Reflective Summary: Topic 4 – The Digital Divide & Use of Cookies

In this task, I took the opportunity to learn about a topic of which I had little previous knowledge; the digital divide. This is an issue of technological disparity both nationally and internationally. Furthermore, my reading of other posts, gave me a greater insight into topics of which I already had some previous knowledge.

Davina used her own personal experiences to show an example of the digital divide across nations in the image below that I lifted from her blog. Due to the scarce availability of Wi-Fi in developing Cuba, people must gather around one of the few Wi-Fi hotspots, which only began to be implemented in 2015, dotted across the country. This contrasts vastly from the situation in developed countries such as the UK.

cuba-wifi

However, the digital divide is also an issue on a national scale. I brought this up in my comment on Davina’s post, in which I highlighted Carvin’s work which suggests that there is a correlation between access to the internet in an American household and the level of education achieved by members of said household. Davina agreed with this view, however, she expressed her surprise that this problem exists internally in a developed country like the USA, not just in developing countries such as India.

My reading of Arthur’s post gave me a further insight into a topic that I knew about already; cookies. Arthur discussed their uses in making our online experience easier and making adverts more relevant to their targeted consumer. However, he also explored some controversial misuses of cookies by airlines who allegedly use cookies to hike prices online.

I added to this airline example with a situation in which car insurance firms have supposedly done the same thing, whilst arguing that, despite these difficult to prove accusations, the ease of use that cookies bring to users of the internet cannot be ignored.

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