PEOPLE ARE SUCKERED INTO GIVING UP INFORMATION INDIVIDUAL ACTION FAILS
PEOPLE ARE MORE OPEN WITH STRANGERS, AND THINK THE INTERNET IS THE SAME WAY -- THEY ARE WRONG
Jeffrey Rosen, associate professor at the George Washington University Law School, The New York Times April 30, 2000, SECTION: Section 6; Page 46; TITLE: The Eroded Self // acs-EE2001
The sociologist Georg Simmel observed nearly 100 years ago that people are often more comfortable confiding in strangers than in friends, colleagues or neighbors. Confessions to strangers are cost-free because strangers move on; you never expect to see them again, so you are not inhibited by embarrassment or shame. In many ways the Internet is a technological manifestation of the phenomenon of the stranger. There's no reason to fear the disclosure of intimate information to faceless Web sites as long as those Web sites have no motive or ability to collate the data into a personally identifiable profile that could be disclosed to anyone you actually know. By contrast, the prospect that your real identity might be linked to permanent databases of your online -- and off-line -- behavior is chilling, because the databases could be bought, subpoenaed or traded by employers, insurance companies, ex-spouses and others who have the ability to affect your life in profound ways.
VAST MAJORITY OF CORPORATE DATA IS FOR BENIGN PURPOSES WHICH BENEFIT THE INDIVIDUAL
Tom Foremski: Financial Times (London), July 7, 1999, SECTION: SURVEY - FT IT REVIEW; Pg. 04 TITLE: Concern in US over new technologies: PRIVACY Web sites can already build up a detailed personal file on each visitor. // acs-EE2001
For the most part, personal data collected by companies is intended for benign purposes. Knowing more about a customer or a visitor to a web site is one of the most basic goals of any business. Such data enables web sites to automatically configure themselves for the personal preferences and interests of their visitors, companies can use personal data to target advertising messages, offer special deals on specific products, and simplify purchasing online by storing a returning customer's credit card details.
INDIVIDUAL ACTIONS ARE INSUFFICIENT, THERE MUST BE FEDERAL REGULATIONS
CHARLES PILLER, Los Angeles Times, March 20, 2000, SECTION: Business; Part C; Page 1; TITLE: WEB FIRMS HAVE SORRY RECORD ON PUBLIC'S PRIVACY // acs-VT2001
Software that protects all e-mail and Web surfing from prying eyes can help, but it is still too costly or complex for many users. The best hope for regaining some control over our personal information depends on tough regulations by the federal government.
IT IS A MISTAKE TO RELY ON INDIVIDUALS TO ACT TO PROTECT PRIVACY, IT REQUIRES GOVERNMENT AND LAWS
Robert O'Harrow Jr., The Washington Post January 2, 2000, SECTION: FINANCIAL; Pg. H01 TITLE: HORNING IN ON PRIVACY; As Databases Collect Personal Details Well Beyond Credit-Card Numbers, It's Time to Guard Yourself // acs-EE2001
This is where Marc Rotenberg of the Electronic Privacy Information Center weighs in. He believes government officials are putting too much of the privacy burden on individuals. So he urges people to become more active in calling for new laws.