Should you be concerned about your online privacy?
No doubt the internet makes our everyday lives easier, but judging by all the online security scandals as of late, it may also be compromising our personal privacy.
The latest scandal took place on Sunday when 98,000 photos and videos from the social sharing app Snapchat were leaked onto the internet by hackers.
The incident, which has been dubbed “The Snappening”, wasn’t caused by a breach in Snapchat’s system, but rather a third-party site called Snapsaved.com that lets users store content that would otherwise be automatically deleted by the Snapchat server.
The lesson learnt: we give out all different types of personal data online everyday without realising it – information that could potentially be used against us.
The growing concern for online privacy
A June survey released by eMarketer revealed that just under two thirds of US social media users are concerned about their online privacy.
Other major concerns for privacy were email and browser security, with over half of those surveyed expressing concerns over each of these areas.
Also, these statistics came out before the widely-publicised nude photo of celebrities, so the concern for privacy has most definitely heightened in recent months.
Therefore, businesses conducting content marketing should be aware that consumers may be hesitant to give out personal data.
Twitter sues the US government
It’s not just hackers that we need to watch out for, but also the government, as was highlighted during the Edward Snowden case last year.
To fight back against government spying and help protect user privacy, social networking site Twitter is suing the US government for denying them the right of the First Amendment.
After the government repeatedly denied Twitter permission to release the number of requests they receive from the government for user information, the social media outlet has opted to take the matter to court.
At the beginning of the year, other tech companies Facebook, LinkedIn, Google and Microsoft all reached a deal with government giving them permission to disclose rough numbers of the government requests to the public but nothing overly specific.
In a post-Snowden world, digital entities such as Twitter are trying to please the general public by making data less accessible to the government.
A safer internet in the works
With internet hackers and government spies prowling through our private data, it’s easy to abandon any hope of personal privacy, but things could soon get better.
A new web privacy system is in the works that could make the internet a much safer place.
Called ‘Confinement with Origin Web Labels,’ or COWL, the new system is being built by a collection of experts from UCL, Stanford Engineering, Google, Chalmers and Mozilla Research.
COWL works with Mozilla’s Firefox as well as the open-source version of Google Chrome.
Not only will it block hackers from accessing sensitive information by including malicious code in websites, it will also benefit web developers, giving them the ability to draw and display content from multiple sites.
Hopefully in the near future the internet will become a safer place, but for the time being, take extra precautions to ensure your personal information is kept private, and keep your face out of shot.
Posted by Dylan Brown