Chapter 11 – The Illusion of Privacy?

I’m trying to study for my English course and I need some help to understand this question.

For this chapter, I offer you the choice of a quick read or a quick listen: https://www.npr.org/2015/03/02/390245038/ben-franklins-famous-liberty-safety-quote-lost-its-context-in-21st-century (Links to an external site.)

I can comfortably say that anything you do on the internet is tracked, recorded, stored, and available to some person, corporation, entity, or government somewhere. No matter how much you use incognito browsing (that only hides your actions from your internet history – your ISP knows you went to that porn site as does the porn site), a VPN (your VPN knows where you went and so does the site you visited; some VPNs sell your data, too), or services on the Dark Web (Onion / TOR browser, etc.), the sites you visit may places tracking beacons in your browser to verify your identity or, if a Dark Web site has been seized by a government agency or organized crime group, they will do more to track and identify you. Of course, your routine web surfing is tracked by every marketing company that successfully places a tracking beacon or cookie in your browser data and is using that to generate data to profile and market their advertisements to you.

For this chapter’s discussion, comment about your observations of your loss of privacy and the benefits you derive from the willing surrender of that privacy. When you go to Amazon, do you have to log in? If not, Amazon has stored a cookie identifying you and your browser may also have stored your password. It’s great to have easy access and it may be worth the loss of privacy, but had you considered that Amazon tracks and sells that data (as does every other website, especially Facebook) and identifies you based on information provided and your browser fingerprint?

Post one comment about the privacy you have surrendered to obtain the benefits of shopping, easy access to social media, news services, or similar sites and your perception of whether you felt any choice in sharing that data, losing that privacy, and making your life that much easier. Once again, as with the chapters of this week, you only need to post once BUT, look ahead to the last chapter for the written assignment that spans this week’s set of chapters.


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