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Re: "We have to destroy privacy in order to protect privacy"
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- Subject: Re: "We have to destroy privacy in order to protect privacy"
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- Date: Wed, 21 Oct 1998 10:12:37 +0200
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What is privacy?
Just now the political representatives show the world
how protection of privacy looks like in the world's
leading Nation. Victim is the President himself who
unwillingly has become a benchmark case because of
his sexual affairs.
Although this is a matter of law, only political
strategies are executed.
Protection of privacy turns out to be the most important
human rights issue in this information technology age.
Definition of privacy is difficult. It includes not only
data protection; it draws a line at the border where a
society is allowed to get concerned about an individual.
Louis Brandeis, Member of the Supreme Court, said in 1890:
The right for privacy is the right for an individual to
live for him/her-self. Protection of privacy includes
protection of private information, safety, protection
of communication, and protection of territory (house,
public space, and work place).
Following several articles in American newspapers,
privacy at the work place is in great danger.
Surveillance is very often made part of the contract
with the employer. A Report by the American Management
Association says that two thirds of employers are
controlling emails and other work at the computer,
and are tapping phone calls. Surveillance cameras
are used, e.g., to trace movements of employees in
company buildings; regular tests for drugs, requests
for intimate information and various psychological
tests are performed.
Many people in the US may believe this is normal.
Who tells them that this a violation of privacy
rights ? The government ? Bill Gates ? Tim May ?
Tim May wrote:
>To be more concrete, if I compile lists of who is writing articles on
>Usenet, I have no obligation to either purge these records or
>show them to others or not sell them or _anything_. The
>government cannot get at myrecords except under limited
If companies are using personal data, which they have
gathered from open sources, without explicit permission
for other purposes than in direct business with that
person, then they are violating data protection rules.
If the sources are not open, then they are also violating
fair competition rules which may be considered to be
criminal in some countries.
Tim May wrote:
>Europe's "data privacy laws," which I have been critical of for
>more than ten years now, are an abomination. While the laws
>sound well-intentioned, they effectively give the state the power
>to sift through filing cabinets and disk drives looking for violations.
Sifting through filing cabinets is also clearly a violation
of privacy rights. However, does it mean that privacy is
uncontrollable? Alternatively, the only protection is
not to put any personal data on a network. Use your
pseudonym instead. Strong encryption does not help,
because the receiver side may not respect your privacy.