The dark side of the Internet

"Data is Power" - 
Data can be used for good, harnessed for the betterment of society,
but it can also be abused.

Ever wondered why products that you were scrolling thru on your mobile, minutes later it appears as an ad on another social media platform? That’s because most of the big companies have a data file representing you. This determines access, what ads you see and the interest rates. Be mindful – this file is not under your control.

There are 3 things required to tackle in order for the web to fulfil its true potential as a tool that serves all of humanity.

  • We’ve lost control of our personal data
  • It’s too easy for misinformation to spread on the web
  • Political advertising online needs transparency & understanding
  1. Losing control of our personal data

You may be prompted multiple times for accepting the use of cookies on the particular website. But do you know what exactly is a cookie?


Cookies are able to not only analyse web traffic, customise banner ads, store items in your shopping cart, but also remember your username and password, and etc. Cookies are not really a threat for viruses or malware. However, this may be one of the reasons you may feel tracking your visits to certain websites or remembering your login information compromise your privacy. In addition, many websites’ current business model provide free content in exchange for personal data. As such, users lose out on the benefits only if we had direct authority over this data and choose when and with whom to share it.

2. Misinformation spread on the web easily

“Our brains love spreading lies all over the Internet.”

Today, most people search news and information on the web through a couple of social media sites and search engines. No doubt, social media gives us the opportunity to catch news in real time. However, it also makes it incredibly easy for false information to spread. Through the use of data science and armies of bots, those with ill intentions are able to game the system to disseminate misinformation for financial or political gain.

3. Needs for transparency and understanding

There are suggestions that some US and around the world political adverts are being adopted in unethical ways. Such unethical acts include pointing voters to fake news sites or keeping others away from the polls. Campaigns are allowed to say completely different, which may be conflicting things to different groups in targeted advertising. But… is that democratic?

“It has taken all of us to build the web we have, and now it is up to all of us to build the web we want – for everyone.”

In the end, it all boils down to the values and people. We can shape a future that works for all of us by putting people first and empowering them.


    1. Hmm, companies have been sharing user’s personal information which makes it inevitable for data to leak. But I guess users can do their part to prevent data from leaking through the user interface.

      Keeping passwords and devices secured is essential and the main step to prevent data leak. In addition, users should refrain from visiting websites that are prone to contain viruses.


  1. I can totally relate to your point no.2! Misinformation spreads on the net as quick as forest fire. Therefore we should also get a second opinion


    1. Thanks for the comment! I’m glad you are able to relate to my point 🙂

      Yes, that’s why we should not put 100% trust and believe everything we see or read online! For example, when influencers are paid to advertorials for a company, they are leaned towards giving them a positive review instead of how they actually feel about the actual product/service.

      Hope you are not one of the victims who trust what they post online 🙂


  2. It is scary to see how our information is vulnerable to leaks. Normally when I visit websites that prompt for accepting cookies, I would just accept without thinking much.

    Now that I have read your post on how misinformation can be spread easily and losing of our personal data, I will now take cautious of the information that I post online.

    Thank you for the share!


    1. I am glad you have found it useful! Yes, I can totally relate to how you would accept cookies without thinking much as I am guilty of that too!

      We should really be extra careful about what we post online as it can easily blow up, either in a good or a bad way. & do remember not to trust everything and anything online! 🙂


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