Privacy and Citizens' Data

1498 Words6 Pages
Introduction This is an era of massive violations of privacy rights and individual liberties due to the new technologies of surveillance, data mining, electronic monitoring, biometric chips, spamming, hacking, phishing, and security breaches at major private and public institutions. These new technologies make the protection of privacy rights far more difficult than in the pre-electronic past. Given the nature of the Internet, thousands or even millions of people can view these Twitter and Facebook postings in a very short time, and they can quickly go 'viral' and spread globally almost overnight (Owyang and Milliken 2010). Governments collect data on the entire life cycles of individuals, from birth to death, as well as information on marriages, divorces, legal records, financial histories, voting, motor vehicles and property ownership. Those suspected of terrorist or 'subversive' sympathies are subjected to far more intensive covert monitoring and investigation by the federal government, under the provisions of the Patriot Act. Banks, corporations and private organizations in general also collect an immense amount of personal and financial data for credit and marketing purposes. In short, these governmental and private organizations now have considerable power over "individual autonomy and decision making" thanks to these new technologies (Solove, 2006, p. 2). Social Networks Privacy The personal right to privacy is a modern concept and hardly existed anywhere in
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