Can Big Tech ‘Promise’ Privacy with the Next Breach Around?


Courtesy of BBC

Lismery Luna, Contributing Writer

It seems like the age of ‘privacy’ on the internet has officially closed. In 2018, there have been more data/privacy breaches than in the last five years combined.

A data breach is defined by an incident that exposes confidential or protected information. According to, it is a type of security breach specifically designed to steal and/or publish to an unsecured or illegal location.

Keeping that in mind, it is discouraging to see or receive emails about ‘potential compromised information’ from websites or companies who gear their reputation on having secure databases.

According to Business Insider, a data breach can happen for various reasons. Companies can get hacked, data can be mishandled or sold and weak points in a website’s security system can leave information exposed.

Some of the biggest data/privacy breaches in the news lately have been for Facebook, where millions of users were affected. Other companies affected include airlines, travel websites, phone services, clothing companies, ticket websites and textbook rentals.

The one thing each of these privacy breached companies share? Most of the stolen information included payment information, personal addresses and emails, passwords, sensitive passport information, contact details, locations and billing information.

It’s alarming because most of the affected websites or companies pride themselves on having safe systems so customers can trust that their personal information is in good hands.

But if these companies are breached constantly for this kind of information, how are they doing everything possible to protect our own privacy?

They promise that a user’s private info is kept in a safe location. Some companies, however, might claim that users should read the terms of use before agreeing to use these websites. According to them, there is no 100 percent guarantee that a user’s information will be private.

Tech companies like Amazon, Facebook and Google are responsible for what they claim is guaranteed, but some argue that their ‘promises’ to any user cannot be completely fulfilled or depended upon. These tech companies urge users to put their information on secure websites they know are reliable.

To some, these companies are not liable for potential hackers accessing sensitive information and doing what they want with it. Yet all these companies can seem to do is promptly inform users who may be potentially affected.

However, people cannot be unaware of the danger of posting personal or private material on these websites when most of them are public domains and anyone with an account and some minor sleuthing can wreak havoc.

The penalty of data breaching any tech company, major or minor, is tremendous. So why do hackers risk punishment, fines and possible jail time by illegally accessing private personal information? Why have tech companies not found a way to stop them?

They might do it because hackers know that private information is worth much more in different markets than sitting somewhere secure, collecting dust.

There is no right answer for what tech companies can do to protect our privacy better, but it will come soon.