What is Internet Privacy?

1 min read
Internet Privacy
Internet Privacy should be everyone’s concern, and a right as well.

Internet privacy concerns collection, storage, use and dissemination of personal information about users by various websites. This data may relate to the basic personal details provided by the user while signing up for the service or usage history or some behavioural analysis of the user while using the website. It also covers the tracking of a user by using various technologies like cookies, device fingerprinting, etc across websites. It can be said to be an aspect of “internet security”.

Most of us simply use websites and while signing-up for the service or while using the service do not check the “privacy policy”. This privacy policy, which is an important document, contains details about what data about you will be collected and how that data can be used. Since this document contains what data will be collected and stored with the website, it indirectly indicates also the data at risk if there in an unauthorised intrusion by a hacker. Some of such data may also be used to personally identify you. This data may further be used by the website to show you relevant content. If a website has a generic privacy policy regarding how it uses your personal data, then it is better to stay away from it since it might also be sold.

If you are wondering about whether you need internet privacy or not, I’ll ask you a question – Are you willing to give me the password to your primary email account? If your answer is “No”, then you should be worried about intenet privacy.

Again you might be wondering that since you are doing nothing wrong and minding your own business, then you have no reason to worry. But “wrong” is a relative term whose definition can be changed anytime.

If you are still in doubt, let me ask you another question – Would you still do whatever you are doing if everyone was monitoring your internet activity all the time? Again, if your answer is “No”, then you should be worried about internet privacy.

Whatever goes onto the internet, almost always stays there forever. It is always at the risk of being viewed publically or being hacked into.

But there are certain trade-offs that a normal user may be willing to make for usage of some services. Whenever you are using any website or online service, most commonly the IP addresses of the users are logged. These IP addresses are what is called “Personally Identifiable Information”. But most of us do not worry about the same and continue to use that service. The ones who would not want to reveal these minute details also may use technologies like VPNs or Proxy Servers, which will be covered in another article.

For Wikipedia entry on Internet Privacy, click here.

For more posts on Privacy, click here.

For more posts in The Cyber Cops project, click here.