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The Internet, Technology, and Privacy

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Privacy on the Web has become a growing concern among Americans' due to tracking and social profiling of users' and their online habits. Government, businesses, web platforms and their advertisers are collecting users' online data on a daily basis through various techniques which could be used for study, security, and economic advantage.
According to “The Danger of Big Data: Social Media as Computational Social Science,” smaller bits of user shared data can potentially be combined together to reveal information that could be damaging to a group or individual in which they may view as an invasion of their privacy. The capacity to collect and analyze such data can become a concern when that information is made available to businesses and government. With a lack of disclosure on how the users' data is being gathered and analyzed with a difficulty in knowing which pieces of the data shared could later prove damaging, many users' may not be aware of the potential adverse effects of the information they share online. [1][2]
Social media networks gather and analyze large amounts of data on their users' to build a detailed social graph to better target advertisements, which can create an ethical dilemma in what constitutes as sensitive user information and how that could vary between different users'. In one case that called for class-action lawsuits in the U.S was how Facebook would keep track of its users and the websites they visited via the “Like,” and “Recommendations,” buttons that many web sites include for social and sharing purposes. Facebook was notified every time a user would access a website that had a “Like” button, even if the button wasn't clicked or the user logged into their Facebook account. [3]
Due to the accuracy...

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[9] The Day The World Fought Back https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2014/02/day-world-fought-back [10] Information Commissioner's Office: Cookies http://ico.org.uk/for_organisations/privacy_and_electronic_communications/the_guide/cookies [11] All About Cookies http://www.allaboutcookies.org/ad-serving/ [12] Target retail http://www.forbes.com/sites/kashmirhill/2012/02/16/how-target-figured-out-a-teen-girl-was-pregnant-before-her-father-did/ Additional references used in study.

The Future of Big Data http://www.pewinternet.org/2012/07/20/the-future-of-big-data/ Younger Generation Embracing A New View of Privacy http://singularityhub.com/2012/05/12/younger-generation-embracing-a-new-view-of-privacy/ How Companies Learn Your Secrets
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/19/magazine/shopping-habits.html?pagewanted=1&_r=2&hp
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