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Expectation of Privacy

Updated: May 4, 2023

Expectation of privacy is a legal concept that refers to an individual's reasonable expectation that their personal information, communications, or actions will not be observed or disclosed to others. In the United States, the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution protects citizens' expectation of privacy from unreasonable searches and seizures by the government.

When it comes to privacy online, the expectation of privacy can be more complex. On the one hand, the internet allows individuals to communicate and share information in ways that were not previously possible. This can create a sense of anonymity and privacy that is not possible in the physical world.

On the other hand, the internet also allows for the collection and tracking of vast amounts of personal data. Companies, governments, and other organizations may collect data on individuals' online activities, including their search history, location, and social media interactions. This data can be used for various purposes, such as targeted advertising, market research, and security.

How much data you ask?

  • As of July 2020, there were over 4.8 billion internet users in the world

  • Google handles a staggering 1.2 trillion searches every year

  • There were 71.5 billion apps downloaded worldwide in the first half of 2020

  • In 2020, roughly 306.4 billion emails were sent and received each day

  • Almost 5 billion videos on YouTube are watched every day

  • In 2019, nearly 695,000 hours of Netflix content were watched per minute across the world

  • Every 24 hours, 500 million tweets are published on Twitter

  • Snaps created on Snapchat reached over 210 million each day in 2020

  • Global Instagram users surpassed the 1 billion mark in 2020

  • About a billion text messages are sent every day worldwide

Given the amount of data that is collected and shared online, it is important for individuals to

be aware of their own privacy and to take steps to protect it. This can include using privacy-enhancing technologies, such as virtual private networks (VPNs) and privacy-focused browsers, as well as being cautious about the information that is shared online.

VPN solutions (no affiliations):

For your privacy-focused browsers keep in mind that no software is perfect and a browser is just an application, however there are some that try to protect you more than others. Below is a short list of security focused browsers that offer more protection that most - just don't turn off the security features. A con for using these type of browsers is that sometimes it might break the functionality of a website/application. It might block a script or cookie that the application needs so again, it's not perfect but you take the pros with the cons.

Brave Browser -

DuckDuckGo - (Not a browser but search provider on Desktop / App on Mobile)

It is also important for individuals to be aware of the terms of service and privacy policies of the websites and services they use. These policies may outline how personal data is collected, used, and shared, and it is important to understand these policies before using a service.

Few to look over when you get bored: Instagram/Meta -

Just remember, the expectation of privacy online is a complex issue that is influenced by both the benefits and risks of the internet. While the internet allows for greater communication and sharing of information, it also enables the collection and tracking of personal data. It is important for individuals to be aware of their own privacy and to take steps to protect it.

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