Internet has brought numerous new functions into our lives but it all comes with a significant risk of privacy, which has persuaded numerous companies to develop solutions and protect users from issues such as identity and personal information theft, hacking and online fraud. Virtual Private Servers, or VPS as they are better known, are among such solutions as they provide a hybrid model of server use in the forms of shared and dedicated hosting, utilizing the ‘hypervisor’ virtual technology that partitions “a single server into multiple independent spaces, or virtual machines, each with its own operating system and infrastructure.” However, VPS is only one of the many solutions to a growing pool of complications and therefore as modern day technology develops further, information management and security will become challenging issues for companies and users alike. Such a development will bring more attention to the internet as the new intellectual source of human thought and action, inducing further innovations in the field.
Facebook is easily superstar of all that is social media, with access to personal information, internet use data and content belonging to billions of people, which has put the company in a very powerful position in the world. Recently, Facebook has been negotiating with the Federal Trade commission regarding a possible violation of a 2011 consent decree, when it was revealed that Facebook gave away user data to Cambridge Analytica during the 2016 elections. Previously, the company’s leaders have promised back in 2011 that consumers would be given “clear and prominent notice” when the company would be using their user data with third parties. The estimated fine is between $3-$5 billion, while Facebook still denies direct involvement in the Cambridge Analytica scandal, claiming the matter to be still unresolved. With a first quarter profit of $15 billion in 2019, it is highly unlikely that Facebook will face any trouble paying the fine but the company is in serious struggle to distance itself from scandals of such nature for long-term business stability. The system relies on its user contributions to grow and therefore any issue that has the potential to reduce user trust and confidence is treated as cancer within Facebook’s operational management.
The internet provides all sorts of possibilities and options for sharing visual content to its users and billions of people upload various types of photos to numerous different databases on a daily basis. However, not many are aware of how companies are gathering picture uploads to use them for facial recognition in their Artificial Intelligence research and IBM’s recent ‘Diversity in Faces’ project is a good example of such corporate intervention into the internet domain. The company has had a recent problem with a woman named Jessamyn West, who was bothered by the fact that the dozen photos she uploaded to Flickr, consisting of her portraits under a Creative Commons license, were actually included in IBM’s facial-recognition dataset without her personal consent. Companies such as Microsoft, Amazon, Facebook and Google have been researching into facial recognition by pulling images from public sources such as Google Images, Yahoo, Flickr and public Instagram accounts for years but not many users are aware of their involvement or are willing to give their consent for such purposes. The situation creates a significant security risk for both the companies and the users in the upcoming years, signaling a demand for further legal developments to address the issue.
Along with companies that utilize online information, there are also systems, which generate and share them all across the globe, utilizing sophisticated technologies such as the recent introduction of the 5G, or the Fifth Generation, of internet communications. The United States is easily the most advanced nation in the world with respect to technological infrastructure and has also become the first Western country in the world to implement 5G internet technologies in several major American cities. 5G is considered as a necessity by the tech community as it will “allow for better video streaming and more technical advancements such as connecting self-driving cars,” but the analysts are skeptical about the possibilities of widespread adoption until 2020. China has already installed a 5G infrastructure and is rivalling the US supremacy in the field. Verizon, AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile all have plans for 5G technologies but as of today, only Verizon and AT&T are offering 5G services to select cities in the US such as Chicago, Minneapolis, Houston, Los Angeles, Indianapolis, Sacramento, Atlanta, Dallas, Houston among others, for cellular and/or home use.