iPad and privacy

I’ve had my iPad for a week now. It seems like I’ve had it much longer, and yet I’ve barely scratched the surface (figuratively, I haven’t scratched it all yet). I brought my iPad to class and use it to check my email, Facebook and random web browsing. At one point, I was checking the weather when I overheard the conversation behind me. They were talking about how it was 7 degrees outside. This illustrated a point that I had felt, that the iPad lacks privacy and discretion. In previous classes, I had noticed students checking their email or reading things using their Smartphones. They were discrete, and you wouldn’t necessarily notice they were doing this unless you were looking for it. With a laptop it is a little less discrete, but not too obvious. However, for some reason, with the iPad I feel like all eyes are on me whenever I turn the device on. It is like the information on the screen is for available for public viewing. I can  imagine using it on an airplane and sharing my reading and email with those seated around me. I mentioned this to a classmate, and she comment that what it needed as a privacy screen – like they have at libraries and banks, where only the person directly behind the monitor can see it. Unfortunately, with the touch screen, that isn’t exactly a feasible solution. As more people use the devices for professional reasons, I wonder how the privacy issue will get resolved? Or is this just me and it isn’t really an issue at all?

1 Comment

  1. I think a big part of feeling watched is that the iPad is still pretty new, so people are drawn to it when you pull it out. The other thing is the screen angle. When you’re using a laptop, it’s the people behind you who can look over your shoulder at your screen, but you can’t see them. With an iPad, it’s the people beside you, and they’re in your peripheral vision. I agree with you though – I thought I’d use my iPad much more on the bus than I do. I tend not to pull it out, because I don’t feel like I have any privacy…

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