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Privacy And The Internet Essay

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Privacy and the Internet


The natural progression of the Internet and emerging technologies is towards streamlining our lives both personally and professionally. Instantaneous communications and available on-line services continue to reduce the physical distance between individuals. Almost anything is now available in cyberspace from shopping, schooling and education, on-line trading, banking, to social and political on-line communities. On-line service providers are shifting from a product centric approach to a more personal and customized approach to marketing their products and services. The idea of one-to-one marketing is very powerful and has become an important tool for competing in the interactive age. One-to-one marketing takes a customer-orientated approach to selling; customers are treated as individuals with different interests and needs. We respond positively to individual attention; when we visit a web site we want to see products and services of interest to us not every available product. We do not want to waste our time. For many people, time is money and the convenience factor ways heavily on the decision to return to a web site.

Are the benefits of electronic communication at the expense of our privacy? How does the Internet affect the availability and use of our personal information? The Internet brings another dimension to the issue of privacy. Whether you are voting on-line or buying a book from Amazon.com you must consider how much personal information has been collected about you, with or without your consent, and how it can be used. Policies governing privacy on the Internet are still not clearly defined and many on-line users do not understand how the information they provide will be used. How much...


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...activity are all available at the press of a button. Soon we will have on-line refrigerators that can place grocery orders, washing machines that can access the Internet to determine the best wash cycle for a delicate fabric and Internet connectivity available from every room in the house. If we reap the benefits of communications technology, we must expect to pay the price with our privacy.

Works Cited

Bridis, Ted. Comcast Tracks Users Web Browsing. Los Angeles Times 12 Feb 2002. http:www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/politics/wire/sns-ap-internet-privacy/0212feb12.story (25 Feb 2002).

Grossman, Lawrence K. The Shape of the Electronic Republic. Composing Cyberspace. Richard Holeton. United States: McGraw-Hill, 1998, 311-327.

Birkets, Sven. Into the Electronic Millennium. Composing Cyberspace. Richard Holeton. United States: McGraw-Hill, 1998, 311-327.


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