Americans Love Google: How to Muddy Your Tracks on Internet
Internet usage is a phenomenon that continues to grow in America. Most Americans love using Google as the engine for their internet functions. As Americans continue using Google, however, the security or privacy of their internet information is an issue that emerges strongly. Many internet users do not read the privacy policies of many internet service providers including Google. The truth is that Google lacks information privacy. Users of Google must understand that the internet company lacks appropriate policies that protect the secrets of the customers. The situation of lack of information privacy has dangerous implications on the information that the users of Google share on the internet. Other users of information can access ones confidential information. They can also use the information without the knowledge and permission of the publisher.
Information privacy is an issue that any internet user would like to achieve. Internet users would like to protect their confidential information so that other parties do not access the information. The main question for this research is: How can internet users protect their confidential information on the internet from other users? The question has a close relationship with social informatics, which studies the social implications of computerization of information. The internet is a platform whose basis is computerization of information. Privacy of the users information is an implication of the computerization process. As computerization of information occurs, other users would like to access such information without the permission of the owners. Under such circumstances, there is violation of the privacy of the publishers.
a) How does an internet user benefit by protecting his information on the internet?
b) Are there tools and strategies that can assist internet users to protect their information?
c) How are the tools and strategies reliable?
d) What implications does information protection bare on Google and other parties?
I will collect data for this study using questionnaires/ survey method. The method entails developing or constructing questions in an objective manner, and the respondent answers the questions to elicit data for a study. When structuring a questionnaire, a researcher aims at collecting different kinds of information from his respondents. A researcher, for example, may want to understand the demographics of the respondents in terms of age, gender, social class, among others. The first part of a questionnaire collects such details. The second part of a questionnaire gathers data on a studys problem. In the second part of a questionnaire, the focus of the researcher is to collect data that provides answers to the research questions. In the case of this study, the researcher shall structure questions that will elicit responses on the ways to protect internet information from other users access, which is the main question for this study. The researcher, however, shall also use the subordinate questions to collect more data. The subordinate questions on the questionnaire shall break the question into different components (subtopics).
The researcher shall use e-mail for distributing the questionnaires to the respondents. The researcher bases the selecting of e-mail as a distribution channel for the questionnaire on the fact that the respondents for this study are internet users. It is, therefore, easier to reach the respondents through e-mail than other channels. E-mail is also fast and cheap. It also has a global reach, meaning that the researcher can reach respondents from any part of the world.
Why I will use questionnaires for data collection
There are different reasons I chose questionnaires as the method for collecting data. To begin with, a researcher should select a method that is economical and time-saving. The respondents for a study can come from diverse locations, making data collection expensive. Questionnaires, however, are economical because the researcher can distribute them, using different channels. Respondents from distant locations can receive the questionnaires through e-mail. They will fill the instruments and return them to the researcher by e-mail. The e-mail provides a fast way of distributing and receiving the responses from respondents.
Questionnaires are also economical when the researcher can easily reach his respondents. Under such a situation, the researcher shall print the questionnaires on papers and distribute them physically to the respondents. Data collection shall also be fast. The respondents shall not require a lot of time to respond to the questions. The researcher shall also use self-administration method as a way of making data collection fast. Using self administration, the researcher shall ask the respondents the questions on the questionnaire and fill the responses.
Another advantage of using questionnaires is that the researcher can control the responses to get the right data. Structured questions shall help the researcher to achieve the objective of controlling the responses. The questions are specific and require particular responses. However, I will also use open-ended questions to collect data on the opinions of the respondents. Open-ended questions assist a researcher to determine the accuracy of the closed-ended (structured) questions.
Data analysis of the responses that I will collect using the questionnaire method shall be easy. It is easy to classify responses using questionnaires. I will count the number of responses for the questions. I will then classify the responses for analysis according to the questions, and this shows why it data analysis is easier when using questionnaires compared to other methods of data collection.
Questionnaires also enhance accuracy of responses. Comparing the method to interviewing or self-observation, the researcher has a bigger room for bias while using the latter methods. The researcher can easily manipulate the responses to suit his own interpretations. The other methods of data collection also enhance loss of data because they rely on the memory of the researcher.
Disadvantages of Questionnaire
There are different limitations of the questionnaire method, which can affect the accuracy of the findings for this study. There is need for a researcher to attempt to understand the problem properly before designing a questionnaire. The researcher should establish the existence of the problem so that he can formulate relevant questions. It is also important that one understands the relevance and application of the two categories of questions in a questionnaire. Knowing where to use open-ended questions and structured questions is important. One should also know the objectives that he can achieve using the two types of questions.
Questionnaires also depend on how the respondents interpret (understand) the questions. A researcher can make the respondents interpretation easy by using a simple language. Clarifying concepts and vocabulary that are difficult also helps respondents to understand questionnaires. I will avoid bias of interpretation when analyzing the data from the questionnaires. Sometimes, researchers interpret responses from questionnaires in their subjective ways. They usually aim at using their studies to suit their attitudes towards the problems.
Hypothesis: Google lacks information privacy and will easily access confidential information belonging to its users.
The focus of this study to establish the advantages (benefits) of internet users protecting their confidential information on the internet. Currently, there is lack of privacy of information, which is the main problem that internet users face. This study shall establish the tools and strategies that the users can apply in securing their internet information. The study shall also explain the reliability of the tools and strategies; and the implications of personal information protection on Google and other parties.
Sawyers common findings of social informatics shall assist me in exploring the hypothesis for my study. The first common finding states that the use of ICT causes multiple and paradoxical effects. Internet is one of the applications of ICT. Lack of information privacy in Google affects the users. Paradoxically, Google accesses the private customer information to assist the users with the information that they need. The users must, therefore, compare protecting their information and losing the information they need from Google, or getting little information.
Green, Emma. “Americans Love Google! Americans Hate Google!” The Atlantic Shop. March 9, 2012. Web. July 30, 2014. http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2012/03/americans-love-google-americans-hate-google/254253/
Green reports a survey that measures the attitudes of Americans towards Google. The survey finds that internet users do not understand the privacy policies of their internet providers, and despite the lack of internet privacy in Google, users love its internet and they continue using it. The survey shows that many internet users do not care about the privacy of their information.
This article considers Google to have broken its promise of enhancing internet security through its policy. Ingram states that the new policy that shall allow the company to share consumer information across its internet services is an evil way of violating consumer privacy. Ingram argues that Google deceives its users with better services through the policy, and that the policy allows it to serve its advertisers better than its customers.
“Internet Privacy: A benefit or a burden?” All Clear ID Alert Network.” January 6, 2012. Web. July 30, 2014. https://www.allclearid.com/blog/internet-privacy-a-benefit-or-a-burden
The article discuses lack of internet privacy. It states that the collection of internet users confidential details occurs without the users knowledge. On the contrary, the article also discusses the dangers of protecting users information. The article, for instance, states that information privacy slows progress. The article also discusses that internet privacy prevents beneficial future inventions.
Murphy, Kate. “How to Muddy your Tracks on the Internet.” The New York Times. May 2, 2012. Web. July 30, 2014.
Americans Love Google: How to Muddy Your Tracks on Internet