Once you have entered your personal information onto a website, is that information really ever private again? The world wide web is such a large space and there are so many skilled hackers out there, how can we ever really be certain? Sure, some websites such as shopping sites or social networking sites provide their users with privacy policies, but those policies could potentially be violated.
Facebook, for example, is currently the most popular social networking site with thousands of users on it at every second of every day across the entire world. This means thousands of people’s personal information is in their database, just waiting to be hacked or used for some other purpose than Facebook clarified in their privacy policies.
In 2010, Facebook faced several privacy issues with their software. According to the New York Times, “some [Facebook] applications had been improperly sharing the data with advertisers and Web tracking companies.”  Evidently, this is a violation of users’ privacy.
Similarly, this past August, Facebook was accused of “’illegally compiling a vast photo database of users without their consent’” by German data protection officials.  The officials are referring to Facebook’s new facial recognition software, which is intended to ease the task of “tagging” friends in photos. Again, Facebook faces a violation of users’ privacy.
A “morally transparent” situation is exemplified in these Facebook privacy breaches “because the practice is known and it is roughly understood what moral values are at stake in relation to it” (Brey pg. 51).  Facebook’s violations of privacy are evidently understood by its users that they are morally unethical. So, if we know that “morally transparent” situations exist, why do we continue to provide our personal information on the internet?
The internet is not something concrete and 100% safe like the bank; there are security breaches, viruses, and cookies that invade people’s privacy every day. Such privacy invasions can happen in spam email or on the largest social networking site in the world. Yet, everyday, we sign up for a new online dating site or magazine subscription. Everyday we take the risk that our information will remain safe, but we really do not know if it will. So, we really cannot ever be sure our information is safe on the internet, can we?
Brey, P. (2009). ‘Values in Technology and Disclosive Computer Ethics,’ The Cambridge Handbook of Information and Computer Ethics, Ed. L. Floridi, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.