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The lives of individuals these days start with internet and ends with internet. Internet has become an essential part of every individual’s life. Every routine task now requires internet to get accomplished. It been almost two decades since this revolution took over the entire society into its grip. Every individual uses internet to complete regular tasks and this how internet has now become a primary part of our lives (Ali & Green, 2012). The major function of internet is to enable the flow of information. This information is sometimes affected by privacy issues. This is the age when individuals use social media for personal life, business and profession. While using social media cases of problems with information privacy usually arises and this is the matter of concern. This implies that there is certain privacy issues arise when it comes to usage of internet to communicate them. In this manner internet has also impacted information privacy to a very great extent. There are a number of cases in which the passwords, personal information, important details of individuals get leaked by internet and due to that people have to face various consequences of it. It is very necessary to ascertain the impact of internet on information privacy on individuals.
The research aims at acknowledging the increasing use of internet in day -to-day life and how this usage is affecting various chores of life of an individual. The special emphasis will be given on impact of internet on information privacy. The research is based on secondary data to determine the relevance of internet and its impact. A review of literature will be undertaken analyse this further. It is followed by objectives and research questions so as to give a proper frame to the research. The research will be supported by research methodology which is something that helps in analysing the data and using the research tools in a significant manner (Bernard, 1991). Finally the findings will be interpreted to get the results of the research and a number of recommendations will be provided after that.
Every research is undertaken with a few objectives that will help the research to move in the right direction (Kenneth, 2013). The objectives of this research are given below:
Research question generally denote the aspect that act as a gap in literature. The review of literature suggests that there are a number of gaps in the research pertaining to the research on internet (Bhatnagar, Misra, & Rao, 2013). There have been a number of researches on internet but there only a few researches determine the impact of internet on information privacy of individuals. Thus the present question upon which the research is based is given below:
We live in a in a world where the internet plays a pinnacle role in our day to day lives. Discuss how the internet has impacted information privacy?
Internet is a word that is very popular in literature and there are a lot many researches on this topic. Internet has been invented far ago but its popularity can be seen among generation Y to a very great extent. There are so many researches that suggest that internet is very useful in modern days and without internet a number of daily tasks are incomplete. A survey suggests that within the five years of invention of internet there were around 5 million users of it whereas Television took 13 years to gather 5 million users (Notopoulos, 2014). This suggests that internet has become popular rapidly and there are a substantial number of individuals who are internet users. It is declared by a survey that there are around 1 billion users of internet in the entire world. This makes around 20% of the total population of the world. The fact that the internet is available in all the countries has made internet more popular among individuals (Notopoulos, 2014). There are a number of benefits of using internet and this is why such a large number of populations is using internet in the world.
Internet has made it very easy for individuals to share information and send it from one place to another. The world has now become one and this happened only because of internet. People can now share their business information, personal information and any other type of information very easily on internet (Chaykowski, 2016). People use various modes such as Facebook, Skype, Gmail, Twitter, etc to share their information with people and this is a very easy way to share the information. But a few researches in past have proved that besides being easy these sources are also very economical to share the information. With the help of internet any individual can now connect to anyone in the world. Internet has also helped in boosting up the business network around the world by making communication much easier than before. There are innumerable advantages of internet in our day-to-day lives. In line with this trend a more recent report has suggested that internet has impacted information privacy. The research was conducted on 512 people who use internet and the results were hilarious. It has been found out that as many as 200 people regularly share the information about where do they go, what places they like, where are they planning to go, etc. (Sultan & Henrichs, 2009). It has also been reported that a number of people have suffered consequences of sharing information with public. This is somehow a case of information privacy. There is no more a private life of any individual who is using internet.
As far as information in business is concerned, many business houses have been deceived but their employees who have easily shared the business information using internet. Except for this, other issues in using internet for business are that the websites of business can also be hacked. A research suggests that around 600 websites are being hacked everyday and due to that a huge loss is suffered by companies (Schiffman, Sherman, & Long, 2009). Information privacy is coming as a very crucial issue these days and in many countries efforts have been done to prevent people from this.
Everything in the world has two sides and internet is no exception. While providing a number of benefits internet has also been proved fatal to a number of individuals. The disadvantages majorly revolve around information and its privacy. Due to technical errors or man-made errors, information of a number of companies and individuals has leaked in past few years. This is a matter of great concern because in some countries even privacy of governmental information has also been affected leading to fatal consequences. In this manner information privacy is a very great concern that has been brought by internet (Norris, 2008). The time has now come when internet is less useful and more fatal. Most of the researches these days stresses on the fact that internet has intervened into personal lives of individuals and there is no privacy to the information that belongs to them.
