Internet Privacy is Long Gone
College students are probably on the internet more often than they are in their rooms. Whether it’s on smartphones, laptops, or the library’s computers, we are always plugged into the internet, reading articles, writing Facebook posts about our weekends, or watching the latest shocking video on YouTube.
When it comes to what it is we actually do or say on the internet, we expect some level of privacy. However, it is not uncommon to hear horror stories and reports about people spying on us through our technology.
On March 27, President Trump signed a congressional resolution overturning internet privacy protections. Those protections were created by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) under the Obama administration and they made it difficult for broadband internet service suppliers to track and sell a customer’s online information to third parties.
Because of this repeal, it will be much easier for internet providers, like Comcast and Verizon, to track a customer’s browsing history and online activities and sell that data to advertisers with little oversight.
This repeal will make it easier for advertisers to target their consumers. However, it is very unnerving knowing that almost our entire internet activity can be given away to these advertisers who will use that information to try and sell us more of their products.
Perhaps the only way to protect our privacy is to get off the internet and stop using online services like Facebook and Google. It sounds easy enough, but as college students search engines, like Google, are how we do research, and social media platforms, like Facebook and Instagram, are how we stay in touch with our friends and family back home.
Besides protesting and challenging the President’s actions, for now we can only keep our eyes and ears open and remain informed about the actions of the Trump administration. We also need to keep in mind that we are being tracked whenever we visit those websites that we would rather no one knew we visit.