Privacy laws are getting pretty stringent and far-reaching in the European Union. In the United States, however, the debate is fueled by the fact that privacy laws often conflict with U.S. Constitutional protections of free speech. In 1995, the European Union signed into law the ‘European Data Protection Directive. It has since been revised to include a concept that was not adopted originally that has come to be known as the ‘right to be forgotten.’ This concept was conceived from the notion that individuals have a right to determine the development of their lives in an ‘autonomous way,’ without being perpetually stigmatized by things they did in the past. In the law, the EU gives individuals power to have erased from the internet information previously published on the web. In a response to this law, Governor Jerry Brown of California signed into law Senate Bill 568, which requires websites to provide to minors an online ‘erase button,’ giving them the ability to remove their own web posts.
The best way to increase your safety online is by being informed. By knowing what you are doing when you are online and being careful, many issues can be avoided altogether. If you are worried about someone collecting details about you online, here is some information so that you can work on making your whole internet experience safer and more private.
Privacy Settings on Social Networking Sites
One of the first things you can do is log on to all of your social networking sites and change all the settings to private. Just about every site, including Facebook, has options to customize your privacy setting. Do all you can to make your profile and sharing abilities as private as possible. This will limit the people that are able to see your information to those that are already your friends. Another good idea is to block some applications that try to access your information.
The Internet works great when it comes to collecting information and putting the information into our command. The privacy that was once known in America is long gone, taken away by various different websites. Surprisingly, the biggest collector of information is Google. With so many services offered by Google, they are able to collect a large amount of data on users. Here is a taste of what Google knows about you and how they got the information.
Data Collection Services
Google collects information through its many services. Gmail sends what information it can find to Google for safe keeping. They even index and analyze the e-mails that you throw away. Why it collects this information is to serve as the relevant ads that Google presents you with. Google also collects information about what you buy, where you buy it, how much of it you buy, and how you pay for it. Google explains that this data is for the analytics and demographics data that can be derived from the material.