War for the Web
14 10.11

PRIVACY!

Internet privacy is a big issue. Some would even say it is THE big issue. After all, if ISPs are not allowed to look at the content you are accessing via their wires, then they can’t really slow you down based on what you are looking at.

But privacy goes beyond that. On the Internet, literally everything you do can be tracked. Even if you are careful about your privacy, there are lots of perfectly legal ways for companies to track what you are doing, where you spend money, what sites you look at, etc.

Congress is finally starting to tackle this issue, debate has opened on the floor. It is breaking down into the usual discussion that the Internet seems to cause: should private companies make these decisions, or should the government. Some congresspeople believe that private companies should be allowed to do whatever they wish with your information. They compare it to the new oil, a natural resource, if you will. Others feel that an individuals’ right to do things without being watched should be paramount. The question remains: should the government regulate privacy online?

It is interesting to note that Verizon has announced that they will track everything you do on your smartphone in order to optimize advertising. When they say everything they mean everything. Calling habits, browsing habits, search terms, location information, and more. They won’t look at your identity specifically, but I would imagine at this point we’d all be feeling pretty vulnerable regardless.

So what do you think? Is browsing information an untapped resource that we should allow any company to access and use? Is what you do online your own business?

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