Daily English
Cultural English
Practical English

1025 Maintaining Internet Privacy

访问量:
Complete Transcript
Welcome to English as a Second Language Podcast number 1,025 – Maintaining Internet Privacy.

This is English as a Second Language Podcast episode 1,025. I’m your host, Dr. Jeff McQuillan, coming to you from the Center for Educational Development in beautiful Los Angeles, California.

Visit our website at ESLPod.com. Become a member of ESL Podcast. If you do, you can download the PDF Learning Guides, which are 10-page guides we provide for all of our current episodes that give you a complete transcript of everything I say. So, if there’s something you don’t understand, you can go back and look at it on the transcript or read and listen at the same time.

This episode is a dialogue between Lorenzo and Pamela about something that a lot of people are talking about nowadays: Internet privacy. Let’s get started.

[start of dialogue]

Lorenzo: I wouldn’t post all of those photos on social media sites.

Pamela: Why not? Only my friends and family are going to see them.

Lorenzo: I wouldn’t be so sure. And I wouldn’t post all of that personal data either, or divulge personal information. You don’t know who may gain access to your page.

Pamela: There are privacy safeguards on this website. I can block anyone I don’t know from getting access, so no one can see what I post without permission.

Lorenzo: Well, the people who run the website itself have access. They could track what you do and what you post, and extract data from your page to sell to third-party buyers.

Pamela: No, they can’t do that. I’d know if they were doing that.

Lorenzo: How?

Pamela: Well . . .

Lorenzo: As I said, that’s happening as we speak. And those are the legitimate uses of your information. Hackers can gain access, too, with malicious intent. They can do a lot of damage with the personal data you’ve posted.

Pamela: So, what should I do?

Lorenzo: Take down most of your posts and photos, at least the ones you wouldn’t want everyone to see.

Pamela: But that would mean no one would know anything about me. Worse yet, it would mean having a really boring page.

Lorenzo: It’s either risk being boring or risk an invasion of your privacy.

Pamela: Wow, what a dilemma!

[end of dialogue]

Lorenzo begins our dialogue by saying to Pamela, “I wouldn’t post all of those photos on social media sites.” Notice, Lorenzo begins here with a conditional, “I wouldn’t” – I would not. The idea is, “If I were you, I would not do this.” It’s a way of giving someone advice. Lorenzo says, “I wouldn’t post” – that is, put up on a website, or upload – “all of those photos on social media sites.”

“Social (social) media” refers to websites where people share personal information, such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Those are three popular social media sites now as we record this episode, although that changes quite quickly on the Internet. Pamela says, “Why not? Only my friends and family are going to see them.” Lorenzo says, “I wouldn’t be so sure.” Once again he uses that “wouldn’t,” or “would not,” construction. He’s saying, “If I were you, I wouldn’t be so sure.” It’s a way here of expressing doubt.

Lorenzo says, “I wouldn’t post all of that personal data either, or divulge personal information.” The word “data,” (data), which can also be pronounced “DAY-ta,” is information; it’s information about something. “Personal data” would be information about your life – perhaps your birthday or your government registration number, which here in the United States is called your “social security number.” That’s personal data.

Strictly speaking, “data” is a plural noun, although it is often used now as a singular noun. So, you should say “data are” instead of “data is,” but the singular of data, which is “datum” (datum), is not used very much anymore. So, we’ve sort of lost that distinction between the singular and the plural. Lorenzo says that Pamela should not “divulge” personal information. “To divulge” (divulge) means to share something private or secret with someone else – to tell someone something that you consider very personal or private.

Lorenzo says, “You don’t know who may gain access to your page.” “To gain (gain) access (access)” means to obtain the ability to see something that would normally be hidden or secret. So, for example, your email account is something that normally only you look at, but if you gave your username and password to another person, that person could gain access to your account and see all of your emails.

