Essay about Privacy versus Profiling

1722 Words 7 Pages
If a stranger would approach someone on the street, would one casually offer personal information to him? Would one allow him to follow and record one’s activities? Although it may be obvious in the concrete world that one would not allow it, the behavior of the general population on the Internet is strikingly different. While surfing websites such as Facebook, Twitter, and Google, many people provide personal details to enhance their online profile? These websites retain vast amounts of personal information from their users. Although this practice benefits the user as well, unrestricted profiling can become an alarming catastrophe. Unless the threat to internet users privacy are shown to exceed the benefits, we should not regulate …show more content…
Essentially, Google builds a detailed profile of the user based on his or her surfing habits. (Does it really matter that it’s stored on their servers?) Facebook , the social network champion, employs this technique at a new level. Facebook released a concept called “Open Graph” which allows one to log onto Facebook and access many other sites using one’s Facebook account. Facebook encourages its users to recommend articles, photos, and movies, essentially everything. When one recommends something one’s friends will get an update that one liked it. This amounts to a great quantity of private information that Facebook knows about its users. This allows Facebook to advertise on a personal level. If one is looking to buy a car the database will scan what one’s circle of friends are interested in rather than just what is popular. Dan Fletcher reports for Time magazine that:
The more updates Facebook gets you to share and the more preferences it entreats you to make public, the more data it's able to pool for advertisers. Google spearheaded targeted advertisements, but it knows what you're interested in only on the basis of what you query in its search engine and, if you have a Gmail account, what topics you're e-mailing about. Facebook is amassing a much more well-rounded picture.

While targeted advertising such as a website geared to new mothers would reflect that by providing advertisements for baby diapers or formula in the

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