A research that has collected data from major countries such as Japan, China, Middle East, UK and Russia suggests that the most significant technological related concern of 21st century is information privacy. The internet has global reach and due to that security of information and cyber crime is a significant threat. This research has concluded that different countries have different problems related to the information privacy. In China the major problem is that the technology invades human privacy, the Japan is facing problems related to Phishing and RFIDs, The Middle East has problems related to information privacy in government, in Russia the problem is related to phone tapping and cyber attacks, and in UK the problems are related to consumers clash. In this manner every country has a significant issue with the privacy of information. This is not the only concern, but there are many other problems related to this (Mithas, Tafti, & Bardhan, 2012).
There are many researches that have considered the word internet and privacy ironical. A research that has been conducted over students and youngsters have revealed something that proves that internet is no more a private zone for anyone and one can’t expect that all the information that they are putting in private mode will remain private (Ali & Green, 2012). A student in the research revealed that the university’s administration used their online pictures of party to make a case against them. Then there is a second instance in which a university staff rejected the application of a student as post o resident advisor because he reviewed the Facebook profile of the student and found something that is inappropriate. Similarly a graduate student’s job application was rejected by the organisation because they checked that the candidate has posted something online which is objectionable. This is how no information is private and everyone can access the information online with ease and this proves to be fatal for the individuals in future. Internet has actually become a big threat to the privacy of individuals. It is true that it has made life much easier by making things swift but at the same time these loopholes are prevailing.
Research methodology deals with the tools and techniques that are helpful in undertaking a research and finding out its solution. The detail of research methodology for present research is given below:
Research design: The research design deals with the design or form of research that the researcher uses for a research. The relevance of research design in this research is that it has helped in defining the type of research, measurement and scaling, budget and scheduling for the research. The research design of present study is exploratory research design. Thus it will help in ascertaining the actual problem of the research (Birch, 2013).
Type of research: There are two types of researches that are qualitative research and quantitative research. The research that has been conducted here is qualitative research and it merely deals with the theoretical aspect of the topic and there is no quantitative data in it. Thus, the tools for the study will also be qualitative tools.
Type of data: There are majorly two types of data upon which a research can be based. These data are primary data and secondary data. Primary data deals with the data that is collected by the researcher and is first hand information about a particular topic. On the other hand secondary data is already available and the researcher is not required to do any efforts to collect this data (Kumar, 2009). The type of data that is used for this research is secondary data. In this manner the researcher has not collected the data by himself rather he has used already available data.
Sources of data: To collect the secondary information, the researcher has used varieties of sources to collect the secondary data. These sources include articles from renowned sources, newspapers, library and previous researches on internet. In this manner all the reliable tools are used for the collection of secondary data.
The result of the analysis suggests that internet is very useful and there are many tasks that can’t be completed without internet. At the same time the results also suggest that a number of individuals are suffering due to the internet. Internet is majorly responsible for information leakage and due to that the world is facing its consequences. The results majorly directs towards the consequences of internet on youth and how they are facing the consequences of it in their education as well as the jobs. At one side where students are able to get global education with the help of internet the other side of information privacy is fatal for them. The results shown in figure 1 also suggests that users are now become aware of the security threats and they have started avoiding certain parties on internet and this is only because of the privacy of their information. From this it can be interpreted that internet users are threatened that their information can be tracked by anyone and it is important to privatize it. The major threat to information privacy is hackers and criminals. As per internet users hackers and criminals are the biggest threat on internet and it is always wise to be aware of them and avoid them. Except for this internet users also avoid advertisers, friends, people from pats, people who might criticize, family members , employers, supervisors , co-workers, government and law enforcement. All these are the threats to information privacy as per internet users. In this manner the results directs the research towards the fact that internet is gradually becoming a trouble for the users because of lack of privacy of information on internet (Sultan & Henrichs, 2009). In this way it can also be interpreted that internet has equal negative as well as positive impact on the users. Thus it also fulfils all the objectives of the research by answering the research question.
Figure 1: Parties whom internet users avoid as a threat to information privacy
Source: (Boons & Freund, 2013).
The entire research concludes that internet has a huge impact on information privacy. Besides the fact that internet is very useful for the individuals in accomplishing their day-to-day tasks a number of fatal effects of internet are present. The research also suggests that internet influences the privacy of an individual to a very great extent. The time has now come when it has become very necessary to take actions so as to neutralise the impact of internet. It is necessary for user to think about their safety and security to prevent this. Except for this, some recommendations are there:
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