As of right now the idea of autonomy in the digital world sounds good but i believe it can not be achieved. I believe that privacy of ones information and image would be good but as Rosenberg stated it would take policy making on different sites and platforms. Until that becomes achievable a person should responsibly control their information and image that is put into the digital world. With the continued advancement and availability to so much information on the web actual privacy of ones information, pictures and lifestyle is something that will be open for everybody to see. The digital world is open for not only the government to retrieve information but your job/company and other random people to view and interpret.
The internet is a public place which is watched by the masses so i agree with Godin and Richardson that a person holds responsibility to protect their information and image. I feel things that a person finds sensitive and personal for their life should not be put online on things like social media and blogs because it is open for criticism and surveillance. A persons image is what they have and it could represent their company and brand. Some things such as feelings whether nice or not towards a person or thing should be carefully put on the internet because it can put a negative light to ones self or the company who you represent on a day to day bases.
Autonomy is something that should be protected because everyone has the right to keep what they want private. Unfortunately trying to be private in the current digital world is like trying to be private on a stage in front of a crowd. Hopefully in the future there will be policies put in place to allow people to express their selves and vent their personal problems and keep it private on some type of platform. Until that day i believe that responsibility and good decision making is the most important thing when diving into the digital world with your information, personal life and image.
Autonomy and Technology
Since the birth of our nation, personal freedoms have been imbedded in the collective conscience of our society. Our Founding Fathers championed the ideas of Locke, Voltaire, and Rousseau. Consequently, concepts such as popular sovereignty, freedom of speech, and the social contact are integral parts of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. The main issue our predecessors had with the British was the lack of autonomy. Autonomy as defined by the prompt is “the right to be free of interference from or domination by other private individuals.” Obviously, the colonist felt that the deficiency was worth going to war with their oppressors. As a result, the new nation set up protections so that the new government could not infringe upon the autonomy of its citizens. Thus, the United States would succeed where the British had failed. In the present day, personal autonomy is being threatened again; however, this time the threat is not the government. The challenge comes from an unexpected source: technology.
Technology allows individuals to be more interconnected than ever before. People are free to develop an online presence that is then used to interact with their friends and other likeminded individuals. When used positively, this allows the internet to become the fertile forum for ideas and innovation it was meant to be. Nevertheless, it is often used for more social purposes. Twitter and Instagram are used to share details about one’s personal affairs and recreational activities.
Recently, certain entities have begun to monitor the online presence of certain individuals. Employers are holding their employees accountable for the things they post on the internet. Whistleblowers have revealed that the government is monitoring the online activity of its citizens. College admissions counselors are looking at prospective student’s social media accounts. Anything posted on the internet is now fair game for whomever is interested. As a result, people are being forced to restrict their own autonomy.
Unlike the plight faced by the revolutionary Americans, the solution to this new attack on autonomy is not violence or legislation. I believe that social media should give users more privacy settings. Currently, there is just two options: private and public. No one classifies their social interactions into just two categories. All social media should adapt an interface similar to Google+. Individuals should be able to regulate who can see what. More personal details should only be viewed by trusted friends, while their basic information should be able to be viewed by potential employers. This solutions allows people to maintain an online presence without compromising both their autonomy and professional life.
I believe that those who put themselves online are almost giving away their right to autonomy. We agree to the terms and services without reading them. We enter our emails, home addresses, and phone numbers into sites on a weekly basis. When we do things like this, are we asking for it? Privacy is something to be valued, but times have changed. Nowadays, if someone wants to protect their autonomy or privacy, they have to make an effort. You have to avoid social media sites, sites like google or bing, avoid credit cards to prevent identity theft, etc. In this age, we cannot be truly autonomous in most areas of life. Are we asking for the government intrusion and interference that Rosen speaks about? To a certain extent, yes.
That being said, as humans, we have learned to profit of the exploitation of others. We might be putting ourselves out there, but that doesn’t necessarily give the big guys the right to take advantage. Facebook is becoming more lax on their privacy policies and more and more apps are being developed like linkedin and foursquare where people can check in at different places, basically leaving a trail of their locations. Google does not forget. Just like in Seth Godin's blog post "Personal Branding in the Age of Google", if you are looking for a job employers can simply google your same to find out everything about you. Unfortunately, this can end up in unemployment or worse for many who are irresponsible online.
In certain cases, I am thankful for the lack of privacy and autonomy. I think that a lot of good can come from government involvement in our daily lives. In a way, it protects us. I am not trying to sound big brother-y, but there are definite pros to their involvement. If we didn't have outside sources there, I can't image what would happen. So many people are incarcerated from evidence found online and that protects us. The government is allowed to trace calls from bomb threats or 911 calls to capture the guilty and save the innocent. Could things like these have been done without government interference? I do not think so.
