Today’s virtual God

by pierre7luc on March 4, 2013 - 2:06pm

Pierre-Luc Delisle

Today’s virtual God

In today society, we would not believe you if you would say that you have no clue what the internet is about. In the twenty-first century, our generation, the internet is easily accessible to almost everyone all around the world. Through the many advantage that this technology has to offer to the world, most of the people are not well informed and conscious of the trouble and danger that it can involve. In fact, being poorly informed about the technology that you use can causes security problems, unwanted fees and lost of privacy. Through reading many article, I found 2 articles in the CBC News and an academic research paper that were explaining the mains issues related to the huge world of the internet.

We mostly have a connection to internet at home or even on our mobile device. Before even logging and connecting on the technology itself, research found that most of the people are not even conscious of what and why are they paying for. Especially here in Canada, according to local research “[o]nly 7% of Canadians read privacy policies” (PETER CBCNEWS). This number should not surprise many since most of the people who will read this haven’t themselves read a single document about the term of uses and privacy policies of any product bough before in our life. But still, we are not here to blame anyone but more to informs ourselves about why it is important to know the technology we are using. Many of the technology that we use are breaking our privacy and most of the time we do not have a clue about it because we do not pay attention to the conditions and are not well informed about the product we are using. “[S]ocial media technology and the ability for companies to harness our personal information is moving faster than the laws in place, and user knowledge, to protect our privacy”(ARMINA CBCNEWS). Even if we do not use giant software or website such as Facebook or MySpace because you heard of the privacy issues, we are not more safe because of that. According to an academic research paper, 14.7 % of the total amount of internet usage per year is made through mobiles devices. (DAVID) Mobiles devices means cellphone, iPad, iPod and etc. You know those little screen that we use when we do not have the time to sit in the front of a real computer but most of all, those little screen where it seems even more boring and long to read the term of use and the privacy policies? In fact, this is the first place where people should actually pay attention to what software and website they are using since those little gadget hold, most of the time, our contact numbers, informations, our own informations, credit card and accounts to many software. The article that I read in the CBCNEWS give the example of the application WhatsApp which has been analyzed by the Canadian and Dutch privacy czars and found that the application was actually sending the whole address book of any user using the application. The company who collected a huge data base of personal information could, sells or trade the data for free services. The author of the academic research paper was referring to the iCloud technology that Apple has introduced.  "Today I have on my desk a smartphone,a tablet, and a Mac computer. To move data between them, the request goes all the way to the cloud—God knows where that is—so it can come back here to another device that is two feet away," (DAVID) This king of reflection is truly what we should have “God knows where that is”, do we consider huge computer companies as gods who can know everything and control everything about our life's? Really?

Following this, an other article published on the January 10, in the CBC News, written by Peter Nowak, explain the danger on how the internet could hurt our budget but also how it’s ethically not right. Technology is always upgrading and while the speed of the internet is going faster everyday, the huge companies who has the control over it, especially in Canada, tend to only gives us a faster access to that technology but not to increase our monthly usage. Again, if you did not pay attention to your internet provider term of use, you may have a huge surprise when receiving the bill for your “extra” downloads. The article explain that software such as  NetFlix are now offering us to download and watch movie in a Super HD quality with 3D feature. Canada is the country where the internet is the most expensive in the world due to low bandwidth that we can use per month. The articles explain that “It’s almost a human rights violation what they’re charging for internet access in Canada”(PETER CBCNEWS) which I found completely true because in fact, an internet connexion is not even real or physical. It just a connexion! How can they charge so much expensive for that?

But trough all that, the things that really scares most of the people is that, at the speed that all those technologies are evolving where we do not take our responsibilities to read and get informed about what we truly use, how can we protect ourself if we don't even know from what we need to be protected? We have difficulties to protect ourself from treats and virus when we are connected to a network and now according the the academic paper,  new architectures could allow devices to attach to two or more networks at the same time.Today your smartphone can switch back and forth between, say, 4G and Wi-Fi, but it can't use them both and combine the data coming from each. (DAVID) How will we protect ourself from those new technology? Will we read the terms and get informed ? Will we calculate how much we can use? The first article that I mentioned said that “social media technology and the ability for companies to harness our personal information is moving faster than the laws in place, and user knowledge, to protect our privacy”(ARMINA CBCNEWS) and we tend to use the new technology without even knowing the consequences that it can have. Only 5 years after the commercialization of touch screen, Julie Larson-Green, the new head of windows development at Microsoft said that "I can't imagine a computer without touch anymore. Once you've experienced it, it's really hard to go back." This really shows are fast we are getting use to new technology and adopt them in our lives without even really knowing much about them.

As a final note, the internet can harm really more than we think and especially when we do not control our consumption. Like everything in life, there is always good and bad but by taking the times to really informs ourselves about what technology we are using and how it can affects our life and our privacy, we can lower the negatives sides of it. Through reading academic paper and being part of my community, I realize how those articles in newspaper are subjects that we are confronted to everyday but sometimes do not pay attention when in fact, we should. I highly recommend to read further about the subject and learn from it. Do not only use the technology, understand and analyze it! More of my work concerning the subject are available on NewActvism.com such as “Read this. You already paid for, just by reading this title.” and “Technology is faster than our rights and .. our naivety”

David Talbot, Your Gadgets Are Slowly Breaking the Internet. Technology Review; Mar/Apr2013, Vol. 116 Issue 2, p16-18, 2p

Peter Nowak, CBCNEWS, January 10 2013, http://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/story/2013/01/10/f-ces-2013-netflix-canada.html

Armina Ligaya CBCNEWS , February 5, http://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/story/2013/02/01/f-data-privacy-expectations-whatsapp-cloud.html


Comments

Your article is very interesting. It’s actually kind of scary how fast technology is evolving.  The internet is definitely one of the greatest modern contributions to our society; it’s like a world of its own with many interesting aspects and dangerous ones too. If we’re not careful we might unknowingly agree to terms that we didn’t properly read. A while ago, I read an article about an April fool’s joke, where Itunes released new firmware and in the contract agreement, it wrote “by agreeing to this, you knowingly give your soul to the Apple Corparation.” Even thought it was just a joke, it just goes to show that companies could easily take advantages of unsuspecting consumers.

Also according to the CRTC (Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission) Internet service providers don’t actually need to apply a bandwidth limit, they do it for profit.

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