Privacy On Privacy And Privacy

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Privacy of social networking
An increasingly popular way of sharing information with family and friends, social networking sites like Facebook , Twitter, and Tumblr provide users with a way to keep in touch with people close to them. Users can share photographs and stories about their daily lives with just a mouse click. This highly convenient method of sharing information naturally attracts the eye of companies looking to advertise their products to potential customers. Furthermore, the information is also of interest to our governments, police, and criminals. Social networking sites contain vast amounts of personal information that, if extracted, can compromise the security and privacy of people who use these sites.
Social networking sites
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For example, a user might follow the page of their favorite candy, drink, or music artist. Therefore, by comparing the data of one user’s interests to users with similar interests, advertisers can pitch you products that others like you frequently exhibit interest in (Films On Demand). The value of this data is seemingly incredible. According to Marichal, “Facebook took in roughly four billion dollars in advertising revenue in 2011” (153). Most forms of data mining are relatively non-threatening, as the individuals responsible for data collection face “ramifications” if they fail to act with integrity. (Films On Demand). There is a clear value of personal information on social networking…show more content…
To what degree citizens are policed over remains unclear, but connections between law enforcement and social media are obvious. A very recent example is the arrest of James E. Evans. Evans, a resident of Kentucky, was arrested after posting lyrics to his Facebook page and charged with “terroristic threatening” (Lovan). Evans quoted a passage from the song, “Class Dismissed (A Hate Primer)”, by metal band Exodus, a key phrase of the song being “student bodies lying dead in the halls” (Lovan). Even though the situation largely seems to be a misunderstanding, it is a key example of the role police surveillance may have on social networking sites. Trottier asserts that police could have “unequal access and unequal relations of visibility” on social media (137). There has not been a conclusion to Evans’ trial as of yet, and in the future, who knows who else may be jailed due to a misunderstood or out-of context post.
The interest of user-generated data to law enforcement is clear and natural. In the near future, it is likely that the role that social media will play in criminal investigations will be expanded upon. Trottier notes that, “the FBI is petitioning for greater access to content”, and that “police can obtain contact information, private messages, photographs…” (146). Therefore, it is clear that social networking websites are under obligation to work with law enforcement
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