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Privacy in a World of Technology The Solution Rachel A. Whiteside Florida State College at Jacksonville

PRIVACY IN A WORLD OF TECHNOLOGY Privacy in a World of Technology We live in technology driven society where personal information is collected daily through the Internet and numerous other sources including state and government agencies. The availability of this information has many individuals concerned with privacy. Pro privacy supporters believe obtaining, sharing, or selling personal information without prior consent violates an individuals privacy and should not be permitted. Con privacy supporters believe there are legitimate reasons to collect certain personal information. They argue that there are ways of doing so that are not unethical or a violation of an individuals privacy, but instead out of concern for public safety. The debate over personal privacy has been a topic of concern for many years. The availability of the Internet has enhanced this debate by offering the public a means to access wealth of personal information with only a few clicks of the mouse. Government Regulation: Its a Start What is the solution to this growing concern? I do not believe there is a definitive solution. With heightened terrorist activity abroad, it is apparent that state and government

agencies are not going to stop monitoring and collecting our personal information anytime in the near future. I believe Internet companies collecting personal data without prior consent pose a more valid concern in terms of personal privacy. These companies often compile and sell invalid data, which can in turn contribute to misrepresentation, mistaken identity as well as identity theft. I believe these types of companies should be regulated and required to access the same pool of data through a standardized agency licensed to collect personal data instead of through web searches and other non-verified sources. Who should be tasked with maintaining and regulating these companies and their practices? I believe the federal government is best equipped to take charge of this situation. Many of these Internet companies are taking advantage


of outdated privacy laws. According to the American Civil Liberties Union (n.d.) the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) has not updated the since 1986. I believe it is imperative that the government revisit this act and develop other regulations regarding the collection of personal information. This will not entirely address or resolve the privacy issue, but I believe it is a good start.


American Civil Liberties Union. (n.d.). Modernizing the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA). (n.d). Retrieved from http://www.aclu.org/technology-and-liberty/modernizingelectronic-communications-privacy-act-ecpa