Navigating the Privacy Paradox

Navigating the Privacy Paradox

Unit 4 Media
agency and control
use of the media

What is the privacy paradox?

The privacy paradox is the idea that people may claim to care about their privacy online, but are quick to trade this away for convenience.

There's a saying that you hear a lot when discussing online media:

If you are getting something online for free, you are not the customer you are the product

Think about all the online services and apps you use for free every day. You get to use instagram for free because they are selling you to advertisers. Of course, Instagram has so much information about you (whats in photos you post, hashtags of photos you like, people you follow, your facebook profile information) that can tailor specific ads just for you or sell that information to whoever they like.

When most people find out exactly how much information companies such as google and facebook have on them they find it uncomfortable. Yet they still use these apps.

This is often because of a couple of different ideas, the first being immediate gratification bias. This is the idea that you are going to do things for yourself right now instead of thinking about future you. It's easier to just hit the OK button on the terms and conditions to use a new app then read them and understand what they are going to do with your information.

The important thing to understand with this is always that this how how online media is designed. They want you to use the app and quickly forget about what you are giving up because you are the product and they want to make money off you. Companies will often use something called dark patterns - design tricks to get you to do what they want to through design.

Further Reading

Note to self Podcast:

Worksheets / Resources

Y12 Media Agency and Control The Privacy Paradox.docx1200.7KB
The Privacy Paradox.pptx260.7KB
Textbook 289 Privacy Paradox.pdf1546.4KB