In the current web scenario, more and more people are realizing the importance of privacy protection. US lawmakers are trying to pass a legislation to ensure the users’ right to say no to tracking them online; this highly controversial term is known as Do Not Track.
Do Not Track works on browsers. When this option is on, it will add a code in the HTTP header to tell the site that the user does not want to be tracked. It was originally released by a US government authority named Federal Trade Commission (FTC), inspired by the list of Americans who do not accept telemarketing (do-not-call registry).
Do Not Track work only with the browser at the HTTP layer; however, the issue of privacy data collection has penetrated every aspect of the Internet.
In non-English-speaking countries, an amazing operating system component called input method, which allows any data to be received as input, is used. At first, input method was conceived as a small PC application, but later, Sogou, a Chinese pinyin input method editor developed a search engine in Chinese and added more value to this method.
In China, the use of input method is very popular. People chat on the Internet, write e-mails, and use search engines on a daily basis and all of these activities rely on input. Input method can be considered an entry point for the Chinese people to the Internet. Cloud input method was created accordingly. To provide better user experience, cloud can also continue to guess what the users want, which is built on the basis of a large number of user data. These data input by users can help companies establish business goals.
For example, if the cloud found most trying to type keywords like stock, dividends, etc., it indicates there may be changes to the macroeconomics. The pattern of the user input method can also be analyzed as done with the pattern of keyword searching. For example, if a user often types the words in science and technology, it can be guessed that the user may be an engineer or scholar.
In 2011, Apple’s iPhone and Google’s Android mobile phone systems were in focus as it was found that they are tracking users’ locations. Later, RIM, Microsoft, HP, and Nokia’s mobile platforms were also found to be having similar behaviors. Apple and Google executives said they collected users’ geographic locations not only on mobile devices but also on PCs. The United States and South Korean government departments conducted investigations and hearings against major players in the mobile industry regarding this.
Privacy protection is a game. Netizens are vulnerable and they need to learn how to protect their privacy interests. The good news is that since 2008, more and more Internet users have started realizing the importance of their online privacy and have started taking initiatives to fight for their rights. Internet privacy protection is bound to change significantly in the future, and hopefully a big company will take the necessary initiatives.