We Should Accept That An Increase In Reliance On Technology

We should accept that an increase in reliance on technology will result in less privacy and understand that we are responsible for protecting our own internet identities.

“There's a good chance that privacy regulators—spurred by a public that doesn't really know what it wants when it comes to online privacy—may go too far, blocking Google from collecting and analyzing information about its users. That will be a terrible outcome, because while we all reflexively hate the thought of a company analyzing our digital lives, we also benefit from this practice in many ways that we don't appreciate.”
-Article on Google Privacy http://www.slate.com/id/2290719/

This principle may be at odds with our American logic of self-protection, but the benefits of allowing companies like Google to collect information regarding how we use the Internet far outweigh the negatives. One downside is that embarassing searches can be linked back to users, but by recording every search, Google also makes the entire process of searching the Internet much more efficient and user-friendly. Another example is online banking. While online banking makes it easier for people to steal identities, the conveniences of online banking, such as instant balance checks or money transfers, generally make our lives much easier.

The idea of companies mining our personal information is a scary thought, but these companies also have some incentives to protect personal information, since privacy concerns could easily result in their downfall. By understanding basic computer and internet safety, we can do a lot to protect ourselves.

Taking personal responsibility for our online identities is important because less privacy results in more available information online, and unless our society is willing to forfeit access and convenience, we need to personally ensure our own security. While some may argue that personal data has little to do with access to information, the fact remains that many of our errands or other activities can now be completed online, which is largely because companies are able to predict and satisfy our demands through the use of technologies that gather personal information.

We, as users, are somewhat powerless to stop data mining. Google and Facebook, among many others, have the power to mine this information and will continue to do so. The best thing we can do is to understand the advantages of data mining and be proactive about our own safety.