George Orwell’s novel “1984” presents a vision of the world in which government surveillance is omnipresent. To be sure, Orwell got more than a few things wrong. His timing was way off – we survived the ’80s with our privacy mostly intact. (Probably a good thing considering what many of us were wearing at the time.) And, for the most part, it isn’t the government that’s angling for our personal information, although they have tried. In 2013, “Big Brother” takes the form of companies, advertisers and online service providers who, unlike in Orwell’s vision, are most keen to sell us more stuff, rather than control our every move. Social media, search engines, online shopping sites and many other sites collect personal information of all kinds. Whether we want to give it out is part of the issue, but allowing it to circulate also puts us at the mercy of hackers who often aim to do more nefarious things with our data.
This infographic from HostGator looks at some of the main ways our information is collected and what sorts of risks Internet users face as a result.
1984 in 2013: Privacy and The Internet via HostGator