Due to human activity computerization, ensuring computer security and protecting privacy are critical modern issues. Computer security is associated with data protection from unauthorized access (Symanovich, 2021). Privacy is the protection of the identities of users and their ability to control personal information (Symanovich, 2021). A recent concern is providing students with the use of educational software during the COVID-19 pandemic. Although the technologies were supposed to ensure the children’s safety, they brought negative consequences, including privacy violations.
Understanding Computer Security and Privacy
One can understand computer security as preventing potential harm to users. To ensure security, technology providers can use methods to register potentially dangerous requests or actions in cyberspace (Kshetri, 2022). Law enforcement agencies collect data through software, and security limitations relate to program capabilities (Rose, 2020). Computer security implications are controversial – it can ensure the capture of criminals and prevent crimes but increases surveillance of citizens (Rose, 2020). Privacy is understood as protecting personal data collected by companies, which they can use to their advantage in any way (Rose, 2020). Data is collected through methods suggesting software usage and protected within established laws (Rose, 2020). Computer security and privacy issues imply various challenges in practice.
Understanding existing views on security and privacy is possible by considering one of the problems related to the topic. During the pandemic, schools began to use learning platforms to continue studying (Han, 2022; Kshetri, 2022). However, the educational software collected students’ data without consent or the possibility of refusal (Han, 2022; Kshetri, 2022). Therefore, a research question is how does the use of technologies by students during the pandemic affect their privacy?
The above situation illustrates key dilemmas and perspectives on computer security and privacy. Software was supposed to secure children by tracking their requests and assessing their potential for harm to themselves and others (Kshetri, 2022). It is a violation from the perspective of their rights (Han, 2022). It also presents the problem of the balance between protection and privacy (Kshetri, 2022). In solving this dilemma, theories related to this topic, such as utility maximization or social contract theory, focus on the privacy calculus concept – benefit-costs trade-offs in providing personal information (Hong et al., 2021). Following communication privacy management theory, users must make conscious decisions about disseminating their information, weighing all the pros and cons (De Wolf, 2020). The issue of government involvement is also crucial for theme research since most countries approved the software that violated privacy (Han, 2022). It is concerning that they observe users, and they should establish regulations to ensure users’ safety.
Limitations, Implications, and Solutions
Since technologies are developing quickly and for a relatively short time, their research is consistent, and regulation is not yet sufficiently established, which is a limitation. The current theme consideration implies that more studies are needed on how to strike a balance between security and privacy considering users’ perspectives. Establishing regulations and laws on computer security and privacy issues is necessary to solve existing problems.
Thus, computer security and privacy in practice include many dilemmas and problems. As the case about violation of students’ privacy during the world pandemic showed, the key trends are the balance between security and privacy, the features of technology implementation, and their consequences. The situation also demonstrated the complexity of the issue and the need to establish clear regulations to avoid violations of user rights.
De Wolf, R. (2020). Contextualizing how teens manage personal and interpersonal privacy on social media. New Media & Society, 22(6), 1058-1075.
Han, H. J. (2022). “How dare they peep into my private life?” Children’s rights violations by governments that endorsed online learning during the Covid-19 pandemic. Human Rights Watch.
Hong, W., Chan, F. K., & Thong, J. Y. (2021). Drivers and inhibitors of internet privacy concern: a multidimensional development theory perspective. Journal of Business Ethics, 168(3), 539-564.
Kshetri, N. (2022). School surveillance of students via laptops may do more harm than good. The Conversation.
Rose, E. (2020). The greatest contest ever – Privacy versus security. Computer Weekly.
Symanovich, S. (2021). Privacy vs. security: What’s the difference? Norton.