We all have our fair share of pictures and posts that we’ve been tagged in or have written ourselves that we wish were not on the Internet. It’s commonly known that the information we post about ourselves on the Internet is not totally private, despite the claims of certain websites and applications. That which we allow onto the Internet will be there forever, even if we try to delete or remove it from our personal profiles. As smart girls, this could affect us way into our futures when our prospective employers look into us on the Internet. For this reason and others, the issue of online privacy has become a main point of concern for people of all ages.
When people post information about themselves on the Internet, they generally want it to remain private. Most people have privacy settings on Facebook that only allows their friends or friends of their friends to view their profiles. Social media networks like Facebook and Twitter have continuously told their users that their information is secure, despite the fact that it was found that Facebook once used their users’ pictures for advertisements regardless of their privacy settings.
Many Internet users have become increasingly concerned about the privacy settings available to them on websites and applications. Now that the Internet is seemingly everywhere around us due to the growing popularity of smart phones, people fear that the information they put on their computers and phones is available for the world to see. Some have demanded that website and app developers allow higher privacy settings for their customers. Others have set expectations for the government to enforce laws that mandate more privacy on the Internet.
As a result of these requests, the Federal Trade Commission of the United States government did update the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act of 1998 (COPPA) this past summer. The updates gave parents control over the information that websites could collect from their children. Though these changes went over well with the general public, website and app developers saw them as advancement issues. Many worried that they would not be able to appease the COPPA because of the inability to know when a child is using the technology and when an adult is.
People seemingly have every right to be concerned about the privacy they are allotted when using the Internet. However, maybe instead of placing so much of the responsibility on website and app developers and the government, they should be more responsible themselves. It should be common knowledge that people should not post anything on the Internet that they do not want the world to see. That which is too private should be kept exactly that – private, which means far away from the World Wide Web.
Be smart online, smart girls!