Online Privacy is Merely an Illusion

Privacy means different things to different people.  When it comes to modern technologies, this impacts on our privacy.  GPS navigation, smart cards, electronic transport tolls all have some elements which affect our privacy.  In the online environment it is even more complex particularly when it comes to personal information, which is only one aspect of privacy.

What happens when you pointlessly browse while online?  We all do it when we are little bit bored at work or have nothing to do at home.  It usually doesn’t mean anything and we don’t think much of it.  However, most likely as you surf the web, you are being tracked.  This apparently anonymous data is being collected by your web browser and is actually harvested and reconstructed by many companies.  A recent article “Online Privacy Leaks Worsen; “Do Not Track” Gains Steam” shows that more and more companies know more about us than first thought.

Increasingly more sites are sharing your information with other sites for behavioural advertising purposes and “opting out” doesn’t necessarily stop the data collection. This is different to the social media privacy debate which I wrote about in Dynamic Business.

For those that are okay with companies collecting profile information based on browsing behaviour and for those that don’t use the Internet at all, there is no need to worry.  But what about for the rest of us?  At the moment, it is up to the individual to be proactive to protect themselves.  The best we can do is to take up the “Do Not Track” on your web browser.  Also be attentive to terms and conditions of companies when buying online or filling in surveys.

So what do people think?  Would like your thoughts and opinions.


About the Author

Anna Cairo
Anna Cairo is the founder and Director of Anna Cairo Consulting, a boutique communications consultancy with its core focus on the disruptive social media and communication space. She has a passion for educating businesses, executives and leaders about the fragmentation of communication and its impacts on business as well as social media its risks and opportunities in the workplace.

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