The Illusion of Privacy on the Web


Nobody expects privacy in a public place. Consequently I find it quite strange to talk about privacy on the Internet in general and the web in particular. The web page you're reading at the moment is pretty innocuous but your every move on this page is still tracked by Hetzner, Automattic (WordPress), Google, Zemanta, Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. These brands have at least high stakes in keeping your trust. But if you venture to less respectable parts of the web (e.g. porn, gambling, torrents, et c.) much more malign organizations will be collecting data about you. Just like if you venture to some dark alley in the middle of the night, you can expect some dubious characters to take interests into you. In my opinion the solution to the issue of privacy on the web is not to make web private (that's just impossible) but to make people aware that they are being in limelight even though they are watching porn in the privacy of their sleeping room. Therefore I'd recommend to the regulators to aim their regulatory power into breaking the illusion of privacy on the web and not try to force their outdated thinking into new environments. For example, they could enforce web browsers that would give clear information to readers who all is eavesdropping on their web surfing. I'm certain that such information would have much more profound effect on well-being of citizens than any stupid regulative on cookies could ever have. And once we have public understanding the amount of information being collected by Internet companies and governments, we might even have a chance to address the real issue of web privacy, which is massive in-depth collection of user profiles and consequential discrimination and targeting of unaware people.

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