The Other Side of a Non-Bureaucratic Internet
// Posted by Sarah on 01/28/2014 (1:10 PM)
A common thread throughout “From Counterculture to Cyberculture” is the idea of technology and the Internet creating a world in which bureaucracy can be overthrown and social order is based on the users. While the upsides of this are clear—the ability to communicate with people across the world through different chat rooms with no restrictions, an endless supply of information at your disposal at all times and even more, there are also other aspects we should consider.
With this idea of social order being based on us users we can look at the different implications this has had. Nowadays as we surf the web—shopping, researching different topics, reading articles, whatever it is we do, we have cookies tracing our every move. What we do on the Internet is being watched by someone, somewhere and often being used for others’ advantage. Any website you access having your information and the ability to capitalize on it can be a scary thought to many of us but should something be done?
There is a dilemma created here because of our view of the Internet as a free market. Advertisers and cookie users alike defend themselves by claiming that putting restrictions on such behavior on the web would eliminate this monumental idea of the bureaucracy-free Internet. The Internet is said to be a place of self-regulation, a place always expanding where regulations would be minimally helpful in a world dominated by hackers and technological geniuses.
The real debate here is whether we are willing to let these companies capitalize on our habits and interests. It seems harmless to a lot of us, these companies are just using this to tailor to our interests. So what if an ad for a retail store trying to sell me dresses pops up right after I was previously looking for exactly that? Honestly, it’s convenient a lot of the time. I personally don’t see much harm in the process but this whole lack of security may be troubling to others.
With this problem and more and more store’s records being hacked for credit card and identity information the Internet seems to becoming less safe by the day. So while this social order encompassing all users and lacking effective regulation may not provide for the ideal Internet as describe by so many of the New Communalists and progressive technological thinkers.
You can read more about the debate of advertisement tracking here: