COLUMN: Do we actually know where our information goes?

Rob Le Cates

Katja Benz is a senior English major and can be reached at 581-2912 or [email protected].

Katja Benz, Columnist

Over the summer, and even into last semester, people would head over to Snapchat or TikTok and see these really aesthetically pleasing videos. 

The videos were of things being painted after somebody typed a date, name, or object onto the screen. While I never did that myself, I thought that these pictures were gorgeous. There’s no other way to describe them.  

I always wondered what apps people were using to create these videos, but I knew I didn’t want to download any of them for myself. I wasn’t sure what information they would ask for before letting me use their product. 

Honestly, part of me was glad that I didn’t download any of these apps. I wouldn’t be surprised if any of this AI was stealing our information that we have to put in the apps to get the desired outcome.  

I was thinking about these AI videos after scrolling through TikTok and finding one made by an influencer that I follow that she made months ago.  

I hope nothing bad happened to her private information, but I know that there’s a huge possibility that it could have been breached in some way.  

It’s scary to think that our entire generation’s lives are like that. I feel like technology has taken over our lives. If you can’t tell, I’m starting to hate the fact that I hate that it’s doing that. 

We give our information to Snapchat, Instagram, TikTok, BeReal and more. This is so we can connect with our friends, people we met at a frat party once and never saw again, or people we have never even met in the first place.  

We have to give all of our personal information to Eastern in electronic form so that they can store it somewhere. We have to give it to them so that we can be admitted, to register for classes, to get an on-campus job, and to even graduate.  

We give so many people access to our personal and identifiable information without knowing if our information is actually safe in the spaces we are putting it.  

While this has never happened to me, I could have money stolen from my bank account, my identity stolen, all of my social media accounts hacked, or all of my classes dropped just because someone has access to it.  

I know that there are duo-authentication resources available, but I’m not sure how safe those are either because that is one more service that we have to give our personal and identifiable information to.  

At the same time, I know that these resources are supposed to help us.  

I was just never taught how it actually was supposed to help or what it even does. Like many students, I just did the duo authentication because I was told to.  

I just hope that in the future, people tell us the goals of what us using another technology is and what it really is and does so our information doesn’t get hurt in the long run.  

Katja Benz is a senior English major. She can be reached at [email protected] or 217-581-2812.