I personally do not think there are any cons of online surveillance, safety and privacy. I can only think of positives about it. Online safety and privacy is vital for people using technology. Technology is used for many tasks nowadays, many of which require personal details to be shared, for example, online shopping or banking. This requires people to be able to trust the website they are using enough to share their details.
Online surveillance in particular is the monitoring of peoples’ activity online. An advantage of online surveillance is that it will make using the internet safer. Any action which is inappropriate will have been recorded and more criminals can face the consequences for their actions.
Another advantage of online surveillance is it has prevented terrorist attacks. According to Francis (2013), online surveillance has provided “authorities with leads on potential and existing terrorists”.
In research carried out by Heatherfield (2014), it was found that online surveillance of employees in work environments was very beneficial. Many of the employees were found to be doing personal tasks during their work time for example, bookkeeping for their own personal business on company time. Even a supervisor was found to spend over six hours a day “visiting board sites, doing online banking, shopping, chatting and posting on message boards, reading recipe sites, and spending hours in personal email”.
However a disadvantage of using online surveillance in the workplace is it can affect the relationship between the employee and the employer. Relationships are built on trust and if an employee knows their every move is being watched they may feel not trusted or constantly under pressure to work to the best standard. This could lead to people leaving the job due to stress or feeling like they have no privacy.
Another disadvantage of online surveillance is many question where the online surveillance will stop? Everyone has the right to freedom and some believe the government should not be allowed to know what you are doing online. Many also believe online surveillance encourages people to spy on others through the internet and invade peoples’ personal privacy.
After researching this topic, I still believe that the pros outweigh the cons of online surveillance. If online surveillance leads to less illegal activity online and results in people working to a higher standard in their work environment then I believe it is a good thing. The prevention of terrorist attacks due to online surveillance is extremely beneficial and important. In my personal experience, I have never noticed being surveyed online so it has never affected me. No one I know of has ever been surveyed online either so the technique used for online surveillance must be very subtle.
In conclusion, if people are not doing anything wrong online then they should not be worried about their online activity being watched.
- Francis, D. (2013). 5 Reasons Why The NSA’s Massive Surveillance Program Is No Big Deal (And 2 Reasons It Is). Business Insider. Retrieved from http://www.businessinsider.com/nsa-surveillance-prism-phone-nsa-big-deal-2013-6?IR=T
- Heathfield, S. (2014). Electronic Surveillance of Employees. About. Retrieved 26 November 2014, from http://humanresources.about.com/od/technology/a/surveillance.htm
- McIntosh, J. (2009). Surveillance. Retrieved from https://www.flickr.com/photos/jonathanmcintosh/3744953433/in/photolist-2ew5hM-6GVSbD-o2cRpV-8DR8K7-bB7rMj-aL9uDv-fmpAjK-mNhkLu-mWeRj4-4YzcDx-BwjcU-qaRQQi-8zgcch-f56fNY-9Ewxu7-bLch3e-ojcKb-nCfqxo-6p1qYV-nywoWV-88naXF-dnn3kw-jJcmXg-by4rsf-8M6DEV-uA6FS-g1Kfkw-npXfpV-6YSTmq-5JYVH3-9uF4uq-34RnyZ-bZ7TAo-7xmwoR-bCoeEL-9kQW6-5rV4MM-ioSNLa-72hxKe-obirD-dcegLC-7VibC7-d6u1K5-ken4xU-dwBEo6-p7Q4NF-eYcWmd-cFRk4S-49iSUY-cPnq4Y
- Roberts, C. (2013). Cyber Security at MoD. Retrieved from https://www.flickr.com/photos/defenceimages/10086117975/in/photolist-bTuxmM-as2H3y-pQEztH-4rEnGk-56Er5T-dxdmTX-aDdjC7-fnqepi-5nAfBe-eafb8y-gngZtM-pGCPj5-9MnZcz-9wveSi-9wveUB-9wvf2F-a4kxRX-e1U2LH-4LVrXM-ffVeUW-ebHScn-4vGDYS-926kZz-6xLjkn-7MYZnV-6MG8u9-bCtGax-dmRfEA-n2C4Kx-5oXYLW-9qyE85-fGyLox-5fYuNc-fdJPKH-5b9JBe-oYYD3y-bqoFfb-9Kc1Ww-9s2jJ7-5nEvBb-5nAfHH-d9dmF5-i7p8yz-83idPZ-oYYCZh-5nEvyq-pgtxGp-pgrzPb-pgrzm7-PYzAH