As many of us can remember, the internet used to be full of pop-ups and spam when the internet what still transitioning into a mass medium of communication and information. Now with pop-up blockers and spam filters, this problem has been somewhat stopped, but not eradicated in any aspect. I decided to do a little research as to the steps being taken to prevent spam and pop-ups and found this article.
As those who use/d Myspace can probably recall, the site has had many issues with spam. There were often problems with hackers getting in to people’s profiles, and sending posts to a user’s friends that would often contain advertisements. More recently, Sam “Spamford” Wallace was fined 711 million dollars for breaking into Facebook user’s profiles and spreading spam to their online friends. Sam Wallace is now bankrupt and facing other charges.
I found this article to be interesting because it shows the how one aspect of the internet is being dealt with specifically. It is important to realize that these spammers send out millions upon millions of spam emails, etc. every day and the government is doing something to control it. In the example of Sam Wallace, does the punishment fit the crime?
In the past year, a couple in Korea was arrested for child abuse and neglect after repeatedly underfeeding their baby. The New York Post reports that the reason the child was neglected was that the parents were too busy taking care of their virtual child. The couple was living virtually on a site called PRIUS, (similar to Second Life) and spent up to 12 hours a day on the site. The article then ends with a similar event that states, “A 28-year-old man dropped dead recently after playing his favorite game Starcraft for 50 hours nonstop without eating or drinking.”
This causes me to question, is it possible that these kinds of games can actually be dangerous to our health because they have the possibility to remove us so far from reality that we can forget to do even the most basic things for our bodies such as eat and drink? Obviously these are two extreme examples, but is it healthy to be this detached from reality, where the life that is more important to a person is not physically real?
This article on CNET deals with controversy in London that arose almost a year ago that stemmed from a suspicious wife checking on her husband via Google Street View. The wife had a hunch about whom her husband might be sleeping with, so she looked up her address and found her husband’s car parked in front of the flat. The wife eventually divorced her husband after catching him with the site. As Europe begins to deal with new litigation dealing with privacy issues on Google Street View, can this be seen as an example of invasion of privacy, or simply bad luck? It is also important to consider that Google Street View does not show live footage, so the fact that she caught her husband using the site seems to be good luck more than anything.
All you need is a full name and city or zip code to learn an abundance of information about a person on 123people.com. The website has a simple layout, because its one purpose is to divulge into public records and social media sites to find out as much information about a person as it allows. The site covers online photos, email addresses, phone numbers, public records, weblinks, social network profiles, blogs, videos, news, documents, and even criminal records. The site even covers what items you have on your Amazon wish list.
Should this information be so easily accessible? All it took as several seconds to be able to access a large amount of information about anybody in the world. Although there are often several matches for any one person in a specific city, the information is still available if the 123people user is willing to sort through it. Sensitive information is there for the public to easily view and their privacy becomes compromised. As I have only personally known a few people that have heard of the site, it doesn’t seem to be a huge issue as of yet, but with sensitive information such as a criminal record so easily available, is it not possible that this could soon become a bigger issue?