Are You Being Secretly Watched?

Monica+Cortez+puts+on+a+brave+face+after+her+frightful+experience.+Big+tech+corporations+like+Google+are+working+on+securing+their+safety+measures+in+order+to+improve+the+experience+of+users+like+Monica+Cortez.
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Are You Being Secretly Watched?

Monica Cortez puts on a brave face after her frightful experience. Big tech corporations like Google are working on securing their safety measures in order to improve the experience of users like Monica Cortez.

Monica Cortez puts on a brave face after her frightful experience. Big tech corporations like Google are working on securing their safety measures in order to improve the experience of users like Monica Cortez.

Joanna Lee

Monica Cortez puts on a brave face after her frightful experience. Big tech corporations like Google are working on securing their safety measures in order to improve the experience of users like Monica Cortez.

Joanna Lee

Joanna Lee

Monica Cortez puts on a brave face after her frightful experience. Big tech corporations like Google are working on securing their safety measures in order to improve the experience of users like Monica Cortez.

Joanna Lee, Section Editor

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With the recent news regarding Amazon and Google’s questionable crowdsourcing tactics, internet users are left anxious about where their private information is stored and what is done with it. As almost every UP student has access to the internet, whether it is at school or at home, internet privacy has become a growing issue.

Remember that one time you asked Siri if macaroni and cheese could be cooked in the microwave? Or when you tried to look up Obama’s last name on Google? All of that information is collected and stored in a private database.

Though companies may claim that they use this data to improve your user experience, it is unclear what lengths they are willing to take in order to get their hands on your information and sell it to the highest bidder. Can you truly trust these big name corporations with your data?

Although junior Hillary Huynh spends a majority of her free time browsing the internet on her phone and computer, she is especially cautious about her digital footprint. “I’m a very superstitious person. I often hold my phone at certain angles so that I won’t be in the direct view of the camera.” Huynh is only one of many students at UP who fear that not only is their personal data at risk but their safety, as well. “I’ve heard others say that if your camera hears you talk about a certain item, you might receive ads relating to that product even if you’ve never actually searched it up,” Huynh added in the wake of this serious issue.

Many students at UP express their concern regarding this subject, often with similar experiences. “It was 12 am on a Saturday night,” junior Monica Cortez recalled. Cortez was simply tidying up her room when she heard an unmistakable noise. “All of a sudden, I heard a sneeze coming from the direction of my phone.” Fearing that someone was watching her on the other end, Cortez took matters into her own hands. “To this day, I always make sure the webcam on my computer is completely covered using tape.”

As long as your device has wireless capabilities, your information could potentially be recorded and shared without your knowledge. What measures are you willing to take to ensure the protection and security of your private information?