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The Importance of Privacy Online

By Sean G.

Photo by Matthew Henry on Unsplash

As the world shifts towards a more digital approach it becomes increasingly important for privacy online. For many people writing is an activity that requires privacy, this can be something as simple as putting headphones in to block out distractions or something more physical like going into your bedroom and closing the door. When it comes to digital writing the definition of privacy is broadened greatly, as it becomes much more difficult to achieve a digital private space. Everything that you do online leaves a trail of data. Things like the websites you click on is all used by companies to better personalize your browsing experience. This generally means you see more focused advertisements that coincide with things you have been recently browsing. When we look at this in terms of digital writing it becomes more dangerous.

Privacy Online and Digital Writing

The algorithms social media companies use show us content that we are used to seeing. For instance, if you interact with liberal content online you are more likely to see more liberal content. This can become dangerous because we fall into “echo chambers”. Our beliefs or ideas go unchallenged while being reaffirmed by connecting us to likeminded people. This can be a good thing unless you are unaware that these algorithms do this. It allows people to post their beliefs without ever being challenged on them. People will go unchecked and begin to believe that the larger population believes the same thing they do. The need for privacy online grows exponentially when you begin to write in digital spaces.

You have very little agency over your online presence. When it comes to digital writing you are not only confined to whatever word processor you are using to write but you are also restricted by the data collected on you. Companies make things like terms of service purposefully unreadable so that the average person won’t be able to fully understand the terms they are agreeing to. This closes people off to important information about their privacy online. In digital writing spaces your trail of information follows you, this could lead to skewed results when you are trying to research certain topics.


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