It’s the era of the internet in which many people resign to give up their privacy to corporations and the government so that they can go to their favorite websites or use the internet as a resource for learning. In 2018, Congress voted to allow internet service providers to collect and sell customers’ browsing data, making the internet one of the least private places in the world.

Cybersecurity expert Bruce Schneier recently spoke with the Gazette about government and corporate surveillance and what internet users can do to protect their privacy.

Government Surveillance:

The government has made little strides to protect citizens’ privacy, so they basically have the right to monitor your online activity however and whenever they want.

Corporate Surveillance:

Everyone is under constant surveillance by corporations. Take Facebook for instance: Cell Phone providers collect data from Facebook and social media networks, which is then compiled, analyzed, and used by corporations to sell people products and services.

Is Corporate Surveillance Wrong?

This question can only be answered by the individual. In the 1970s, Congress did pass a law to make a particular form of subliminal advertising illegal as they believed it was a form of personalized manipulation. However, today there are many different forms of advertising, including those which personal data to create “personal” ads just for the consumer. If, under the law, Congress decides that this form of advertising is deceptive and unfair, it can then be prohibited by the Federal Trade Commission.

Europe Privacy Regulations vs United States

Americans are more eager to trust corporations over their own government, while the opposite is true for Europe so America has less-strict privacy regulations. Because of this, there are more controls over government surveillance.

How do US citizens really feel about privacy?

While US customers are resigned to giving up their privacy in exchange for using search engines and social media networks for free, they are actually concerned about their privacy but feel powerless. Having items like credit cards, cellphones, even email addresses and social media accounts is necessary in today’s world, so consumers can’t give up these necessities in order to protect their privacy.

Should We Fear the Internet?

Google knows a lot about you. Because users feel more anonymous online than in real life, people ask Google anything and everything. While Google may know a whole lot about you, other things like Facebook and even your phone company know almost the exact same amount of information. There are huge amounts of data on every single person and every corporation wants to monetize that data, so it’s important to be proactive when it comes to your cybersecurity.

How can you protect your privacy online?

While every security firm has a few tips to help you protect your privacy online, the biggest recommendation Schneier makes is to get involved in politics. Legislators have the ability to change the rules, so by getting involved in politics you can show the government what really matters.

You may think that rebelling by not carrying a credit card or choosing to not have an email may be enough to protect you, but there are numerous ways for your data to get to corporations, and many of them are unavoidable in this data-driven, internet-centric, society.

The only way to get control of your own privacy and protect yourself from the control of corporations is through the government.

Are You Vulnerable?

The World Protection Group conducts Risk Vulnerability Assessments to assess the level of cybersecurity, looks at your online exposure, and gathers protective intelligence. As celebrities and high-net worth individuals are always in the public eye, they need to protect their online privacy from those who would use that information to do them harm. For more information, please visit: &

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