Does privacy still exist in the 21st century? Should we care? I have listed some of the major issues that will continue to be hot-button topics in 2014.

Does privacy still exist in the 21st century? Should we care? Non-celebrities regularly cede private information on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and other social media sites. While we are dimly aware that data could be used in the real world and online for criminal purposes (see Time magazine article: The Secret Web: Where Drugs, Porn and Murder Live Online), some may argue that we have willingly forfeited the right to privacy in favor of a more inter-connected world. However, recent data breaches at companies, the Edward Snowden affair, and a spate of lawsuits (e.g., Facebook, Target, Google, Hulu) have prompted advocates to accelerate the calls for reform.

US privacy laws

There is no explicit right to privacy in the US constitution. However, The Bill of Rights (and 14th Amendment) reflects limits placed on intrusions into individuals’ privacy.

Privacy invasions, according to a Wikipedia entry, can be categorized as:

·         Intrusion of solitude: physical or electronic intrusion into one's private quarters

·         Public disclosure of private facts: the dissemination of truthful private information which a reasonable person would find objectionable

·         False light: the publication of facts which place a person in a false light, even though the facts themselves may not be defamatory

·         Appropriation: the unauthorized use of a person's name or likeness to obtain some benefits

 Individual privacy

Key privacy issues and recommendations are outlined below:

·         Government: The constitutionality of NSA data surveillance is being challenged by Rand Paul

·         “Do not track” rules: Californian law takes effect, but may spell headaches for the app economy

·         Workplace: The trend in the private sector has been towards less protection for employees (see ACLU resources). Although employers can legally monitor employees, the ACLU applauds notifying employees about privacy policies. A Harvard article outlined some of the concerns regarding digital access to employee information and a fact sheet regarding workplace privacy and employee monitoring was assembled by the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse

·          Consumers: Health privacy, data mining to recruit sick individuals, and safeguarding user information will continue to be among the hot-button privacy issues in 2014

·         Tougher oversight: European, federal, and industry enforcers are beefing up enforcement programs

·         Legislation: The Government Accountability Office has recommended enacting legislation creating baseline privacy rules for the collection, use, and sale of personal information

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Zeena Nackerdien January 07, 2014 at 10:57 AM
Jay Cline's article: Is privacy dead? (http://www.computerworld.com.au/article/535244/jay_cline_privacy_dead_/?utm_medium=rss&utm_source=taxonomyfeed)


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »