Sunday, February 10, 2008

Privacy in the Internet

One important aspect about the internet that perhaps many internet users take for granted is the privacy issue. First of all many people are concerned about making purchases over the internet because they are concerned that their card number can be retrieved and misused,secondly,perhaps job seekers are most vulnerable in getting the privacy violated when posting their resumes online and thirdly,since there isn't any formal law within cyberspace internet users are at thier local goverenments mercy in seeking protection against the violation of their privacy. Although, the internet is a great tool and provides an vast amount of convenience, it is important that internet use becomes part of the high school and college curriculums and a requirement for graduation.

So many people are concerned about making purchases over the internet becuase they are concerned thet their card number can be retrieved and misused, well this in fact is true but as Walt Howe mentioned that a credit card is not safe even when it is handed to a cashier at a store, when making a phone payment, or if the reciept is thrown out becuase the person handleing the credit card can easily copy the card number down to later use it for their personal use and the same goes for a credit card recipt that is thrown out. The reciept if not disposed of properly can end up in the wrong hands and be misused for their benefit. Therefore, a credit card being used in cyberspace is should not be the greatest of the worries of the internet society. As a matter of fact becuase people are so reluctant to using their credit card in cyberspace inadvertently the cyber community themselves have hindered the growth of electronic commerce (

Moreover, perhaps job seekers are the most vulnerable in getting their privacy violated when posting their resumes on line. As many students are getting ready to graduate from college they are encouraged to post their resumes online. Pam Dixon did a research on resumes and how resumes are being misused and she found that in one day sold 4,942 resumes and or emails for thirty-three cents each that is one thousand six hundred thirty dollars FTC-HELP and or the website (

Lastly,since there isn't any formal law within cyberspace internet users are at thier local goverenments mercy in seeking protection against the violation of their privacy. There are five aspects of invasion of privacy within cyberspace.
1.Unsoliscited email not regulated by the Federal Law, 2. defamation, 3. search and seizure, 4. secrecy, and 5. the creation of databases consistency of personal information. In regards to unsollicited emails a federal judge in Philadelphia ruled that companies do not have a First Amendment right to send unsolicited messages to online service subscribers. There are other ways that many communities seek to handle this situation is that the users complain to the offender's service provider and publicly denounce the action on the Internet Blacklist, filter out unsolicited email,and many people have sued spammers in court and they have won.
Many states prohibit defamation, regardless of the form it takes. "Defamation consists of false and unprivileged publication which results in economic damages. Financial loss is not necessary where the statement implies that a person is a criminal or has an unpleasant disease, or which injures a person in respect to his other office, profession, or business. A judge in Texas issued an injunction to stop defamatory posting by an Internet user. Hate messages sent by e-mail have also resulted in criminal penalties". People have been able to file a suit against a John Doe and subpeona Yahoo and other companies and they are not disputed but usually when it is discovered who is making the defamatory accusations charges are dropped.
In regards to search and seizure there is a fourth amendment that protects the Americans however, there it does not apply when the search and seizure applies to information on a disk or on a hard drive.Secrecy and confidential information when violated can cost companies millions of dollars becuase they take information and sell it to competitors and to others for harmful reasons to the company. The law is in a state of continual development regarding issues of jurisdiction over individuals and businesses within cyberspace. The very first case was U.S. v. Thomas. According to they have hope that the Supreme court will almost certainly lay down some guidelines within the next few years (

Therefore, since the cyber community is in sucha vulnerable state and the laws are still in development, emloyment seekers and cyber cutomers should not sit passively and let the cyber criminals create an unsafe environment they should report spam and or report to their local authorities or any other measure if they feel their privacy has been violated, furthermore, Cyberspace should be treated with much more seriousness than it is currently handled and it should be made a requirement that before being able to surf the net they should take a course on educating them on what is correct and what is not. With this more people would not be ignorantly promoting the unwanted emails that potentially can cause so much harm.

1. Retrieved 2/10/2008
2. Dixon, Pam (2003) Resume Databas Nightmare: Job Seekers Privacy at Risk Retrived 2/10/2008.

No comments: