Is privacy an option?

Most of social media platforms require users to create an account to browse the website. It demands personal information, such as date of birth, just to begin with. Most of the available applications for mobile devices require access to a vast amount of information such as contacts, pictures, location and so on. Our privacy is violated even before we put our entire personal information out there for everyone to see (or use).

I am concerned with the amount of information available about me. I created my Facebook profile about 6 years ago, when I was 15 years old. During that time, I’ve made some silly comments and posted some photos I find embarassing today. I was “private” – meaning that only my friends could see the content I post online. But I added about 500 friends – the majority of which I never spoke to in person. Now, all those people can access my personal information. Partially, it is my responsibility and choice what I disclose online, but once its there I no longer have sufficient control over it. I might go back and delete certain content, but that does not guarantee me that it will completely disappear from the cyberspace. So can I actually protect and control my personal information once it is online?

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3 Comments

  1. I think you can still have control over your personal information; you cannot exactly say that your privacy is violated because you decide what pictures you upload and what information you put in. So in that sense the only individual that can violate your privacy is yourself. When we are younger we don’t obviously think about the things that we post online because we are not exactly aware of how this could impact us in the future.

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  2. I sympathise with your issue of putting things online which you now regret, I have tweeted things in the past which I wouldn’t want future employers to see, but with twitter being a key tool for journalists, I’m very reluctant to delete my account and wouldn’t be able to find my tweets from years ago. I think kids need to be educated about the risks of using social media networks, not just being approached by predators but about how what you post can be seen by almost everyone, regardless of your privacy settings, and that we should be careful what we write

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  3. I am guilty of posting pictures and statues on Facebook, which when I look back through I now find extremely embarrassing. However due to this I have learnt form my experience and therefore extra courteous at what I post on my social networking sites, due these sites being a virtual identity of myself. Due to these sites being an identity of myself, I therefore want to be portrayed in the best light possible, especially if an employee was to search for me. I agree with the comment above at how kids should be educated on the risk of using social media networks, as this would allow them to think before the post.

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