Do we ever truly have privacy online? As technology advances, we must learn to adapt to these changes. Privacy begins to diminish with these advancements. Every picture or blog posted becomes a "footprint" which will follow us for years to come. Although we may change and grow as individuals, images and words linked to our online identity can be detrimental to our future. Future bosses have the ability to make judgment from these actions that could affect a potential job opportunity. As a society, we must learn to educate ourselves in order to have a more positive outcome. It is important to teach students how to properly use technological advancements to enhance networking abilities and connections. Knowing how to "Google well" is the key to protecting our privacy. The more aware of what we post on the web, the less we need to be private. I believe it is our personal responsibility to protect our identity by expanding our knowledge of privacy issues and controlling what we allow on the web. If we allow the government to sensor our "footprints", we will essentially give up constitutional rights (freedom of speech).
Autonomy is something special that we as humans hold dear to us. The ability to freely do as a you wish is something that all people believe in, within reason of course, but as we come into the age of Social Media we find that our autonomy is slowly deteriorating and here's why.
Privacy is becoming a thing of the past. Anything that is put on the internet is open for any ones eyes to see because the internet is a public domain. Our lives are shared amongst our friends but in truth its shared with everyone. Went shopping with your friends then got a burger and decided to capture the fun with a quick picture for all your friends to see? Not anymore, and it gets worse when privacy is lost between your professional and personal life. A fun night out on the town with your friends bar hopping and a picture of you blacked out can now turn into a nightmare. We are slowly losing our freedom to do things in private and I believe that is a HUGE problem that we have the responsibility to protect.
We as humans have the responsibility to challenge these invasions of privacy and reclaim our autonomy. In Rosen's, "The Deciders", he talks about a case in which GPS tracking devices should be used to tail criminals for surveillance. The case made it to the Supreme Court but could not be decided if GPS tracking was a violation of Constitutional rights because we have no expectations of privacy in our public movements. However in 2010, Judge Douglas Ginsburg of the U.S. Court of Appeals disagreed with that on the grounds that "No reasonable person expects that his movements will be continuously monitored from door to door; all of us have a reasonable expectation of privacy in the “whole” of our movements in public". I believe this same principle applies to the privacy on the internet in which we all believe to have a reasonable expectation of privacy. Taking to the courts is one possible way of provoking change just as the GPS problem was solved but online we can this is much easier ways like writing a blog, posting a video to spread awareness, and the biggest way to stop the invasion of privacy, stop posting everything that you don't want everyone to know about. Protect your autonomy because it truly is something that makes us human. We learn and grown around the idea that freedom is a God given right that should be provided to us all, but at the end of the day it becomes the users responsibility to protect him or herself.
Technology acts a an enabler and a harm to autonomy. It is also not the only source of this issue. Google tracks your search history to aim advertisements at you to best get your money. On the flip side blog sites like reddit or imgur allow you to post your opinions anonymously to allow you not to worry about the opinions of others. Which brings me to the other culprit society's norms.
Technology definitely harms our autonomy at some points. Websites like Facebook and Google track your usage data. This allows them to pick and choose advertisements in order to increase the likelihood that you buy the advertised product. Cameras have also been placed everywhere and allowed government agencies to watch everything we do. Only recently in Atlanta street cameras at red lights were taken down due to the infringement on personal privacy.
Technology can aid our autonomy however. The internet acts as a wonderful anonymous medium. Blog sites allow users to post content without having to attach their name to their opinions. Reddit enforces a rule that its users aren't allowed to display information that would reveal who they are. Whether or not this anonymity is a good thing in a General sense is uo to debate, but it definitely protects privacy. Technology also allows people with disenting opinions to voice them more than ever. In just 2011 the government added a portion of their website which allows people to submit e petitions to their lawmakers. This makes it much easier to voice discontent with the current system.
Finally technology isn't the only culprit in the case of autonomy removal. Society is one of the main contributors. Social media sites have been said to harm autonomy for individuals. It is said that people in certain businesses need to watch what they say for fear of being fired from their job. This isn't a product of the technology but rather a product of society. If society didn't asociate the opinions of someone with their personal worth then the things posted on social media wouldn't be a problem. There would be no need to censor yourself without the opinions of others.
At the end of the day your autonomy is yours to decide what to do with. It can be increased or decreased depending on how you use technology. It is a decision that you have to make as an individual and not something that is made for you.
The first blog prompt asked you to think about technology may be affecting our definition of literacy and rates of literacy in the US. In the second blog prompt, you were asked to consider how social media in particular are affecting workplace situations and the relationship between our public/professional and personal lives. Both of these prompts deal, although in somewhat different ways, with a concept that is also central to Rosen's argument in "The Deciders," that is the extent to which the exercise of personal autonomy is helped or hindered by digital technology.
"Autonomy" as Rosen describes it involves the right to operate without fear of government intrusion into our private lives, and to be free of government interference in our thoughts, expression, and religious belief. "Autonomy" can also, much more broadly, mean the right to be free of interference from or domination by other private individuals. The prompt about digital literacy suggests that one's autonomy may be increasingly tied to one's ability to understand and use certain digital technologies. The prompt about social media in the workplace questions whether employer limitations on employees' use of social media constitute an unreasonable interference with their personal autonomy. This prompt asks you to consider whether our interactions online enhance or diminish our autonomy, by either expanding or limiting our opportunities to learn from our mistakes, move past traumatic events, make friends, express ourselves freely, effect social and political change, etc. Continue reading Blog Post #3: Being Online