Online privacy concerns have been gaining increasing attention over the past decade. Despite the fact that individuals had many privacy concerns even before the world wide web emerged, it seems their worries have substantially increased ever since. Importantly, the hype seems to be justified, as getting our identity stolen over the internet is much more likely and common, than it was in the old times, as there are around 3.5 billion users who prey on you online today, which is quite a substantial number in comparison to the few thousand people who you came across during a lifetime before occurrence of Internet.
Interestingly enough, even though the privacy concerns are discussed a lot in the media, the number of complaints on breaching peoples’ privacy online remains low. A few reasons for this trend might be the privacy policies which companies already have in place, collection of information without analysing them, meaning that the privacy breaches remain hidden and also the consumer related unawareness of the privacy legislation and their rights. Despite the recent proliferation of big data, many companies also don’t know how to utilize the vast amount of information they accumulate, however, with improvement of new web based technologies and increased familiarity with the science behind big data, it is assumed that companies are going to catch up and start using all the data, they have saved on their servers. One of the concerns here is that hackers might access such stored information even before companies figure out how to use them and if hackers go through all the trouble of accessing the information, they probably also know how to use it.
One of the consequences of online privacy breach can be identity theft. If you want to learn more about it or on how to protect yourself from it, read our “Identity Theft” article and make your presence online more secure.