NEGATIVE - CRITIQUE OF TECHNOLOGY INTERNET 170
INEVITABLY IT DESTROYS PRIVACY, TURNING CASE
COMPUTERS ONLY LEAD TO A LACK OF PRIVACY
Fred H. Cate, Brookings Institution, 1997; PRIVACY IN THE
INFORMATION AGE, EE2001 -mfp p. 14
For the second example, consider a business wishing to record information about its customers. Previously, such information had to be collected and recorded by hand, and then stored in physical files that required extensive personnel time to maintain. Even then, the data contained in those files were of little use for mass marketing purposes because of the difficulty of correlating the necessary information from a large number of discrete files. Today, even the smallest business can maintain a computerized database of customers or potential customers, updating the information in those electronic files automatically from electronic transaction records, public information sources, or private information suppliers, such as credit bureaus. Marketing to those customers can be accomplished with the push of a button because of over-the-counter software that will search for specific data or collections of data and then generate address labels, e-mail, or even digital telephone calls to the selected individuals.
COMPUTERS LEAD TO A DECREASE IN PRIVACY
Fred H. Cate, Brookings Institution, 1997; PRIVACY IN THE INFORMATION AGE, EE2001 -mfp p. 1
"Privacy" is among the most hotly debated topics in Washington and other national capitals today. Almost 1,000 of the 7,945 bills introduced in the 104th Congress addressed some privacy issue, and this level of political activity is reflected throughout much of the world, especially in Europe, where members of the European Union are busy implementing the Directive on the Protection of Individuals with Regard to the Processing of Personal Data and on the Free Movement of Such Data. Privacy is the subject of thousands of scholarly and popular books, articles, position papers, reports, Internet web pages and discussion groups, and newsletters. The debate over privacy protection has spawned an astonishing array of industry and academic conferences, working groups, public interest and lobbying efforts, public surveys, and news stories.
This recent surge in attention to privacy is the result of the rapid spread of information technologies into every facet of life. Exponential increases in computing power and dramatic decreases in the physical size and price of computers have created a frenzied cycle in which both individuals and organizations increasingly use computers, spawning phenomenal growth in and dependence on computer-based services, and resulting in greater demand for and use of computers.
INCREASE IN COMPUTERS HAS LEAD TO A DECREASE IN PRIVACY
Ann Cavoukian, Ph. D, Info. and Privacy Commission in Ontario, and Don Tapscott, Alliance for Converging Technologies, 1997; WHO KNOWS, EE 2001 - mfp p. 49
Threats to privacy certainly existed in precomputer times, but they were far less of a concern. Then, if you wanted to pry into someone's information, you had to go to a lot of trouble. In an entirely paper-based world, you would have to physically travel to each place where that person's files were and review each piece of paper in each file. Such detective work would have required a lot of time and money.
With the advent of powerful computers and high-speed networks, the electronic monitoring and tracking of people's activities has become not only easy, but desirable-not to the individual, but to the ever-growing number of people wanting to know more and more about the individual. Surveillance began to take on a new meaning:
Computerization is robbing individuals of the ability to monitor and control the ways information about them is used. The foundation is being laid for a dossier society, in which computers could be used to infer individuals' lifestyles, habits, whereabouts, and associations from data collected in ordinary consumer transactions .... As computerization becomes more pervasive, the potential for these problems will grow dramatically.