TECHNOLOGY IS THE DRIVING FORCE BEHIND THE NEW LOSS OF PRIVACY
THERE ARE THREE IMPORTANT TRENDS IN INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY LEADING TO PRIVACY INVASION
David Banisar and Simon Davies, Deputy Director of Privacy International (PI) and Director General of Privacy International and a Visiting Fellow at the London School of Economics, "GLOBAL TRENDS IN PRIVACY PROTECTION: AN INTERNATIONAL SURVEY OF PRIVACY, DATA PROTECTION, AND SURVEILLANCE LAWS AND DEVELOPMENTS," The John Marhall Journal of Computer & Information Law , Fall, 1999, 18 J. Marshall J. Computer & Info. L. 1, EE2001-JGM, P.
It is now common wisdom that the power, capacity and speed of information technology ("IT") is accelerating rapidly. The extent of privacy invasion, or certainly the potential to invade privacy, increases correspondingly. Beyond these obvious aspects of capacity and cost, there are a number of important trends that contribute to privacy invasion:
GLOBALIZATION removes geographical limitations to the flow of data. The development of the Internet is perhaps the best known example of a global technology. CONVERGENCE is leading to the elimination of technological barriers between systems. Modern information systems are increasingly inter-operable with other systems, and can mutually exchange and process different forms of data. MULTI-MEDIA fuses many forms of transmission and expression of data and images so that information gathered in a certain form can be easily translated into other forms.
NEW FORMS OF TECHNOLOGY AND DATA ACQUISITION HAVE CREATED NEW PRIVACY CONCERNS
Colin J. Bennett & Rebecca Grant, Assoc. Prof. Of Political Science & Assoc. Prof. of Business, both at University of Victoria (BC), VISIONS OF PRIVACY: Policy Choices for the Digital Age, "Introduction," 1999, EE2001-JGM, p.3-4
This new landscape has been shaped by trends in technological, economic, and political domains. Technologically, the privacy problem is exacerbated by the exponential pace of digitization applying to personal information in the form of text, sound, and video; the increase in access, transmission, and retrieval speed for ever more comprehensive personal data files; and the emergence of digital communications networks on a global dimension. These trends parallel movements towards deregulation that are breaking down traditional economic sectors as well as barriers between 'public' and 'private' organizations. At the same time, increasingly sophisticated techniques for market segmentation enable target marketing based on the profiling and matching of transactional data. Within our political and administrative institutions, officials continue to find increasingly creative methods to collect and process personal data to attain their policy goals, including the more effective delivery of services and conduct of law enforcement.
PRIVACY PROBLEMS ARE RESULT OF TECHNOLOGICAL AND HUMAN FALLIBILITY
Colin J. Bennett & Rebecca Grant, Assoc. Prof. Of Political Science & Assoc. Prof. of Business, both at University of Victoria (BC), VISIONS OF PRIVACY: Policy Choices for the Digital Age, "Introduction," 1999, EE2001-JGM, p.4
We make no assumption, however, about the causes of the privacy problem. It is clearly rooted in wider social forces often captured by the term 'modernity.' The bundle of technological, economic, and political factors that constitute late capitalism clearly need to be interrogated if this one issue is to be thoroughly understood. But we leave those questions to the growing body of sociological literature that has been generally concerned with the origins and causes of surveillance. From our vantage point, the privacy problem has its roots in structural conditions - such as bureaucratic organization, globalized capitalism, and technological sophistication - as well as in human agency. Privacy problems arise when technologies work perfectly and when they fail. They arise when administrative, political, and economic elites have worthy motives and when they do not. They arise through both human fallibility and infallibility.
PRIVACY IS THE MOST OBVIOUS EXAMPLE OF RIGHTS THREATENED BY CYBERSPACE
PATTI WALDMEIR, Financial Times (London), March 20, 2000, SECTION: COMMENT & ANALYSIS; Pg. 15 TITLE: When internet freedom means control: The architecture of cyberspace could compromise privacy and free speech// acs-VT2001
Almost invisibly, the net has already begun to violate some of our most cherished old values, he writes. Privacy is perhaps the most obvious example: Prof Lessig's vision of an Orwellian world of perfect identification has begun to seem that much less hysterical in recent weeks, as the public consciousness has been seized by concerns about invasions of privacy enabled by web commerce.
INTERNET AND COMPUTERS CREATE A NEW WATERSHED FOR THE NEED TO PROTECT PRIVACY
JOHN LABATE and PATTI WALDMEIR The Financial Times Limited Financial Times (London) January 29, 2000, SECTION: COMMENT & ANALYSIS; Pg. 15 TITLE: COMMENT & ANALYSIS: They know everything about you// acs-EE2001
The debate about privacy is not really a new one. Historically, every step forward in technology has raised new concerns. But the internet, say privacy activists, represents a quantum leap into a world where, as we live more of our lives online, we reveal more about ourselves - and in ways that can be preserved forever.
"Computers are like elephants: they never forget," says Richard Smith, a privacy activist. "And they are watching us all the time." For the moment, it is big business and not big government that is doing the surveillance, but opinion polls show that most Americans strongly prefer not to be watched at all.
AS WE USE THE INTERNET MORE, IT WILL POSE A LARGER THREAT TO INDIVIDUAL PRIVACY
John J. Fried, The Ottawa Citizen, March 20, 2000, SECTION: High Tech Report; D3 TITLE: Privacy protection becoming a priority: A ubiquitous Internet threatens to snag more personal information // acs-VT2001
And in the process of transferring much of their lives to the Internet, everyone will be forced to transfer more and more information about themselves online, raising the possibility that much of the data will be diverted to mass-marketers, advertisers, employers and insurance companies.
''Who will get access to the fact that you have nothing but high-fat foods in the refrigerator or how many beers you have in there?'' asks Austin Hill, president of Zero-Knowledge Systems Inc., a Montreal firm developing an online privacy-protection service.
CYBERSPACE IS A WONDERLAND OF LOST PRIVACY
Business Week, March 20, 2000 SECTION: COVER STORY; ONLINE PRIVACY; Number 3673; Pg. 82 TITLE: It's Time for Rules in Wonderland // acs-VT2001
If Lewis Carroll had written about Alice's adventures today, she would find herself passing through the looking glass and into cyberspace. She would meet up with dodos, duchesses, and eggheads, some of whom would spout the rough equivalent of '''Twas brillig, and the slithy toves....'' The journey also would be full of rude surprises. As in Carroll's books, she would eventually discover who she really was. But many others she had never met would learn about her, too. Indeed, with every click of the mouse, a bit more of her privacy would vanish down the rabbit hole.
These days, a lot of people are stumbling on similar unpleasant surprises. Thanks to a string of privacy gaffes involving DoubleClick, RealNetworks, Amazon.com, and other major Web sites, consumers are learning that e-commerce companies have an intense interest in their private information. For about 9 cents, some medical data sites will sell you your neighbor's history of urinary tract infections. Your speeding tickets, bounced checks, and delayed child-support payments are an open book. In the background, advertising services are building profiles of where people browse, what they buy, how they think, and who they are. Hundreds of sites already are stockpiling this type of information -- some to use in targeted advertising, others to sell or trade with other sites.
PRIVACY CONCERNS RISE AS INFO TECHNOLOGY INCREASES
Ray Kurzweil. world expert on artificial intelligence, The Guardian (London), January 16, 1999; Pg. 1 TITLE: The future? We're virtually there // acs-EE2001
Privacy has emerged as a primary political issue. The almost constant use of electronic communication technologies is leaving a highly detailed trail of every person's every move.