Ethical issues and privacy threats in networking sites

The lessons from this class reveal that there are several issues surrounding privacy. The enforcement of security needs to be done differently so as to address these problems. The knowledge necessitates a change in the approach to online privacy issues and demands formulation of new measures to tackle the same. There are five major threats to online privacy which are also very common. Anyone can, therefore, be a victim of this online breach of privacy by third parties. 

The first threat is cookie proliferation. It’s now possible to track your data and browsing behavior using cookie software. Businesses are now able to know your interests using cookies so as to establish which products they should advertise (Brennan 11). The second threat is tapping of cloud data. All information of web users is stored by the server including photos posted in social media (Brennan 12). Therefore, it can be accessed by someone else. The third threat learned from the class work was the ability to locate someone’s whereabouts using data (Drucker 6). People can be tracked using cell phones, and the information shared on social networking sites. Therefore, criminals can easily track targets using information posted in social media. The fourth threat is that a database for enabling face recognition is build when we post photos online, and anyone can easily be tracked. The final threat is the necessary government intervention for security purposes on networking sites due to the increased chances of computer-based attacks, therefore, interfering with privacy. 

This information has improved my understanding of matters relating to ethical issues. It is now clear that one should be selective in the information they provide on social media to enhance privacy. The users influence some of the threats. It is pertinent to follow the web guidelines on security and ensuring that passwords are used to safeguard personal information. 

Several things can be done differently to mitigate privacy violation. The government should enact laws regulating web- tracking and enforce the existing ones. Companies should not take confidentiality and security for granted. One should make it a priority to learn all of the cloud security options available through the server. Also, online users should be discrete about their service providers. Providers that show commitment to data security and privacy protection should be preferred.

The information gained in this course has widened my knowledge of the causes of threats to privacy on networking information and how I can avoid them. It has also enabled me to have a depth view of the already existing laws the government has enacted to protect network users although some not well enforced. 

The challenges which might come up in future relating to ethics and IT are numerous. For instance, the software market is affected when cell phone users are likely to discard apps which don’t observe privacy of the user’s information. Companies which don’t take security measures on their information will be at risk of failing.  If the government does not enact policies that control web- tracking and enforce them appropriately, problems of cookie accumulation in the system will endanger lives of users who are tracked. Private information of companies can also accidentally land in competitor’s hands.

Works cited

Brennan,  Linda L, and Victoria E. Johnson. Social, Ethical and Policy Implications of Information Technology. Hershey, Pa. [u.a.: Information Science Publ, 2004. Print 

Drucker, Susan J, and Gary Gumpert. Regulating Social Media: Legal and Ethical Considerations. 2013. Print

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