Essay on Internet Privacy
Length: 823 words (2.4 double-spaced pages)
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This world today seems to have no privacy on the Internet, despite the Governments effort to help the consumer regain their privacy.
In 1997 the government passed the Consumer Internet Privacy Protection Act. Through this bill, the consumer has the right to all information that an Internet company has on them. The Internet Company cannot sell the information of that consumer without that consumer's written consent. The bill sounds really good doesn't it? If the bill is so great, how is it that our private information is still getting out there? Well, let's take a closer look.
According to an article that I found through Yahoo!, companies are using the consumer's information as a company asset just in case the company was to go bankrupt. In the article it talks of how Amazon.com has reviewed it privacy policies and has decided to just get ready to sell anything they have on a consumer, such as; "names, shipping and billing addresses, credit card numbers, e-mail addresses, employers, gift wish lists, Social Secur i ty Numbers..." and so on and so forth. Isn't that scary, one day, a company is doing fine, getting all the information that they can on a person and saying that all information is secured, then the next day, they are going bankrupt and selling the informa t ion to whoever has the largest bid. Who would've thought that when you went to buy that thing you really wanted off the Internet, your information was being stored so it could be sold? How thoughtless of them. For me, I don't give out any information besi des my name, and who knows who has that.
You may ask yourself, where does the Internet Privacy Act of 1997 play in this? I am wondering the same thing. Well, it obviously doesn't play a large role; Amozon.com has stopped letting their customers decline the option of letting their information be sold. Where is the government? Why aren't they stepping up? I thought that the reasoning behind this entire act was to protect consumers, I don't see any protection at all. There was a statement in the article that was previously mentioned that just took me by surprise. Patty Smith made it in regard to customer information, she said:
``We treat customer data with great care and consideration,'' she said, ``and we will continue to do so going forward.
How can she say that? They won't even let the customers who were on the database before they changed to policy to delete their information. They need to have more consideration for their customers, not just their data. Sometimes these companies only think of one thing, MONEY. If they would just think of the customer's needs before the "M" word, they would be getting more. The Internet has become a sea of sharks, devouring everything in sight, yes, it has it ups, but it really has a lot of downs.
I feel that if the government was so worried about the consumer enough to pass a bill protecting the consumer's information, they should be enforcing it. What these companies are doing is illegal and immoral. I feel that they should be punished for their crimes, but in a way tha t doesn't put them in jail, we already have enough people in there. Make them pay, literally, for what they have done. Pay the consumer what they got for their information. Also, if the consumer agrees to let others sell their information, shouldn't they get a piece of that? After all, it is their life that is being sold. The world has become a greedy world. Everyone is money hungry, always looking for the quick buck. I honestly do not think that anything is going to be done to stop these people from commit ting these crimes. One of these days, something is going to backfire, and everything is just going to blow up, (just a figure of speech). When the day comes that something is done about all this junk that is out there, someone tell me about it.
I really appreciate the effort that the government gave in trying to protect consumers, but, there is an old saying that really applies to the government on this matter, "Actions speak louder than words." Yes, the government did pass a bill, but no, they haven't done anything about it. They are just going to let Amazon.com walk all over the bill. You know, I am really sad for the consumers that are be exploited.
Reading and learning about all of this stuff has really made me mindful of what I disclose about myself, and hopefully you too. I hope that those of you who wish to still put personal information about yourself on the internet, will use caution in everything that you do, and remember next time you go to buy something online, where exactly your credit card number is going to end up.