Remember when marketing tracking seemed clever and cool? You browsed an online retail site and when you moved on to your favorite news site, for example, it was populated with all the products you had just seen.
But now, you may feel market profiling is invasive and annoying…
In a Privacy and Information Sharing study, released by the Pew Research Center in January, many participants expressed concerns about the safety and security of their personal data due to the continuous stream of high-profile data breaches. Further, they voiced anger about the overwhelming number of unsolicited emails, junk mail, phone calls, customized ads or other contacts that inevitably occur when they agree to share some information about themselves, according to the study.
Some accept the loss of privacy as a tradeoff that they are willing to take in light of the advantages modern technologies like GPS and the internet of things offer. Others are hopeful that technological and legal solutions can be found to resolve privacy concerns.
One of the most disturbing aspects of privacy issues to many of the focus group participants is how hard it is to get information about what data is collected about them, uncertainty about who is collecting the data — and how it will be used.
Not surprisingly, many participants believe that the concept of personal privacy is quickly slipping away from American culture. Many cited the frightening trend toward increased surveillance and data capture and big data analytics.
Many participants also said they think younger Americans are not as sensitive about personal privacy and that this will shape how the value of personal privacy is viewed in the future.
The issue of personal privacy is a discussion ripe for debate, and I urge you to think about your views and rights on what may be the topic of our time.
In this issue of CHIPS, Department of the Navy and other privacy experts discuss how the department protects your privacy, how you can protect your privacy on mobile devices, and in daily social media exchanges and business transactions, and unhappily, how to report identity theft.
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Sharon Anderson is the CHIPS senior editor. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.