Protecting Information Privacy in the Internet Age Essay

Therefore, this article aims to analyze the issue of protecting information privacy in three ways. It will first introduce the concept of information privacy and then explore several ways in which users’ privacy might be violated. Three possible solutions to address privacy Issues will be discussed at the end.

2. Defining Information Privacy Information privacy Is a subset of the concept of privacy, which has been explored and discussed since the advent of the Internet technologies.Clarke (1999) concludes hat privacy is often thought of as a moral right or a legal right to be let alone. From this perspective, information privacy can be described as one’s ability to control information about oneself (Weston, 1967). If an individual cannot maintain a substantial degree of Influence over their personal Information and Its usage, Invasions of privacy would occur (Elm, 2000).

3. Privacy Threats From the Internet 3. 1 social networks Social networks, such as Backbone and Twitter, are online services that allow users to share information and interact with one another.

According to an online usage report inducted in 2009 by Nielsen, approximately 70% of internet users are posting information, often including photos, about themselves on social networking sites. While social networks Indeed serves as a convenient tool to Integrate Individuals Into a particular social group, It also comes with threats to users’ privacy. People increasingly rely on computers to perform daily tasks and tend to put up all kinds of private information on the networks.These details information about one’s name, age, gender, occupation and even e-mail address could be easily accessed by hosannas of strangers from all around the world, which means there is no guarantee that how these personal information would be misused and Cookies are usually created when users visit a website and then are stored in a file on the users’ computer.

It is believed that cookies can be used as an effective and convenient method to gather individuals’ data, because the characteristics of the Internet enable cookies to track and record users’ visits without their permission.For example, if a customer wants to buy some products online, he or she will be quested to input e-mail address, billing address and other information. Such information will be packaged into a cookie later and generate mailing lists for direct marketing purposes (Chunk and Painter, 2002).

But the biggest concern to Internet privacy rights is not about personal information being stored by cookies, it is about how these information will be dealt with after collection. There has been cases that personal information collected from cookies are sold to commercial parties or stolen by hackers which might lead to fraudulent activities. . 3 Customer Databases Most electronic companies had already built up their own customer databases according to users’ surfing histories stored in cookies. Such databases enable marketers to match their customer information with real world names, addresses and histories of offline mail order purchases (Instead, 2000).

Even companies have provided secured servers to protect users, there is always a potential that someone will break into the databases to grab personal data and then may misuse these information, which often relates to credit card stolen and fraudulent activities on the Internet. The solutions to the issues of Information Privacy 4. 1 Industry self-regulation The issue of information insecurity has already constituted a huge impediment to the development of Internet businesses. A study conducted by Catnap(2000) shows that most non-Lenten users avoid purchasing products on the Internet unless their personal information would be secured. In order to ease consumers’ concerns, companies must ensure that the customers’ privacy has been respected; therefore, a effectively self-regulatory policy in the area of privacy protection can help to build rust between companies and their customers. . 2 Legislation Although the industry self-regulation has an important role to play in protecting information privacy, it is by no means a substitute for governments legislation. This problem only becomes more serious because there are still no detailed laws that govern this realm.

In this respect, it is necessary for governments to enact legislation to protect the Internet users from being collected personal data illegally over the Internet. Opponents of privacy legislation may argue that it is not as effective and legible as industry self-regulation and unable to tackle this issue adequately.Nevertheless, Slang(1999) demonstrates that a rightly organized privacy law could facilitates the growth of electronic business because users could be assured that their privacy would be valued. 4.

3 Individuals’ self-protection There are many privacy threats which are plaguing the Internet today, and most of these result from the basic fact that most people do not know what kind of information they should and should not post on the Internet. In fact, protecting one’s rivalry is a Joint responsibility of companies, governments and users.Therefore, the key to address privacy concerns is to enhance individuals’ awareness of information privacy protection. First of all, the Internet users need to recognize what dangers ‘arioso methods of privacy protection, such as installing a security software and encrypting all sensitive information, could be adopted by individuals actively. Lastly, it is really important for individuals to reduce disclosure of their private Information on the social networks or different kinds of sharing software due to the limitability of Internet. 5.

Conclusion ere security of personal information has raised Internet users’ privacy concerns as their information are often collected and stored by the Internet without their permission. This problem is so serious that must be considered by governments and companies. In fact, there are several privacy issues that individuals might encounter on the Internet today, and most of these stem from their unawareness of privacy protection. To combat this problem, greater awareness among internet users about he threats of information privacy and the various methods that they can use to protect themselves is especially required.