Tag Archives: Privacy


Technology has rendered the Conventional definition of personally identifiable information obsolete, you can find out who an individual is without it.” – Maneesha Mithal, associate director of the Federal Trade Commissions Privacy Division, How Privacy Vanishes Online

I recently did some reading for my COTAIL class about privacy on the internet.  There were many articles that I found had some interesting points.  This led me to do some more research on the idea of “privacy on-line” and I found an article in the New York TImes by Steve Lohr:  How Privacy Vanishes Online.  The ideas in the article did not surprise me.  I have really never assumed anything put on the internet would be private no matter how many privacy settings I choose to click on.  If someone really wants my information, with all of the digital natives that understand how to “hack” into files, computer programs..etc, I really do not see that anything is “safe”.  Don’t get me wrong, I will certainly do my best to make it as hard as possible for anyone to get my information, but for me to think it is “totally” private is just naive.  In many of the  articles read about this, most people seem to have the same opinion.

“…our typical notion of privacy has become outdated.”  - Husha Najand, Beware the Internet Could Own Your Future

“People seem to have this idea that when you put something on the internet, there should be some privacy model out there- that there is somebody out there that’s enforcing good manners.  But that’s not true.”  - Adrienne Felt, a computer science major at the University of Virginia, Social Networks Overlook Privacy Pitfalls

“..yet an individuals actions, researchers say are rarely enough to protect privacy in the interconnected world of the internet.” - Steve Lohr:  How Privacy Vanishes Online

When your doing stuff online you should behave as if you’re doing it in public- because increasingly it is.” - Jon Klienberg, Professor of Computer Science at Cornell University, How Privacy Vanishes Online

So the big question being:  Is there such a thing as privacy online?  My answer would have to be not really, not “true” privacy in the fullest extent.  So does that mean one should stay clear of technology…absolutely not!  I think this links back to a person’s digital footprint and why it is so important to understand what it looks like for you, and making sure you keep it positive, because IT IS PUBLIC, like it or not.  I also appreciate a comment from one New York Times reader commented on the article How Privacy Vanishes Online.  She states:

“.. In the end, we are forced to choose between our privacy and being excluded from modern life—not much of a choice in my opinion.” – Mamajuice, Chicago – How Privacy Vanishes Online