Need help with my writing homework on Role of Privacy in Search Engines. Write a 2000 word paper answering; It may be possible that many internet users both old and young can not consciously differentiate between search engines and web browsers. Especially now that web browsers incorporate the search engines as their user interface. Nevertheless, many internets users appreciate and depend on the outcomes they get from their different search queries.
A universally accepted definition of search engines has never been agreed upon and many scholars tend to define it differently. For this paper, Halavais (2009, 5-6) definition of search engines will be followed which is “an information retrieval system that allows for keyword searches of distributed digital text.”
From this definition, it is apparent that it also contains some technical concepts and terms that need further elucidation. An analysis of the underlying technical concepts of search engines is going to help analyze the context of the role of privacy in search engines. Search engines allow different internet users to access crucial information through links that direct them to resources online covering a plethora of topics. Thus, many people are tending to view the technology of search engines in a positive light and others as “value-neutral.” However, search engines can cause a number of privacy controversies.
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The issue of privacy has gained much public awareness and raised debates on what is private and what is not in society today. The infringement of people’s privacy has been escalated with the rise of new technologies. The world has now shifted from the use of stand-alone computers to the sharing of information overworld linked computer networks such as the computer-enabled biometric systems, World Wide Web, video, and radio-frequency surveillance systems, and networked mobile devices. Among the controversial privacy concerns, public surveillance is the most vexing as the government regularly collects information about its citizens. Governments often do this with the argument that they are protecting their citizens from terrorist attacks and criminal activities. Businesses also collect their customers’ information through cookies left by customers when they visit their websites (Nissenbaum, 2004).