Ever since the internet broke out, privacy has been a topic of much discussion. Many have debated privacy laws, whether there should be more or less in place, and if we as regular consumers should be worried about where the web is taking us as it relates to our own privacy. This week, some stories made headlines regarding attempts by companies to make people feel like their lives are still as secure and private as they make them.
Over the last decade, the internet has blossomed. Technology and the web have exploded. On a daily basis we keep you informed about all kinds of devices, applications and services that leverage technology. People have watched the internet grow while growing up and experiencing both words. But while we rely on technology for getting things done, privacy has always been there as a concern. With large companies taking over the world with various connected services, consumers have the right to know the policy on their data, if it’s being shared, or used for other purposes. AI is taking data collection a step further by learning about people’s habits for the purpose of advertising and predicting behavior through content. Therefore, it’s no wonder that internet/web privacy is generally of more concern today than it was last year and those that proceeded.
Times are changing and with them we must adapt. Earlier this year, a Facebook scare put everyone in a frenzy about their privacy. The government continues to get involved, and more and more people every day begin to worry about being watched over. In the news this week, we reported on an HTC Exodus phone. This was only our second time hearing about it, and now it has been confirmed to arrive before year’s end. This won’t be any ordinary phone though, it’s powered using blockchain. An Android device of this kind has never been seen before, but could break out as privacy becomes of more concern. The idea is that the phone will be super secure, unlike some regular smartphones. HTC is building what will be a commercial device with advanced security, cryptocurrency, and decentralized applications (DApps) which will work while connected together on a new blockchain network. While we still don’t know a lot about the device itself, it’s an interesting concept that takes a lot of worrying away.
Also this week, Google announced an update to YouTube. While this isn’t a major breakthrough, it may give people some peace of mind. A new Incognito mode has been introduced, coming over from Chrome that will allow users to browse videos more privately. While it’s not exactly going to keep your records hidden entirely, videos watched in the mode won’t be recorded in the user’s history nor will they affect the user’s content suggestions. Google is big on feeding everyone content they’ll most likely enjoy based on past history and consumption patterns. So while the mode may be of good use when handing your phone off to a friend or child in keeping information private, there is the concern of Google using data collected about you to generate suggestions and thus make more money off adverting. This has become the case for a lot of apps today as we enter an age of predictability, machine learning and convenience.
This brings us to our poll of the week. After reading this article, you may wonder a bit more about privacy and be more aware as a result. How genuinely concerned are you about your privacy? Are you more concerned now than you were in the past? Are you still not concerned, or do you find yourself downloading apps and buying devices you know are secure? One thing’s for sure, it would be great if companies take our privacy seriously and approach the future with caution. Allowing users to adjust their privacy settings with ease should be taken with all importance. Hopefully we’ll continue to see more changes that assure us there’s no need to be concerned. To what extent are you concerned about your privacy when browsing or putting things online? Why do you feel this way? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below this post and submit your response in our weekly poll. The poll will remain open all week and we look forward to hearing your response.
Below are the major stories from this week.