As Technology Advances, What Will Happen to Online Privacy?

The internet is a place where people create, post, and share information with each other on a regular basis. As it becomes easier to connect with others, it may also become harder to retain your privacy and keep your identity a secret. As technology advances, here are a few things to keep in mind about your online privacy.

The Expectation of Privacy

Generally speaking, you are still entitled to privacy while in your home or on your property as long as you aren’t broadcasting anything to the public. Any audio, video or text that is shared from a server at home or in your car is generally considered to be in the public domain. The use of cameras in the bathroom, for example, is a clear violation of privacy and will constitute a civil (if not criminal) violation. While this example seems extreme, it’s happened before. Although technology may change what it means to remain private, the law does a decent job of balancing privacy rights as technology improves.

Standards of Decency Will Continue to Change

It’s common for people to strain personal or professional relationships after making a racist or otherwise insensitive statement. However, a video of a person using a racial slur or expressing a misogynistic viewpoint might become not as shocking as it used to be. Standards of decency are constantly changing and they will continue to change. While an individual may experience short-term negative consequences of an internet faux pas, the good news is that the incident may not be impossible to recover from. In some cases, an individual may become a cultural icon by saying or doing something that may have seemed controversial just years or decades ago. Ultimately, people won’t be as worried about maintaining their privacy if what they do in public doesn’t impact them as much.

Individuals Could Be Given Online Identities

The internet is a place where people can say and do things without giving out their real names. However, this could change in the future. Instead of creating an anonymous username on a social media site or another online forum, an individual may be given a name or number that can be traced to them. Some say that such a system could help bring a level of civility back to the internet despite the privacy concerns it could raise.

 

It is clear that the internet is a tool that has become ubiquitous in society. It will likely stay around for a long time. Therefore, individuals will need to learn how to embrace it and to overcome the privacy challenges it can cause either on their own or by lobbying for changes to the law.

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