Blog Post #351:  Privacy is a Human Right

Blog Post #351:  Privacy is a Human Right

Taken from:  http://money.cnn.com/2018/06/04/technology/apple-vs-facebook/index.html

Privacy – what a concept!!  

According to Dictionary.com, privacy is defined as:

  1. the state of being apart from other people or concealed from their view; solitude; seclusion:
  2. the state of being free from unwanted or undue intrusion or disturbance in one’s private life or affairs; freedom to be let alone:
  3. freedom from damaging publicity, public scrutiny, secret surveillance, or unauthorized disclosure of one’s personal data or information, as by a government, corporation, or individual:

But in this day and age, privacy is being infringed – especially online.  

Let’s talk of the non-computer (kind of) infringement.  We have a “ring” doorbell. It records everyone who comes to the house (I’m guessing there is a distance factor so it doesn’t pick up people walking by the house).  Many houses, many businesses, many places have security cameras. With facial recognition, (although not many individuals have access); a business or people department can identify a person fairly quickly.  Crimes are solved by looking at camera footage and identifying the person. So, privacy when committing a crime may not be a human right.

Recently Apple’s CEO Tim Cook announced that their Safari browser will be able to stop some tracking by Facebook, Google and others.  

The article states:

“The Safari-maker said Monday that it will give users the ability to stop Facebook, Google and other platforms from tracking them across the web through “like” and “share” buttons.

“The announcement is Apple’s most significant counter yet to Facebook’s data collection practices, and comes after years in which Apple executives have criticized Facebook as reckless with user privacy.

“We’ve all seen these like buttons and share buttons,” Apple software VP Craig Federighi said at the company’s annual developer conference. “Well it turns out, these can be used to track you, whether you click on them or not. So this year, we’re shutting that down.”

“When Safari users arrive at a page with a Facebook like, a pop-up window will appear that asks: “Do you want to allow ‘facebook.com’ to use cookies and website data while browsing [this site]? This will allow ‘facebook.com’ to track your activity.”

So, built into Apple’s Safari browser will be an ‘opt out’ option while on Facebook (or other platforms).  So, you will not necessarily be tracked as you go from site to site.

Of course, Facebook is (generally) free to users; and Google searches are (generally) free – but both Facebook and Google need revenue to pay their employees and their stockholders.  They get that money by charging advertisers to selectively target users.

Google might be a better example.  If you are looking for an online MBA program, and use Google to search for such, your screen will populate with ads from online MBA programs before other returns.  Plus that search is now recorded and some other site may start to show MBA online program advertisements. Plus Facebook (while not part of the Google search) is watching “in the wings” and also keeping track and will populate your Facebook page with relevant ads.  

I have commented before that I never get ads for cat food in my feeds (or … dog food either).  I have never searched for cat food or dog food.

I applaud Apple’s interest in allowing users to keep private in their Facebook and other accounts.  I’m sure Facebook is trying to find a way to keep gathering data on users though!

What do you think?

Bruce

 

Posted by Bruce White

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