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How Technology is Invading Privacy

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Recent developments in technology have had a profound effect on different aspects of our everyday life. Numerous highly-developed gadgets linked to the Internet, have changed how we communicate and has changed everyone’s lifestyles. Whether it’s from shopping online, studying and even entertainment, even if its storing old childhood photos on the cloud or communicating with relatives overseas, it seems to be beneficial for all. Developments have made many things easier but on the other hand it can also be dangerous. One of the most dangerous aspects of technology is privacy invasion. Invading privacy is when and individual knowingly interferes upon a person, without them knowing.

Many popular search engines such as Google profit from the invasion of their user’s privacy. Search histories are sold to advertising companies which use the data to specifically target what consumers are searching for. However that does not seem to be of harm. Nevertheless there are ways in which people can invade privacy and potentially do harm. For example fraud can take place when data is accessed by hackers. Personal images can be used to blackmail people into sending them money. There are endless possibilities for ways in which personal data falling into the wrong hands can be troublesome.

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Privacy can be invaded in many ways, this essay will be arguing that technology can be scary and how CCTV and Snapchat invades people’s privacy. Snapchat is one of many apps that mark privacy and security as a key selling point in positioning its services to consumers, are they really keeping their promises? One of snapchat’s famous features is that users can send videos and images to people on their friends list, and after the set time expires that content would vanish forever. Unfortunately these claims were false and turns out Snapchat has been invading users’ privacy by tracking and transmitting people’s locations and gathered data from their address books without their permission. Snapchat falsely advertising its privacy features is unethical and is against the law.

Recently snapchat introduced one of their latest feature (Snapmap), everytime you open the app your exact location would be shared with your entire friends list which makes it really easy for anyone to locate you. This feature allows many dangerous scenarios to take place it also empowers people to lurk and stalk which has many real life consequences. Snapchat has violated our privacy and security in many ways therefore the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), put snapchat under independent privacy monitoring for the next 20 years and snapchat could face a penalty up to $16,000 each violation. Companies using similar technology to snapchat, should use their mistake as an example of what not to do when it comes to protecting its user’s privacy.

Technology has been advancing over the years, CCTV is one of the most commonly used gadgets that have been invented. CCTV or Closed Circuit Television sits in the surveillance category, they are used to record videos/pictures of people in public places. Modern CCTVs usually have high resolution display and feature the ability to zoom in and out. We live in a world where CCTV cameras are nearly as pervasive as cars. Someone is always watching you! But that someone might not always be who you think it is. They chose “closed circuit” to specify to people that access to their data is limited, is it really limited though? According to research most CCTVs are sold with remote internet access with weak password security, that can allow hackers to easily tap into the video feeds and then that content can be exposed to the internet without your permission. Where cameras have been set up plays a big role in invading privacy, for example cameras placed near public toilets gives the predator a good view on people that are using the toilet just by simply moving the camera and zooming in, many women have reported seeing the CCTV camera pointing into the toilets. Another example is CCTV cameras installed at a University Campus, which has the ability to zoom straight into dorm windows and invade your privacy. This is called voyeurism and it’s such a serious form of abuse that should be dealt with. Ten years ago drones were invented, a drone is an aircraft without a pilot on board. It is flown using an on ground controller, drones are usually used in movies and film making but these days many people use it as a form of entertainment. Once a drone is misused it can be dangerous and can invade people’s privacy.

Last year rules relaxed on privately operated drones, there for it isn’t illegal to fly a drone over someone’s property neither is filming them with it. Flying a drone on top of a property may not seem like a big deal to the operator but in fact that invades the owners property, they might not like to be filmed. Drones can also be used for stalking and voyeurism, drones could be flown up to home windows while people are naked, that footage can be then sold to pornography sites without the person knowing a thing.

Drones can also be used by burglars, they use drones supplied with first person view to help them review and inspect the house before entering. In conclusion, recent developments in technology invade people’s privacy in many ways. CCTV invades your privacy, content can be breached and sold. You can be spied on by drones while chilling in your backyard on a sunny day. Make sure you enable Snapmaps on your snapchat so your not stalked and followed home. These are only a couple of examples when your privacy can be invaded.

Therefore make sure all your information is secured properly and in case you’ve been invaded or suspect someone invading you let someone know as soon as possible before it’s too late. Invading people’s privacy can lead to depression and suicide, intruding into someone’s private affairs is illegal and the prey has a right to bring up lawsuit for damages. Privacy is not a luxury, but it is a right that all people deserve. Taking that away for a company’s gain or for people’s data to be sold to a third party that uses private data for marketing, is an enormous breach of that privacy.

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