Internet and Personal Privacy Essay

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Internet and Personal Privacy

In the world of today most records can be easily accessed by a home computer. Even Governmental records can be viewed. Some believe this has benefits, while others are screaming about invasion of privacy. Heated debates can go on for many hours about this topic. Each side has people who devote all their time and energy to see their side of the argument prevail.

The Freedom of Information Act which was established in 1966 states that all people shall have access to federal records. This allows the public to be kept abreast of the workings in the government. Any person may request a document, which the government must present, however, the government can not synthesize a document. It is even possible to
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Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr. This would not have been possible with the Freedom of Information Act.

There are nine exemptions to the Freedom of Information Act, national security, internal agency rules, information exempted by another federal statute, trade secrets, internal agency memoranda, personal privacy, investigatory records, and other exemptions.

Does the public’s right to know out weigh one’s personal privacy? The personal computer does make privacy difficult. Databases have been created simply to hold ones personal information, and many times these databases can be accessed by any computer-geek. One such database is the National Crime Information Center (NCIC), created by Herbert Hoover. This database holds information on every American person ever arrested in the United States.

How could this information not be beneficial? Many times the information is neither accurate nor complete. What could happen if the wrong hands accessed these files, such as a possible employer? The computer has made this threat a reality. Ever wonder where junk mail comes from? Currently, there is "a database of the names, addresses, and marketing information on 120 million residents of the United States". This information may not seem very personal. But many times this simple information can lead to more personal information.

Privacy could still be invaded without the use of a computer; however, the computer has made it easier and faster. The