When people here about data mining, a lot happens. People are very passionate about whether or not they are losing their privacy since it means that they will become vulnerable to identity theft as well as being tracked. However, for some people it weighs out and is worthwhile. For instance, I know many people who feel as though they would hate to be followed online or tracked, but do use a credit card since it is more convenient. There are ethical questions to consider when it comes to identity theft since so many companies are being shown how vulnerable that they are when they are hacked. Another factor is how people feel that since companies are using different ways to track information, it means that they will be sold to more and monitored. A lot of people have a problem with that since they don’t know where the information is going.
While I do think that in times of national security issues or threats to the nation as a whole, I do think it is important. However, since September 11th there has been a constant theory that everything is justified. People have now gone to the other side of starting out willing to share information after the tragedy that occurred to now being upset that their privacy is being tracked.
I think there are some benefits and some things that need to be considered. While it is important for national security to have access, when the government has lost the trust of the people they serve, it is a huge problem. People need to have confidence that their country is trying to help them and not abuse their power and unfortunately I do not think that at this time the majority of United States citizens feel that data mining is done in their best interest.
When it comes to companies data mining, I think there should be an opt in option. People should have the right to give information or not to. For instance, when I would fill out surveys and forms online and in person and it asked for race information, I always circled “other” and wrote human. However, online I can’t hide that information. It is known who I am and what my race is, even though I may not want to share that information. I think there is always the chance for identification since any electronic device that someone is using can be tracked by an IP address. In the end, I think nothing is safe and everything is being tracked, but I am used to the idea since it is what is coming and will only get worse as technology advances.