Topic 4: They are watching you


(Image Credits: The verge )

Privacy is a fundamental human right recognised in the UN Declaration of Human Rights”. In a report presented by GLOBAL INTERNET LIBERTY CAMPAIGN they highlight that with the improvements in information technology it demands for changes in constitutions in regards to privacy.  Increasing of export of the new technologies to developing countries also increase the chances of exploitation of one’s information.


(Infographic about threats to privacy by Zaidhan)

(Mark Zukerberg quote (4:30), Example for Surveillance and emailing passwords (5:00) )

Social media opened a lot of opportunities for marketers to analyse  predict trends. Is it a good thing? Yes. It helps cater to customer needs. Is it ethical? In some cases no. In a TED talk given by Glenn Greenwald he provides a perfect example. Imagine a scenario where someone provides you their email address and asks you to email all your passwords to them so they can “Just go through what you are up to” how would you feel? Now what if a big social media platform Is already doing this without your knowledge. Online platforms such as Facebook, Google, and messaging apps are collecting data about you and your preferences offering this to other companies for a price. Which means from everything you share and talk about in private messages is accessible to anyone who is willing to pay for it.To show how easy it is access this information I did a simple Google  search. screen-shot-2016-11-11-at-2-35-52-pm

Here is how to create a CRM system based on leads via Facebook :


(Demonstrates how easy it is to gain access to user information by Zaidhan)

In a research done by amnesty international they were able to find out how prone private messages sent are to surveillance .


(Infograph by Amnesty International)

“Chat logs can provide information of potential value to companies and governments, even though the one-on-one or many-to-many conversation is supposed to be private and inaccessible” (Valerie Belair-Gagnon, Colin Agur, and Nicholas Frisch, Columbia journalism review). If end to end encryption is not provided it means whatever we talk about is prone for hacks and can be “harvested” for profits.

The major discoveries from the leaks by Edward Snowden is PRISM, a NSA programme that allows access for the American government of private user information on major online platforms. These facts brings us back to more questions in regards to privacy. Is anything that we share actually private? In an interview CEO Mark Zuckerberg stated that “Privacy is no longer a social norm”.

Although majority of people are comfortable with sharing personal information now , in the future as technology develops this might become an increasing concern. This can be backed with the information provided in the Information provided by IFLA trend report .

Interesting Read:


(Channel News Asia,Snapchat skype among apps that fail to protect user privacy):

(How Foreign Correspondents Use Chat Apps to Cover Political Unrest,(Valerie Belair-Gagnon, Colin Agur, and Nicholas Frisch, Columbia journalism review) :

(Skype, WeChat, Snapchat Thrashed By Amnesty Intl For Lack of Basic Privacy Protection, Joseph Young ):

(David Banisar,Simon Davies for GLOBAL INTERNET LIBERTY CAMPAIGN):

(IFLA Trend Report Expert Meeting)


10 thoughts on “Topic 4: They are watching you

  1. Hi Zaidhan,

    Your post was an interesting read as the issue of privacy in social media strongly relates to us. It’s scary knowing that organisations are sifting through our personal information without acknowledgement. With the degeneration of privacy, many unfavourable implications arise from the widespread use of social media, such as information theft, cyber-attacks, and cyberbullying as I’ve discussed in my post.

    While many would argue that the infringement of privacy – especially in the context of PRISM – is unethical, I would like to argue that currently, this is a necessary evil. With organised crime and terrorism keeping up with technology, it is for our own good that information online is being monitored holistically by security agencies. As pointed out by Glenn Greenwald in his TED talk, those with nothing to hide shouldn’t fear their information being monitored by the government. However, the compromise of privacy for safety lies on a thin line; to what extent is compromising privacy for security justifiable?

    Related article:


    1. Hi Shafiq, As Glenn Greenwald mentioned the comment made by the CEO of google it is abundantly clear that everyone has things that they keep personal (Be it a personal phone call or a text or a photo) that they do not want people to find out mainly because it was done within their private space, imagine if someone asks you to give them access to all your personal accounts wouldn’t you feel violated?

      I do not believe that any company or government should have access to user information unless and until it is evident that they are taking part in illegal criminal activities. Any government body or investigational body should and can be allowed into a persons intellectual and personal property with a court warrant (which is the cases in majority of the countries in the world.) As I’ve mentioned before privacy is classified as a basic human right, therefore a basic human right cannot be violated without clear reasoning.

      As the article mentioned in the interesting reads also talks about the discrimination amongst people in according to their online activity based on data collected through surveillance it is important for us to be clear of the harmful effects of surveillance

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Zaidhan, I enjoyed your post as it is clear and concise and focuses on how social media has provided more information related to our everyday surfing behavior. May I ask on your stand, whether you think this information collected is ethical? Do you think it is possible to still have our privacy while at the same time have our social media accounts?

    I would also like to question on your conclusion on, “… in the future as it technology develops this might become an increasing concern.” Can I know your opinion regarding future technology, such as biochips implanted in the human body. You can find more information from this link: . Do you think such implementation is a bridge in our privacy?


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