Privacy peeves in a ‘setting’ sun

DECCAN CHRONICLE. | REMYA SCARIA
Published Oct 9, 2017, 2:02 am IST
Updated Oct 9, 2017, 2:02 am IST
Settings on social media dig deep with advanced technology that follow our every move.
 Uvaise Nazir, a consultant at a startup firm says, “Data has become so valuable, that over social media platforms the main objective is to collect as much data as possible
  Uvaise Nazir, a consultant at a startup firm says, “Data has become so valuable, that over social media platforms the main objective is to collect as much data as possible

We all get those stellar notifications to update our privacy settings, every now and then. Do you want your friends to see this picture or even your friend’s friend? It seems like these choices do not matter much anyway as somewhere down the line there really is little control over our personal details. Once it’s out there, there is no turning back. 

With advanced technology keeping a track of everything that we do, it seems that the “privacy” we all enable in our social media settings may just be faux as there is not much that can be done. Uvaise Nazir, a consultant at a startup firm says, “Data has become so valuable, that over social media platforms the main objective is to collect as much data as possible. This has eventually resulted in breach/misuse of privacy. As much I like the Internet suggesting entertainment content of my interests or showing me exactly what I wanted to buy, it’s often scary to realise that such analysis is a result of an algorithm which knows me at a much deeper level than what I am usually comfortable with.”  

 

Privacy settings that can be tailored to suit our tastes are more or less a way of ensuring that we have a sense of control over our profiles. But Divay Khurana, a production controller adds, “I don’t think we have a direct control over the privacy options given to us. They are pre-set options which we have to choose every time, instead of personally choosing every aspect of it. For example when Facebook had this campaign of Internet for all, where it made the users forcefully agree to terms and conditions (net neutrality), a lack of options basically  made us un-bothered about the situation.” 

Parents are rightly concerned about the safety of their children online as they tend to be freer with what they post, as is the norm. Sweekruthi Christina, an English honours graduate quips, “It’s easy to forget the possible dangers we could be facing when we share daily personal updates. Unless you’ve experienced online harassment or are acutely conscious of it happening, it isn’t going to be a primary concern. This happens mainly because of the sheer percentage of people who are on these social networks. We end up thinking, if they’re sharing all this data and they’re alright why should I be worried? It boils down to this sense of false security.”

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