Digital privacy

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Digital privacy constitutes the measures taken to protect personal data that is gathered, processed, stored, and disseminated in the digital realm. It comprises different aspects such as data privacy, secure online communication, and personal privacy rights. Data privacy gives individuals the power to control their digital information, while secure online communication guarantees the safety of online interactions. Personal privacy rights pertain to the ability to decide the extent of one’s online visibility and manage undesired data. The concept of digital privacy also includes the utilization of technologies and tools such as VPNs and IP address modifiers, which offer secure connections and shield users from tracking and eavesdropping. It is a vital element of the digital universe that faces numerous challenges, including data leaks, transparency deficits, and trust problems with technology firms. The significance of digital privacy has escalated with the rise in user consciousness and the emergence of advanced technologies like AI, which introduce fresh privacy issues.

Digital privacy (Wikipedia)

Digital privacy is often used in contexts that promote advocacy on behalf of individual and consumer privacy rights in e-services and is typically used in opposition to the business practices of many e-marketers, businesses, and companies to collect and use such information and data. Digital privacy can be defined under three sub-related categories: information privacy, communication privacy, and individual privacy.

Digital privacy has increasingly become a topic of interest as information and data shared over the social web have continued to become more and more commodified; social media users are now considered unpaid "digital labors", as one pays for "free" e-services through the loss of their privacy. For example, between 2005 and 2011, the change in levels of disclosure for different profile items on Facebook shows that, over the years, people have wanted to keep more information private. Observing the seven-year span, Facebook gained a profit of $100 billion through the collection and sharing of their users' data with third-party advertisers.

The more a user shares on social networks, the more privacy is lost. All of the information and data one shares is connected to clusters of similar information. As the user continues to share their productive expression, it gets matched with the respective cluster, and their speech and expression are no longer only in the possession of them or of their social circle. This can be seen as a consequence of building social capital. As people create new and diverse ties on social networks, data becomes linked. This decrease in privacy continues until bundling appears (when the ties become strong and the network more homogeneous).

Some laws allow filing a case against a breach of digital privacy. In 2007, for instance, a class-action lawsuit was lodged on behalf of all Facebook users that led Facebook to close its advertising system, "Beacon." In a similar case in 2010, the users sued Facebook once again for sharing personal user information with advertisers through their gaming application. Laws are based on consumers' consent and assume that the consumers are already empowered to know their own best interests. Therefore, for the past few years, people have been focusing on self-management of digital privacy through rational and educated decision-making.

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