As of today, technology advancement is at its peak. People nowadays were so indulged on social media, it is now a part of their everyday lives. Filipinos are one of the most active users of social media. Because of this, the culture of surveillance takes place. The perceptions and expectations of privacy are rapidly changing as a result of current developments in surveillance technologies. It affects the private lives of many – social media users or the general public. The people give too much information on social media and they over use it. Therefore, it leads to their loss of freedom or invasion of privacy. To lessen the culture of surveillance, one should prevent the use of social media frequently because it can be the source of the government’s manipulation and can influence a person’s choice for their personal benefits.
According to Webster’s dictionary, “Surveillance is the act of carefully watching someone or something especially in order to prevent or detect a crime”. Surveillance on anyone is not difficult to apply anymore, the government will not have a hard time doing it. If this power is put into the hands of one person or one governing body, citizens are vulnerable to having their rights to privacy violated. Citizens may be concerned that they are constantly being watched, even in situations where they are not committing crimes. If the power of surveillance gets in the wrong hands, there is a possibility that the information may be used in crimes. This leads to square one, surveillance to prevent crime has actually caused it. For example, a rich social media user constantly uploads or posts picture or status about where he is, the tendency is the syndicates can use this information to track that person down and rob him. In order for these problems to decrease, one must reduce the use of social media. Citizens should lessen the use of social media by only using it twice or thrice a week and limiting the social media sites to only those most relevant to one’s work and personal life. The only thing is, everyone is dependent on social media so not all people can lessen their use on it. An online application can help a person limit his or her usage of social media, the Offtime. This application is for android and iOS (Apple’s Operating System) smartphone users. It helps users limit their selves by blocking distracting apps like Facebook and games and filtering communications. It includes information on how much they actually use their smartphones. They can choose tailored modes like Work, Family, or Me Time to ensure that they have access to the things they need, but are not distracted by what they do not. Analytics of the phone and app usage can be an important wake-up call, and can help people curb their habits. A person should also be critical on giving information about himself. Do not easily trust a person or an authority when they ask personal things, it can be their benefit to know a person’s weakness. The citizens should have private profiles on their social media accounts to prevent open information. But in some cases, there are people who does not really care if they are being asked some personal questions and some cannot identify if it already intrudes their privacy. A genius law professor made a device called the Freedom Box that lets people shield their online information from companies and the government. These technology-based solutions offer the promise of letting people use the internet without the creepiness factor. For now, though, they are likely to remain the preserve of technological high priests – average citizen who are puzzled by ‘internet cookies’ would likely blanche if asked to run their own server. These technology-based privacy solutions may be the future but they are for now a long way off.
Technology can do many things. Through its advancements, the culture of surveillance can be easily done. The authorities can use this to their benefits, either so stop crime or start crime. It affects a person’s private life if he gives too much information personally and through online. Therefore, citizens must prevent overusing social media and avoid trusting people easily about our information.
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