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Privacy Case

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Privacy. In the past the word privacy was something much simpler than it is today. Privacy meant that information about one’s self was only shared with their permission and was usually in done verbally or in written documents, such as medical records. In today’s society, privacy is a little more complicated due to technology. Our information is stored in various databases that are connected to the Internet and how it is used or shared varies dependent upon the organization that maintains them. This paper will answer various questions regarding privacy issues.

Privacy Questions
1. The Code of Fair Information Practices applies only to government databases. Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of extending the Code of Fair Information Practices to private databases managed by corporations. Advantages

By extending the Code of Fair Information Practices to private databases that are managed by corporations it will eliminate the loophole of government agencies purchasing information from the private organizations which houses much more information than government databases. With private corporations being held to guidelines of the Code of Information Practices, there will be a large decrease in the information being held in the databases as well as being regulated by the individual’s preference on what information on them can be used or made available as well as being able to access and update such information. As it stands right now information that is held in private corporation databases are not completely accurate and by extending these guidelines into private corporations will ensure that the information is accurate and secure. Corporations would have to steps in ensuring that the data collected is accurate by cross-referencing data with multiple sources while providing the individual access to the data. To ensure the information is secure, they would have to protect against unauthorized access, destruction, use, or disclosure of information by way of passwords and encryption (FTC, 2007).

Like the government, private corporations would have the ability to exempt any database they choose for their own personal agenda, such as hiding or excluding certain information because there is no one in charge of enforcing the provisions of the code. Currently agencies are able to share records amongst another as long as they are for “routine use”; however the term “routine use” can be defined by each corporation. Extending the Code of Fair Information Practices can cause misunderstanding of the term “routine use” because each corporation will be able to define it accordingly to fit their corporation’s needs. This can lead to improper handling and misuse of the data; causing security and privacy concerns (Quinn, 2011, pgs. 248 -249). 2. A company discovers that some of its proprietary information has been revealed in Internet chat rooms. The disclosure of this information results in a substantial drop in the price of the company’s shares. The company provides Internet service providers with the screen names of the people who posted the confidential information. It asks the ISPs to disclose the actual identities of these people.

Should the ISPs comply with this request? Explain your reasoning. The ISPs should not comply with the request to disclose the actual identities of the people associated with the screen names provided to them unless they are given a warrant or subpoena. When people enter discussion boards, chat rooms, or message boards their postings are considered a form of freedom of speech and therefore upheld by the First Amendment of the Constitution. “The First Amendment provides that Congress make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting its free exercise. It protects freedom of speech, the press, assembly, and the right to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” – Amendment I (1791) (U.S. Senate, n.d.) If any laws are broken then the ISPs need to have a court subpoena in order to furnish the information requested (O’Brien, 2002). 3. Name two benefits and two harms that may result from the passage of the Real ID Act. Two benefits from the passage of the Real ID Act are: driver’s licenses are a more reliable form of identification making it harder for imposter’s to create false identification and the new driver’s licenses will be machine readable. Two harms from the passage of the Real ID Act are: the machine-readable information stored on the licenses may be targeted for easier use of identity theft and the cost of implementation which is estimated to be more than $23 billion (Quinn, 2011, pgs. 272 -273).


FTC (June 25, 2007) Fair Information Practice Principles, Federal Trade Commission
Retrieved on September 23, 2012 from
O’Brien, J. (2002) Putting a Face to a (Screen) Name: The First Amendment Implications of Compelling ISPs to Reveal the Identities of Anonymous Internet
Speakers in Online Defamation Cases
Retrieved on September 24, 2012 from
http://ir.lawnet.fordham.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=3847&context=flr Quinn, M. (2011) Ethics for the Information Age Fourth Edition, Pearson Education, Inc. U.S. Senate (n.d.) Constitution of the United States

Retrieved on September 24, 2012 from

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