Smart phones today allow you to perform all sorts of functions. Check your email. Google information. Take pictures. Record a video. Find a nearby restaurant. Access Facebook, Instagram, Twitter (pretty much any social media you can think of). Oh and make phone calls too.
Something that caught my attention recently is location sharing. When I use my phone to upload pictures on Instagram, there is a geotagging feature that allows my location to be identified. I don’t like this because I don’t want people to know where I am. I don’t share much about myself online (which is very unlike many of my millennial counterparts). Moreover, I have also noticed that I am prompted to share my location with Google when I am searching for directions or nearby stores. I am starting to worry about my loss of privacy with internet access on my phone.
If I share my location, I know that the next time I use my phone for similar searches, my location preferences would make it easier and faster to find results. However, I don’t want people to know when I’m not home or where I am. It opens the gates for a possible robbery or encounter with someone I don’t want to see if I were to check in with Foursquare. That’s exactly why I don’t use social media in that way.
But is online privacy really possible? I may not post much at all on my social media accounts, but that doesn’t mean that my friends will not post about our outings and events. That is why privacy settings are customizable. One can choose to first be notified about being tagged in photos or in posts (rather than have them automatically appear on the profile page) and later approve or reject the tags.Similarly, privacy while surfing the web is a little more possible if there was a do-not-track option. Many websites reveal even more personal information about consumers. There is a push for do-not-track legislation to write privacy protection into law and so consumers can opt out of web tracking. The problem is that it would affect the ad industry. How can customer data be collected and not infringe on privacy? This is difficult especially since technology advances every day. Will the constant changes allow for discovery of a solution to this question?