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The Shallows Agreement and Partial Disagreement with Nicholas Carrs Approach to Internet Privacy - Essay Example

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Summary
It is without question that one of the most powerful means by which our society has been transformed is the Internet. The Internet has allowed individuals rapid access to a wealth of information as well as means of distraction and entertainment that television could only dream of…
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The Shallows Agreement and Partial Disagreement with Nicholas Carrs Approach to Internet Privacy

Download file to see previous pages... For purposes of this particular analysis, the author will analyze Nicholas Carr’s “The Shallows”. Rather than delving into it point by point agreement for rebuttal of Carr’s piece, this author will attempt to integrate the analysis based upon Carr’s of the means by which more and more websites such as Google and Facebook seek to track their online users and glean potentially harmful levels of personal preferences and surfing history. As a means of such an analysis, it is the hope of this author that the reader will be able to integrate with one of the most important issues that exists within the realm of technology during the current era; the right an expectation to privacy.
Although it is always been a policy of firms seeking to maximize their profits to endeavor to gain valuable information with regards to their client base, the extent to which websites such as Facebook and Google have gone to extract this information from their users is unprecedented. One of the trade-offs to the readily available information and use of social networking that both of these sites, as well is a host of others, display is the facts that they provide lengthy, nuanced, and ultimately confusing privacy policies that are written in what can only be described as many pages of legalese (O’Brien & Torres 69). Naturally, such privacy policies are intended not towards protecting the privacy of the individual Web server; rather, they are designed to protect against any liabilities that the firm may incur based upon their otherwise unscrupulous gathering of information of their users. It is the belief of this particular researcher that such practices are highly unethical and represent breaches of consumer confidence that in any other industry would be taken as an affront to consumer privacy and respect. Unfortunately, the level to which government is willing to safeguard the users of these monolithic and highly lucrative firms are extraordinarily limited (Carr 105). Although it is beyond the scope of this analysis to offer an in-depth discussion of why this might be, it is the belief of this particular researcher that the line between industry and government is particularly blurred both with respect to Facebook and to Google. This blurring has not helped the consumer/web surfer whatsoever; rather, it has only helped these firms to further market their products and seek to gain valuable information with regards to the habits and preferences of the millions of individuals that use their services on a daily basis. In the past, cooperation between the government and private firms has rarely turned out to the overall benefits of the end consumer. Although such a situation is possible, the level and extent to which government is currently reliant and highly cooperative with the likes of Google, Facebook and others does not bode well for the right to privacy from the end user/consumer (Gilbert 8). Naturally, the key concern is not center necessarily upon the fact that Google and others are seeking to track and retain this information; rather, the key issue becomes what did they intend on doing with such information/how will they use it/for how long will they keep it and who ultimately has access to it? Recently, I was so troubled by the level to which so many websites sought to place tracking cookies on the computer that I downloaded an ad on to Mozilla Firefox which is called “Ghostery” ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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