Introduction to Digital Humanities

RELI/ENGL 39, Fall 2015, University of the Pacific

Are you scared of the internet?

Online privacy has become a big issue and caused a lot of problems to certain people in our modern society. The word privacy is really interesting to me because I don’t believe in it. My father is a private investigator and ever since I was six years old I knew how to tail a car and where to stay doing surveillance. One of the scariest things I learned is how easy it is to find people online. I have been training to be a private investigator for about a year now but I cannot order official background checks like a licensed PI. On the other hand basic background checks are easily accessible for everyone. Try searching yourself through pipl.com. Everyone has heard that everything they put on social media stays there forever. Sadly, it’s true. I use that site to find addresses, phone numbers, and social media accounts for investigations. I can still find my myspace account that I only had for a couple weeks my freshman year of high school. The information is very easily accessed online making privacy difficult. Metadata is very similar in the fact a person could collect your information easily without you knowing. Personally, I don’t care if someone knows my purchase history or even my location because I don’t believe i’m important enough to warrant that much work. On the other hand celebrities constantly get their information and personal photos stolen. Both readings bring very good points on what metadata is and how it is used but I only find it silly because I am not going to use the internet any differently. As students is anyone afraid of being tracked on the internet or getting information or photos stolen? I find it hard to believe anyone will use the internet more cautiously from reading about the abilities of metadata.

3 Comments

  1. I find your post so interesting! I clicked on the pipl link and actually ended up playing around on it for a while. I actually could not find anything on myself or my sister but I did find a lot on my parents which is pretty scary to think about. It’s kind of ironic but when I searched my friends I couldn’t find them either, BUT I did find a lot on their parents. With trying this multiple times and not finding anything on friends my age but always finding stuff about their parents, I have come to the conclusion that the older generation is not as safe with their information than our generation. Parents always lecture us about the dangers of the internet so I don’t think that the problem is lack of awareness, I feel as if the older generation is not as knowledgeable with the safety sections and privacy agreements on social media platforms. For example, with facebook, you have to manually set your settings so that your phone number and email are not accessible to the public. I feel as if the older generation is not likely to know that you have to do this step and setting up basic privacy information is not enough. For example, my mother prides herself that her facebook is very hard to find, however, once you’re on it, all of her information is accessible which kind of defeats the purpose in the first place.Of course we say that it is invasive for our metadata to be publicly shared and accessible and that is a breach of our privacy, but what do you expect when you put your information out onto these accessible data bases? I like how you mentioned that you doubt people will be more careful even when they know the dangers of how their information gets shared but I think it is funny how people will still complain about it anyway. The only solution to guarantee not having your information shared in any which way is to stay off data bases completely. This includes not having a phone, not using online mail, not having any social media etc, basically simply being human detached to any technology. Of course, this is slightly unrealistic for most people so I guess we are all trapped in the digital age anyway.

  2. I knew information would be easy to find online, but I was startled to find that even media accounts were easily located. When I was younger, I did something similar to you by using a website known as a reverse phone book; you’d input someone’s phone number and receive data back about that person. However, the website you provided showed a much more comprehensive overview of a person. While I couldn’t access all of the information as it is blocked by a paywall, I do believe that there would be quite a lot of detail inputted into it. I also agree with you when you say most people wouldn’t be hard-pressed to change their ways on the internet to increase their security. We are so accustomed to doing things in such a way that we do not truly have a fear of the dangers the internet presents.

  3. I found this blog post very I tersting as well !! The reason why is because a lot of the times we wonder how safe is the stuff that we actually post and how quickly can it be accessed. For the example that you gave about the MySpace account you had since your freshman year, I can actually relate to that because I actually went back currently and found my old Facebook from like 3 years ago that is still accessible. The information is very accessed online making privacy difficult and constantly making us wonder if we actually have privacy or not… Great job !!!

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