Privacy Protection in Digital Space Erosion of Digital Privacy Article Summary

You are to read the articel below and are required to write a 500 word or MORE essay. Present references.

Areas to be addressed are-

1. Provide a brief summary of this article.

2. What are the issues pertaining to this subject?

3. Who are the stakeholders?

4. What are your opinions of the author’s position.

5. Can more be done to protect an individual’s privacy or is there too much already being done?

6. Does an independent institution of the media have a conflict of interest with being objective and gathering data for a multitude of purposes.

7. Present strategies and positions of at least 3 of their major news competitors from either the print or web-based sectors.

How The Times Thinks About Privacy

We’re examining our policies and practices around data, too.

By A. G. Sulzberger

Mr. Sulzberger is the publisher of The New York Times.

Over the past few years, The New York Times has reported aggressively on the erosion of digital privacy, bringing information to light about the exploitation of personal data that Facebook amassed on its users, about companies buying and selling children’s data, and about phone apps secretly tracking users’ every movement. That reporting helped spur global debate about how society should protect privacy in digital spaces.

Yet all of this journalism was paid for, in part, by The Times’s engaging in the type of collecting, using and sharing of reader data that we sometimes report on. As with a politician railing against high drug prices while accepting campaign donations from big pharma, a news organization cannot talk about privacy on the internet without skeptical readers immediately, and rightly, examining its own practices for signs of hypocrisy. So, as we kick off The Privacy Project, I wanted to share a bit about how The Times itself approaches reader data and privacy.

Like virtually every business on the internet, we collect, use and sharedata about readers. We make money by using that data to sell advertisements and subscriptions, often working with other companies like Google and Facebook, which allows us to sustain a 1,600-person news operation that reports from more than 150 countries every year. This data also helps us improve The Times’s website and apps by providing readers interactive stories, developing new products and features, and recommending relevant articles. (Our privacy policy offers more detail about our data practices.)

Though we know we must participate in this messy and rapidly changing ecosystem — one with plenty of bad actors — we are also working to ensure that our own data practices live up to our values. The business leadership of The Times has taken steps over the past year to increase privacy protections. These efforts have focused on cutting back on data collection and sharing, strengthening security and increasing transparencyClose X. We significantly reduced the amount and type of data shared with social media companies. We put in place stronger controls to limit data shared with third parties through advertisements. And we will continue to test additional steps and collaborate with others to push for industrywide changes.

If you’re reading this essay on an internet browser, it offers a useful example of what tracking looks like at a practical level. Before you had time to read a single word, a number of different companies had already placed a “cookieClose X” or other tracking mechanism on your browser to study your internet use. The Times hosts these trackers for three purposes: to learn about how people use our website and apps so that we can improve their experience; to reach readers we hope will subscribe; and to sell targeted advertising.

Nearly every site on the internet employs these trackers. I asked a colleague on our data team to see how many trackers we could detect on articles on a range of major news websites about a single topic, the election of Chicago’s new mayor. Because the number of trackers can vary significantly based on a host of factors — including where you are, time of day, whether you’re a subscriber and how far down youscroll into an article — he used different browsers to examine each website at least five times using the anti-tracking tool Ghostery.

The averaged results show how ubiquitous this practice is: The Financial Times had 19 trackers, The New York Times had 24, The Wall Street Journal had 53, The Guardian had 54, The Washington Posthad 58, Fox News had 63, BuzzFeed had 67, HuffPost had 77, CNN had 83, Vox had 95, and USA Today had 100.

The Times, like many of these organizations, maintains clear internal guidelines about how such data is collected and used. But this control is often more limited than it seems because in many cases, the news organizations that host the trackers don’t know what happens with that information once it is transferred to third parties. Those companies include major platforms like Google and Facebook, smaller companies you’ve never heard of that act as analytics providers and advertising intermediaries, and the individual companies that place individual advertisements. Readers may understandably wonder: What data do these companies have? To whom might they sell it? How might those buyers exploit it?

I ask myself those questions, too, as a publisher and as a person who uses the internet. As a journalist, I deeply believe that society benefits from the type of free-flowing information that overly broad privacy regulations could unintentionally impede. Our reporting often relies on leaks from whistle-blowers, personal communications of government officials obtained through records requests and computer-driven analysis of huge sets of data. But I’m also a person who values his own privacy — I have virtually no presence on social media — and I share the anxiety and mixed feelings that many have about the systematic collection, warehousing and sharing of personal data.

It’s clear that the rapid increase in data collection has resulted in many worthy contributions: creating a more interconnected world, saving users untold amounts of time and money, driving business and innovation and enabling important advances, from identifying public health threats to foiling terrorist attacks. But it’s also increasingly clear those benefits come with costs and trade-offs that society has not really reckoned with. People have little transparency into what is being gathered, where it’s being shared and how it’s being used — to follow their movements, to charge them more for health insurance or to manipulate them with political messages — and even less agency to do anything about it.

Countless companies are wrestling with these trade-offs, many of them doing the best they can within a digital ecosystem they can’t hope to unilaterally reform. The internet doesn’t have to be this way. But change needs to be driven at a societal level — by politicians, leaders of major technology companies and the public at large.

While we’d welcome such change, we’re not waiting for it. The Times is committed to continuing to take steps to increase transparency and protections. And our journalists will do their part to ensure that the public and policymakers are fully informed by covering these issues aggressively, fairly and accurately. Over the coming months, ThePrivacy Project will feature reporters investigating how digital privacy is being compromised, Op-Ed editors bringing in outside voices to help foster debate and contextualize trade-offs, and Opinion writers calling for solutions. All of us at The Times will be reading closely as well, using their findings to help inform the continuing evolution of our own policies and practices.