Recent Survey Shows the Internet as a Double-Edged Sword

Reaction Blog: Recent Survey Shows the Internet as a Double-Edged Sword

A recent Pew Research Center study revealed that 90 percent of Americans feel they’ve lost control of how their personal information is collected and used by companies, especially for advertising purposes. 80 percent expressed concern over how third parties like advertisers accessed the data they share on social media sites.

Meanwhile, 55 percent of the respondents said they would be willing to share “some information about myself with companies in order to use online services for free.”

I find the most interesting details about the study in the idea that these numbers can coexist. How can we accept that the internet will inevitably take our information and redistribute it to others while also be willing to do so for convenience?

This study highlights a well-known concept for the current generation, and that is our dependence on the internet and all of its conveniences. We have shown time and time again that we’re willing to compromise our private information in order to make our lives easier in the short term. This is true with credit cards, bank account information and personal emails.

Voicing concern is one thing, as this article points out, but taking action is an entirely different challenge. Sure we can change our passwords and update our key codes, but that creates a new set of problems: trying to remember all of those weird and unique combinations of letters and numbers. This is what we call a “first-world” problem.

Whether we like it or not, we will continue to give up our privacy at a rapid rate as we try to make our lives more convenient. Eventually, however, it seems like this will come to a head.

Posted by Matt Holden on Nov 12, 2014


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