Philosophical Exploration of the Risks to Privacy Posed by the Highway Technology of the Future

Published: 2021-07-30
1444 words
6 pages
13 min to read
Boston College
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With opportunities come the challenges which humanistic scholars with the ubiquity and humanistic scholars with the ubiquity and exponential growth of new web-based data sources like social media, electronic texts, etc. and digital methods face today. There are very many sources which predict exponential data growth towards the year 2020 and even beyond. The exploding speed and volume of the growth of data have presented so many challenges; the challenges include: systematic management as well as a growing cluster community. Data center power, floor space limitations as well as cooling. Others are data movement, data storage as well as management complexity, Lacking support for the heterogeneous environment together with accelerators and lastly a significance shortage of skills needed in integration and management of big data ecosystems.

Big Data merely is any data that is set and is too large to be analyzable with traditional means, e.g., manual close readings or database queries. Developments in data management, cloud computing as well as analytics mean that humanists together with allied scholars can analyze and also visualize larger patterns in big data sets. With these opportunities come the challenges of scale and interpretation; people today have moved from the uncertainty that results from having too little data to the risk resulting from large amounts of data. Big data has the power to erode privacy as well as threaten freedom. At the same time, big data eliminates the problem of relying on numbers knowing that numbers are far more fallible than we ever think. Big data also allows for more surveillance of peoples lives since it makes most of the legal means of protecting privacy largely obsolete.

Big data is characterized by high dimension and a large sample size. These features are what raise the challenges of analyzing big data sets. The high dimensionality brings about spurious correlation, noise accumulation as well as incidental homogeneity. The two features combined also create issues like algorithmic instability and massive computational cost. These massive big data samples are typically aggregated from several sources at different time points when using different technologies. These challenges, therefore, create problems of experimental variations, heterogeneity as well as statistical biases. It also requires people to establish robust and adoptive procedures.

Visualization is merely the process of representation of aggregate data in a way that it could be understood as well as digested with relative ease. Visualization process according to the notes of Manovich involves translating our world into numbers after that visualizing the relationship between these numbers. Visualization has increasingly been used to be a tool in the humanities. Humanists have been utilizing visualization today. This is manifested in graphical means to explore as well as render information and data in new ways (John & Ruth, 2015). For example, if we wanted a way to view the frequency and flow of tweets in tweeter feeds for the shorter period then how would we go about to render this information in an efficient and comprehensive way.

Without the presence of visualization tools, this would have been very difficult. One can measure the number of followers notified over a given time of various tweets which can be illustrated by a traditional Cartesian graph, for example, however, this would not have taken into account the fact that not all tweets are similar and therefore, eliminating the inherent individuality in tweets. Representing tweets through visualization presents data in a more situated and nuanced way.

There are several ways in which user information is collected when using the internet. Ones internet search habits are received and recorded. This is generally for targeted advertisements. Some internet users get caught in filter bubbles. A users phones address book can also be collected and recorded. The government may also request for ones data and information. These are the most common possible ways in obtaining information from users when they are using the internet.

The internet today is easily accessible to almost anyone as long as one is technology survey. The internet can be a perilous place. People are always advised to know what they were getting into or what they are dealing with. Cyber criminals, predators, as well as corrupt businesses, always try to take advantage of an unwary visitor. The risk of us having our information compromised or other times used against us keeps increasing proportionally.

Strengthening internet security doesnt mean that risk is lowered to zero however it is possible to plus the significant gaps to reduce the possibility of broader issues happening. There are ways. Therefore, that will help in minimizing the risk of using the internet and protecting our information as well as keeping out privacy. The following are several ways to lessen internet risks; Changing ones social media settings: people posts photos on Facebook when they are out of town, and this will seem harmless not noticing that it is a big sign that the house and home are alone (John & Ruth, 2015). People are advised to change their privacy settings in that not everyone is allowed to see every post posted or post these photos after you return to the house.

Using a VPN is another internet security measure, this is Virtual private Network. This simply means protecting ones profile when the user is not online. Free Wi-Fi available in coffee shops, airports, hotels encourages many hackers to log into their fake networks and therefore to make it very easy to steal ones information. VPN services will keep one safe from these hackers.

Being aware of the risks of using cloud services is also another way of ensuring internet security. Cloud services have brought with it a lot of conveniences as they allow people to access or share data and information online from whatever place one is and not from just one computer. A good example is traditional Microsoft office vs. Google Docs. Convenience is obvious, but the risks are not obvious as even the most significant cloud providers can be hacked (Reiman, 2016). The simple rule is never to put data or information that you would mind being stolen. Reading the fine print is another security risk precaution when using the internet. Before signing up for online services, one must have scrolled past pages of legal disclaimers. These have relevant information about the company and how they will use the information you give them. One should make sure if the data you provide is not going to be accessible by third parties. If the terms of use and privacy are unacceptable to you, then you should not sign up.

Passwords are another way that information and data is accessed by third parties on the internet. Internet users should choose or create smart and secure passwords. One can also minimize internet risks by using different passwords for all online services or also changing ones passwords periodically for instance after every six months. Other ways that internet users can reduce the risk of losing information to third parties online are; using secure websites, bypassing phishing attacks and not ever forgetting anti-malware software.

Online companies like Google collect their users information for different reasons. This may be a great risk for people using the internet when we are not sure what the information is used for or what hands our information land too. For example, Google always knows what one is searching for, the websites one visits, the blog posts and news they read and so much more. Information is power. Collecting of users information is useful in that it is grouped in beneficial ways.

Collection of users information helps in examining and visualization of this information to know the trends as well as behaviors for cities and the entire world. Collected data from users can assist the users in making market decisions, refining products or even research. A good example is when a user discovers market trends early enough they can react to the market efficiently. Through this, a user can find out what people want what people out there are looking for and therefore make their decisions based on these discoveries. This is very useful especially in large companies such as Google. The same way collection of users information is risky to the users it is also very beneficial to both the users and the online service companies. People must only ensure that they follow the safety measures advised when using the internet to reduce the risks that come with it.



Reiman, J. H. (2016). Driving to the panopticon: A philosophical exploration of the risks to privacy posed by the highway technology of the future. Santa Clara Computer & High Tech

John W. S & Ruth Y. (2015). Big Data: A revolution that will transform how we live, work and think.


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