Privacy versus Profiling Essay

Privacy versus Profiling Essay

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If a stranger would approach someone on the street, would one casually offer personal information to him? Would one allow him to follow and record one’s activities? Although it may be obvious in the concrete world that one would not allow it, the behavior of the general population on the Internet is strikingly different. While surfing websites such as Facebook, Twitter, and Google, many people provide personal details to enhance their online profile? These websites retain vast amounts of personal information from their users. Although this practice benefits the user as well, unrestricted profiling can become an alarming catastrophe. Unless the threat to internet users privacy are shown to exceed the benefits, we should not regulate the internet, rather we should educate the public how to be more responsible about their identities.
Various web-based companies have developed techniques to document their customer’s data, enabling them to provide a more enhanced web experience. One such method called “cookies,” employs Microsoft’s web browser, Internet Explorer. It traces the user’s habits. Cookies are pieces of text stored by the web browser that are sent back and forth every time the user accesses a web page. These can be tracked to follow web surfers’ actions. Cookies are used to store the user’s passwords making your life easier on banking sites and email accounts. Another technique used by popular search engines is to personalize the search results. Search engines such as Google sell the top search results to advertisers and are only paid when the search results are clicked on by users. Therefore, Google tries to produce the most relevant search results for their users with a feature called web history. Web history h...


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...egulation, Facebook will be compelled to respond to their requests. Consumers are recognizing the threat to their control and in the same way in the past have come up with ingenious ways to protect themselves they will continue to stand up for their rights that will ultimately affect company policies.



Works Cited

Hargittai, Eszter and Boyd, Dana. “Facebook Privacy settings: Who cares?” First Monday 15.8 (2010): 12-20.


Murphy, Eve M. Caudill and Patrick E. “Consumer Online Privacy: Legal and Ethical Issues.” Journal of Public Policy & Marketing 19.1 (2000): 7-19.


Picard, Joseph. “Online Privacy: Is there any?” International Business Times 2010 28-July: 23-25.


Wingfield, Nick. Microsoft Quashed Effort to Boost Online Privacy. 2010 02-Aug. 2010 08-Aug .

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