Privacy in computer science

Privacy is a relatively hot topic nowadays as AI and other technologies increase in popularity. In today’s society, almost everyone has a smartphone that is capable of taking pictures and going on the internet. People are afraid that one day, all their personal documents and pictures get published to the public. They are also afraid that companies such as Snapshat or Facebook reveal that all the pictures were not as private as they told they were, in other words that the pictures were available for everyone.

There are 3 places where private pictures can be located. The first place is on a hard drive form a laptop or from a phone. When your pictures are located on your local drive, there is no risk that they get published online as no one has access to your computer. Viruses should not be able to hack into your computer to get access to them but that is not something you can control.

The second place is on the internet. If your pictures are online, they are dramatically vulnerable. Even though you post your picture only for your friends, everyone can have access to it. Information gets spread out so easily, when The New York Times posts a new article online, after few hours thousands of people have already read it. So, think twice when publishing a picture of yourself or even of other people. Some people regret posting pictures online after a while because they can be offensive at this time, but deleting them will not solve the problem. People save your pictures on their computer because they know that you will regret having posted it online. They will ask you a ransom, if you don’t pay they will post it back online.

The third place is on private company servers, it more complex and also relatively new. A company by the name of Shadow offers ‘virtual’ computers. When you purchase one, you receive one small box. That box’ purpose is to connect your screen with a powerful computer in their headquarter. That system is cheaper for you and easier to transport. The only downside is that you have to have an internet connection to be able to use your computer. The other problem is that they have access to your computer, as they are hosting it. Thankfully they promise to never access it on your behalf. Google is another example, they offer an unlimited amount of storage when purchasing a Pixel phone, which means that all your documents and pictures are saved on gigantic server rooms in the USA. These two companies have technically access to that data, so it is not 100% secure.

In conclusion, I think that you should always be careful with the things you post online. I think that you should keep your pictures on your computer for yourself, that is the main purpose of pictures, to have a look at them maybe one month or one year later to remind you of a moment or place.

further reading:
https://shadow.tech/int/
https://www.androidcentral.com/how-google-pixel-unlimited-photo-backup-works

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