fake information to persuade voters to vote for a certain candidate.

 

Recently, the Freedom of Information Act was implemented in the whole United States.

Wha is FOIA?

The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) is a law that gives you the right to access information from the federal government. It is often described as the law that keeps citizens in the know about their government.

How do you feel about that? About having your personal information publicly available. I make me feel uncomfortable because that also makes us burnable for anyone who knows how to access such information for good or bad. Now, if you would like to secure your stuff, you could use VPN services, Privacy, Security, and Encryption.

A VPN secures the private network, using encryption and other security mechanisms to ensure that only authorized users can access the network and that the data cannot be intercepted. This type of network is designed to provide a secure, encrypted tunnel in which to transmit the data between the remote user and the company network. You can find a lot of comprehensive online explanations of what VPNs are, but in the simplest terms, they create a secure, encrypted connection between your computer (or phone, tablet, &c.) and a private server somewhere else, preventing anyone else from seeing or modifying that traffic.

But if you do that, you will be paying for those VPN services and I don’t think we should pay for our privacy. One thing is to allow the government invade your privacy for security porpuses. and another is to allow anyone to see that information for personal gain, and make us vulnerable to many security dangers.  I think the system needs to be simpler in specifying what we are getting into, and allow us to have our private PII secure; not for public eyes.

 

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The Illusion of Privacy