Pamela says, “There are privacy safeguards on this site.” “Privacy” (privacy) refers to things that are secret or hidden or private. The word “safeguard” (safeguard) refers to something that is supposed to protect you or protect, in this case, information. “Privacy safeguards” would be things that protect your personal data, your personal information, so that no one else can see it.

Pamela says, “I can block anyone I don’t know from getting access, so no one can see what I post without permission.” “To block” (block) someone from doing something means to not allow someone to do something – to prevent someone from doing something. Pamela says she can block anyone from getting access to her website “so no one can see what I post without permission.” “Permission” (permission) is the right to have, see, or do something. We might also use the word “authorization” or “consent” (consent).

Lorenzo says, “Well, the people who run the website itself have access.” He’s telling Pamela that Facebook and Twitter and other social media websites can see your information – the people at the company, the people who own those websites, can see your personal information. Lorenzo says, “They could track what you do and what you post and extract data from your page to sell to third-party buyers.” “To track” (track) means to observe something, usually over a long period of time – “to monitor,” we might also say to express the same idea.

“To extract” (extract) something is to take something out of a larger body or to remove a part of something. If you’re going to extract data, you are going to be taking pieces of information from a larger list of information or, in this case, from a website or web page. Of course, many websites take your information and use it in certain ways. The most common way would be to sell that information to “third-party buyers.” “Third (third) – party (party)” refers to an organization or a person who is not part of, in this case, the company.

So, if Facebook takes your information and sells it to another advertising company, the advertising company would be considered a third party. The word “party” is not just a noun for a celebration like a birthday party. It is also used in legal situations, or when we’re talking about the law, to refer to a person or company. There are two parties in any lawsuit. One party, one person or group, is trying to get money from another person or group. Those are the two parties involved.

Pamela says, “No, they can’t do that. I’d know if they were doing that.” Lorenzo asks, “How?” Pamela says, “Well . . .” In other words, Pamela here is saying that if one of these websites takes her information, she will know about it, but Lorenzo asks, “How?” How will you know? Then he continues, “As I said, that’s happening as we speak,” meaning right now, “and those are the legitimate uses of your information.” “Legitimate” (legitimate) means real or allowed. Sometimes we use the word also to mean “not false” or “not fake.”

Lorenzo is saying that websites can already do this with your information. Then he adds, “Hackers can gain access, too, with malicious intent.” A “hacker” (hacker) is a person who uses their knowledge of computers to gain access to secret information on your web page or on your own computer. Hackers often have malicious intent. “Malicious” (malicious) means bad or evil. “Malicious intent” would be having plans to do bad things.

Lorenzo says, “They,” meaning the hackers, “can do a lot of damage with the personal data you’ve posted.” Pamela then asks, “So, what should I do?” Lorenzo advises her to “take down most of your posts and photos, at least the ones you wouldn’t want everyone to see.” “To take down” is a two-word phrasal verb meaning in this case to delete or remove something from a website.

Pamela says, “But that would mean no one would know anything about me. Worse yet, it would mean having a really boring page.” “Worse yet” is a phrase we used to emphasize that something is bad, especially as an example of something that is even worse than what you are talking about. So, if a bad thing is being described and then you want to talk about something that is even worse, you might use that expression to introduce the next topic: “Worse yet . . .”

Pamela here is saying that if she removed all of her posts and photos that she would have a very boring, or uninteresting, web page on this particular media site. Lorenzo says, “It’s either risk being boring or risk an invasion of your privacy.” Lorenzo is saying that Pamela has two choices: either she can have a boring page, or she can perhaps have her privacy invaded.

An “invasion” (invasion) of your privacy is when your personal information is obtained and/or used by other people, often for something that you would not want it used for. Many people think, for example, that if the government is listening to your cell phone conversations, that that is an invasion of privacy. Not that any government would ever do that, right?

