Societal Safety and Preservation in the Digital Era

Societal Safety and Preservation in the Digital Era

Dylas Gudoshava (Zimbabwe Open University, Zimbabwe)
Copyright: © 2020 |Pages: 17
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-9715-5.ch050
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This article is a presentation of a study dealing with internet privacy. It also includes an investigation of internet privacy threats. These include but are not limited to personal information being sold to third parties without permission, visits to websites secretly tracked, credit card theft, e-mail addresses and other personal information captured for marketing or other purposes without permission, as well as pop ups. All of these are one of many consequences of bad privacy protection. The article will also examine the differences between the developed and the developing countries' internet utilisation on issues to do with fundamental privacy protection. Different methods will be used to complete this article, and these include studies of related literature and articles. Privacy violations on the internet are a significant problem, and the internet users have a right to an adequate privacy protection.
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Privacy and security are related, hence go hand in hand. The major difference being between legitimate and illegitimate uses of data. An illegitimate use of data is one that is unauthorised, that is, when data is stolen, altered, or viewed by the wrong party. This is the domain of security, which protects data from being inappropriately accessed, modified, or shared. Legitimate uses of data are those that have been authorised. However, in a discussion of privacy, there are plenty of legitimate data uses that may be problematic or harmful. For example, in countries where companies can collect individuals’ data with only nominal notification, requiring users to search for ways to opt out, personal data can be used in ways that people did not expect or knowingly give permission to. This is the domain of privacy, which is broadly concerned with how people control and manage data about themselves. In essence, just because something is legal doesn’t mean it is constructive.

Today’s Internet age is marked by tremendous technological developments which allow for the collection and processing of an indistinct number of personal data. Before the advancement of technology, these data would have simply elapsed. However, with the advent of limitless capacity to store information, such as the cloud, google drive as well as digital space, there has been an increase in capacity of analysing and processing personal data. Personal information of daily life that is isolated does not necessarily endanger personal privacy, however, put together, all this information allows for the creation of profiles of one’s personality and such digital biographies increase vulnerability with regard to a variety of dangers. The right to privacy and the right to data protection have thus become two of the most important fundamental rights of modern society. Developments in the field of privacy require an innovative legal and political framework which can guarantee that the technological implications are correctly understood and regulated accordingly.

The Editorial Board (2017) describe Internet privacy as “involving the right or mandate of personal privacy concerning the storing, repurposing, provision to third parties, and displaying of information pertaining to oneself via the Internet”. It has to be noted that Internet privacy is a subset of data privacy.

Wheeler (2017) noted that “Privacy can entail either Personally Identifying Information (PII) or non-PII information such as a site visitor's behaviour on a website. PII refers to any information that can be used to identify an individual. Age and physical address alone, for example could identify who an individual is without explicitly disclosing their name, as these two factors are unique enough to typically identify a specific person. Some experts such as Steve Rambam, a private investigator specialising in Internet privacy cases, believe that “privacy no longer exists”. He notes that “Privacy is dead – get over it” (Rambam, 2015).

While illegitimate uses of data must be contested with security, legitimate but harmful uses of data must be interrogated through the lens of privacy preservation

Key Terms in this Chapter

Internet Utilisation: The amount of data flowing through a computer or device (mobile phone, tablet) for a given period of time.

Developing Country: A country that is still seeking to become advanced in all spheres that is industrially, economically, politically, and socially.

Developed Country: A self-governing country with advanced technological infrastructure, a developed economy as well as an advanced industry.

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