Nowadays a lot of online review sites are increasing; the new challenge lies on the privacy of the users. Sites that have reviews are like Yelp or Tripadvisor, have become a great source of information for people that want to try a new restaurant or even are planning a trip. The information posted in these sites become public, i.e. for everyone to see and read, and in some cases the users disclose “private” information – like relationships, family, etc.
By doing reviews, customers start inadvertently disclosing private information in their reviews. Either the customer specifies that they went to a place with family or to celebrate a particular event of their lives or even that they went on a particular date, etc. To a certain point customers disclose their experience exchanges with the establishments and write everything on a review, leaving this information available for anyone that will search for it. These reviews are linked to the customers directly, therefore the customer becomes exposed to the establishment or to the world. There have been cases in which the establishments have attacked these customers via email and even via telephone, especially when the review has been a bad one. Once the information is out there in the world wide web there is no way of retrieving it or even blocking it. Once the information is out there, it’s out there for everyone to see. Where is the online privacy for the users of these sites? Seems that these sites don't care about online privacy, they just want whatever type of information for their benefit.
Sites like Yelp have their members put their first names and the first initial of their last name on their profile. Plus the site also mentions that when the member makes its profile more “credible” meaning putting a real picture of you will make the account a more “real” one. So much for online privacy, there is no privacy here. I think that to a point these sites are trying to make the information more credible when the site knows that when they are linked to a real name person and make that person accountable for the information.
Yelp motto is: Real Reviews, Real People. Have sites become revealers of who the customers are and make customers feel that the only way to express themselves is by showing their identity? and make their customers feel they are exposed? Has society come to a point in which people have to reveal they identities to make their opinions to be considered in the real world? What will be next?
Miyazki, Anthony. Is "Online Privacy" the Ultimate Oxymoron?