Pamela ends our dialogue by saying, “Wow, what a dilemma.” A “dilemma” (dilemma) is a difficult problem or situation where the solution or the answer isn’t clear. You’re not sure what to do or how you should make a decision about this problem.

Now let’s listen to the dialogue, this time at a normal speed.

[start of dialogue]

Lorenzo: I wouldn’t post all of those photos on social media sites.

Pamela: Why not? Only my friends and family are going to see them.

Lorenzo: I wouldn’t be so sure. And I wouldn’t post all of that personal data either, or divulge personal information. You don’t know who may gain access to your page.

Pamela: There are privacy safeguards on this website. I can block anyone I don’t know from getting access, so no one can see what I post without permission.

Lorenzo: Well, the people who run the website itself have access. They could track what you do and what you post, and extract data from your page to sell to third-party buyers.

Pamela: No, they can’t do that. I’d know if they were doing that.

Lorenzo: How?

Pamela: Well . . .

Lorenzo: As I said, that’s happening as we speak. And those are the legitimate uses of your information. Hackers can gain access, too, with malicious intent. They can do a lot of damage with the personal data you’ve posted.

Pamela: So, what should I do?

Lorenzo: Take down most of your posts and photos, at least the ones you wouldn’t want everyone to see.

Pamela: But that would mean no one would know anything about me. Worse yet, it would mean having a really boring page.

Lorenzo: It’s either risk being boring or risk an invasion of your privacy.

Pamela: Wow, what a dilemma!

[end of dialogue]

Our scriptwriter would never invade your privacy. How could she? She is such a good person. I speak, of course, of our own wonderful Dr. Lucy Tse. Thank you, Lucy.

From Los Angeles, California, I’m Jeff McQuillan. Thank you for listening. Come back and listen to us again right here on ESL Podcast.

English as a Second Language Podcast was written and produced by Dr. Lucy Tse, hosted by Dr. Jeff McQuillan. Copyright 2014 by the Center for Educational Development.

Glossary
to post – to upload or provide information to a website where it will be shared with many people

* Please let me know if the company posts any new job openings.


social media – websites where people create profiles and share personal information, such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn

* Social media is a good way to stay in touch with friends and family members who live far away.


personal data – information that describes and is tied to an individual

* When you apply for a driver’s license, you’ll need to provide some personal data, including your date of birth, social security number, address, eye color, hair color, height, and weight.


to divulge – to share information about something, especially a secret

* Grandma refuses to divulge her age


to gain access – to obtain the ability to see something that would normally remain hidden or secret

* The company uses a lot of security measures to ensure that no one gains access to its customers’ account information.


privacy safeguard – a tool or action used to prevent criminals from accessing secret or confidential information about other people and/or their accounts

* The bank has a lot of privacy safeguards, but it can’t protect your data if you choose a poor password.


to block – to not allow someone to have, see, or do something, especially to prevent someone from being part of one’s network on a social media site

* When Theresa broke up with her boyfriend, she blocked him from seeing her photos and messages.


permission – authorization; consent; the right to have, see, or do something

* Do you have permission to use your dad’s car this weekend?


to track – to monitor and observe something over time

* Adam has a personal trainer who tracks his weight, body fat, and muscle strength.


to extract – to take something out from a larger body, or to remove a part of something

* Do you know how to extract oil from these plant leaves?


third-party – a person or organization that is not directly involved in something; not the main people involved

* The company asked an accounting firm to perform a third-party audit of its financial statements.


legitimate – valid, real, and allowed under the law; not false or fake

* During a job interview, an employer can only ask legitimate questions about your ability to do the work, not personal questions about your family.


hacker – a person who uses computer programs to gain access to secret information and/or control a website or computer program without authorization to do so

* The hackers have stolen thousands of social security numbers.


malicious intent – with a plan to do bad things, or things that will hurt other people or cause problems for them in some way

* If the lawyers can demonstrate malicious intent, then Louisa will probably receive the maximum prison sentence.


