In the consideration of the topic of digital culture, digital privacy has become increasingly crucial in the protection of online personal information. Digital privacy refers to the security or privacy found in the context of the digital world where one’s information could not be compromised. This ideal is essential because the access to digital information has become increasingly available on the web as well as the technological advancements that have made the access to this information more accessible. One example to validate how crucial digital privacy is understanding the dangers of living in an era of widespread hacking and public shaming, according to the article titled “How to Protect Your Digital Privacy in the Era of Public Shaming.” Another example of how crucial digital privacy is in society can be found in the interesting case that the app “Whatsapp” has said that it will share users’ address books with its parent company the mogul of Facebook, unless they opted out of the latest privacy update. But most frightening, it is well known that the FBI tracks American calls that are made.
Pew Research company created an article titled “Code-Dependent: Pros and Cons of the Algorithm Age” where it discussed both the pros and cons of algorithm usage in society. First, as to truly understand this technological context, the broad term of algorithm should be defined. According to authors Lee Rainie and Janna Anderson, an algorithm is a set of instructions for solving a problem or completing a task. The internet is comprised of codes and uses them to function and generate online searching through the usage of algorithms. In fact, nearly all online or digital technological apparatuses uses algorithms to power it respectively. Though algorthims are wonderfully complex and help to generate our technological world while being virtually unseen, they also pose a danger. In my opinion, I think that the overall effect of algorithms in society will be positive; i contest this because of the profound purpose that they old in technology and the lack of another viable solution to complete the same job. Further, I think that algorithms are a necessary evil as they too pose immense misappropriations and dangers to society; but do not override the usage and cruciality.
One thing that surprised me about this week’s content was a study found in the article called “Do You Read Terms Of Service Contracts? Not Many Do, Research Shows.” The article explained that the majority of people do not understand the magnitude of a service contract and what that might entail with their personal information. A study found in the article concluded that the implementation of a firstborn clause suggesting that if you agreed to these policies that as a form of payment, you’d be giving up a first-born child. And 98 percent of the participants that took the study didn’t even notice this particular clause. I found this to be shocking! Moreover, however, I was concerned because I too often don’t look into the fine print of a sevice contract online and underestimate thier power. I found this piece of information to be a necessary call to change.
The case study that I chose to write about this week stems from an article in the Wall Street Journal titled “Bosses Tap Outside Firms to Predict Which Workers Might Get Sick” written by Rachel Emma Silverman. According to the article, employee wellness firms and insurers are working with companies to mine data about the prescription drugs workers use, how they shop and even whether they vote, to predict their individual health needs and recommend treatments. I think that this type of information about employees completely defies against equal opportunity employment as well as HIPPA in consideration to medical records and the protection and preservation of confidential patient information. I found this article to be massively intrusive to employees, but moreover disgusted that corporations feel the need to violate privacy in order to generate higher efficiency; it seems that power is replacing the person aspect of life. The link for more information to this case study is as follows: https://twitter.com/hypervisible