One of the most popular topics on the Internet is Hidden Cameras. Many people are concerned about the invasion of privacy caused by the increasing number of surveillance cameras that are almost everyywhere you look. These video cameras capture us as we move around in public places or drive our automobiles along the public roads.
Surprisingly people do not seem to be aware that, in a sense, there are even more hidden cameras on the Internet. Indeed you might even see the whole Internet as one huge video camera capturing the activities of its users. Every file or image you request is indelibly recorded in records that are always available for scrutiny to those with access. If you’re walking around you leave footprints. Sometimes they’re tough to see and usually they’ll get obliterated by others who pass that way. Not so with the footprints that you leave as you journey on the Internet. They will persist with the same clarity as the moment you left them there.
That’s why it’s not difficult to agree with the US judge who, according to the BBC, is inclined to order internet giant Google to turn over some data sought by the US government. The US Justice Department had called for Google to hand over a week’s worth of search records. The Justice Department says it needs access to Google search records to help prevent access to online pornography. Judge James Ware told a hearing in California that he would weigh the government’s need to gather data against the privacy of Google users. Interestingly, Google has made its primary argument that complying with the request would compromise its business. MSN and Yahoo! who would seem to have less to lose have already complied with the DOJ’s request.
The Internet is a public place. You have free access to be there and to use it. Surely your comings and goings there should not have any greater privacy rights than your comings and goings as recorded on that video camera in the shopping mall. In both cases, you should be aware of the situation and govern your actions accordingly.