to take down – to delete or remove something from a website so that it can no longer be seen by others

* Please take down my name from the website where you list your supporters.


worse yet – a phrase used to emphasize that something is bad, especially as an example of something that is even worse than what one was just talking about

* We’ve lost a lot of customers in the past three months. Worse yet, it looks like our biggest account is going to go to our competitors.


invasion of (one’s) privacy – an instance where one’s personal information is obtained and/or used by people who should not have had access to it

* Do you think it’s okay for parents to search their teenagers’ room, or is that an invasion of their privacy?


dilemma – a difficult situation or problem where the solution or answer is unclear; a situation where one does not know what to do or decide

* Nancy found $1,000 in a desk she bought at a garage sale, and now she’s facing a dilemma: Should she return the money to the original owners of the desk, or keep it for herself?

Comprehension Questions
1. What is a privacy safeguard?
a) Something that divulges personal information.
b) Something that blocks hackers from getting access to information.
c) A way to sell information to third-party buyers.

2. What does “to block (someone)” mean?
a) To sue someone for misusing one’s personal information.
b) To protect someone from an invasion of privacy.
c) To not allow someone to have access to one’s network or information.

Answers at bottom.

What Else Does It Mean?
post

The verb “to post,” in this podcast, means to upload or provide information to a website where it will be shared with many people: “We just posted the video yesterday, and it already has more than 6,000 views!” The verb “to post” also means to send something by mail: “We posted the package last week, so you should have received it by now.” The phrase “to post (someone)” means to assign someone to a job or position in another place, especially in another country: “During her first few years in the civil service, she was posted to Sub-Saharan Africa.” Finally, the phrase “to keep (someone) posted” means to provide updates and keep someone informed about the current status of something: “The contractors are required to keep us posted about any delays or cost overruns.”

to take down

In this podcast, the phrase “to take down” means to delete or remove something from a website so that it can no longer be seen by others: “The agency quickly tried to take down the confidential information that was accidentally posted on the website.” The phrase “to take (someone) down” means to fight against someone and win: “The wrestler took down his opponent in just a few short minutes.” The phrase “to take (something) down” means to take notes or to write something down: “Do you have a pen so I can take down your telephone number?” Finally, the phrase “to take (something) up” means to become interested in a new hobby or activity and to start to do it: “How old were you when you took up knitting?”

Culture Note
Internet- and Technology-Related Crimes

The “advent” (creation, adoption, and use) of technology and the Internet has allowed people to communicate with each other “like never before” (in ways that were not possible in the past), but it has also brought many “threats” (things that may create problems or cause harm) and the “potential for” (possibility of) new “crimes” (instances of breaking the law).

For example, many people are worried about “cell phone spying,” or the idea that corporations or government agencies might “track” (monitor; observe) cell phone use. Because people carry cell phones wherever they go, the “devices” (small machines) can be used to “pinpoint” (determine the exact location of) one’s location at any time. And there is also the potential for third parties to “eavesdrop on” (listen to) private phone conversations and/or “intercept” (access something while it is being sent between two points) text messages.

Other people are worried about “cyberstalking” and “online bullying.” “Cyberstalking” refers to using the Internet to “harass” (bother and annoy) individuals or groups of people. “Stalking” (following people around) may occur in the physical world, but when it occurs online, it is known as “cyberstalking.” “Likewise” (similarly), “bullying” (teasing and hurting younger or weaker people, especially students) can occur at schools and in neighborhoods, but when it occurs online, it is known as “online bullying.”

Many people argue that cyberstalking and online bullying are more “harmful” (with the ability to hurt people) than their “offline counterparts” (similar things occurring in the real world, not on the Internet), because they “grant” (give) “anonymity” (the ability to do things without letting other people know one’s identity) to the “harassers” (people who bother or annoy other people), which encourages them to be meaner and more threatening.

Comprehension Answers
1 - b

2 - c