How has the privacy changed on the Internet

Privacy in the digital age

Private details have not only been discussed in public since the introduction of Web 2.0 (social web). In the past, however, access to the public was only possible through media institutions such as publishers, television stations or radio stations. Everyone can now participate in Web 2.0 and reach an audience of millions.

The framework conditions for privacy have changed dramatically: never before has the potential availability of private information been greater, since the prerequisite for participation in the social web is the disclosure of personal data.

The Privacy Paradox - The discrepancy between knowledge and action in data protection

This describes the phenomenon that users generally consider the protection of their privacy to be important, but do not necessarily transfer this to their actions. A current study on data protection behavior when using apps shows: “Despite the clear security awareness, there is still a clear discrepancy to the actual user behavior when it comes to popular social apps such as Facebook or WhatsApp. Because with 51%, according to an online survey by mediaTest digital from 2013, more than half of the respondents are not willing to do without these apps despite concerns about data protection. “Even with search engines, very few change their habits: In Germany more use than 90% Google, despite recurring criticism of the company's privacy practices. Alternative search engines, on the other hand, are hardly known.

There are several possible explanations for this paradoxical behavior: For example, a lack of knowledge about existing protection techniques or problems in dealing with them could be the cause. Or the exact opposite: A digitally socialized generation believes that “they have control over their digital self-portrayal. So that you can control the complex overall picture that you put together digitally like a mosaic. ”An essential motif could also be the strong familiarization with the convenience of digital services and devices, which can even lead to dependency. Perhaps there is also a fundamental lack of awareness of the consequences of digital data disclosure because the problems are too complex to make them understandable to a wider public?

I have nothing to hide! - A fallacy with consequences

The argument that you have nothing to hide and therefore nothing to fear is very popular. But that is a mistake. It can harm anyone if certain private information - such as B. about a serious illness - become public. It is often overlooked or forgotten “that data do not convey a fixed, objective and always correct picture, but are processed, linked and used and always result in new information.

The image that others gain of a person can look very different from the image that the person concerned considers correct (see “Digital Double”). In addition, many may be too little aware that they can also be targeted by the security authorities innocently. They believe that surveillance measures only affect others, such as terrorists. "