Wednesday, January 19, 2011

On privacy

"If you have something that you don't want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn't be doing it in the first place,"  was said by the CEO of Google, Eric Schmidt. I believe this statement is true.  First off, if something is so terrible or humiliating that someone doesn't want other people to find out about, one would assume that that person would not partake in that activity. Second, if a person doesn't want anyone to know about their past times why would they be uploading it to the Internet in the first place. The Internet is a global system of interconnected computer networks sharing information. The keyword in the previous sentence is "sharing." Anyone is able to look at anything that is posted to a website, no matter how "secure" it may be. 

"Once information becomes part of a public record, there is no privacy invasion in future releases of the information..." (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy). The definition of privacy states that it is the quality of being secluded from view of others. Where as the definition of secrecy states that it is the practice of hiding information form certain individuals. When comparing the definitions of privacy and secrecy, we can conclude that privacy is born from secrecy.  If a person practices hiding information, then in turn the information has the quality of being secluded from others.  Having the "quality of" is very different than "practicing".  Therefore, I believe secrecy and privacy are different, but there exists a cause and effect relationship between them. 

In my opinion, each user is responsible for the information they share on the web.  Simply put, if a user does not want specific information on the Internet, they should not share it.


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