...Philip sought and was granted a court order
demanding that several Internet service providers
unmask the identities of the anonymous posters. ...
[in a sidebar]‘This case may
underscore for a
lot of people
that what they
think of as their
online is pretty
fragile and easy
- MIKE GODWIN
Staff Cousel, Electronic
And Now PRIVACY and word from our sponsor -
Privacy - Attempt versus Succeed by Carl Ellison
GLOBAL SURVEILLANCE SYSTEMS
Plan for Medical ID Numbers Spurs Privacy Worries
The government on Monday began hearings on how to assign every American a lifetime health-care ID number — much like a Social Security number — that critics say will demolish privacy by opening medical histories to insurers, employers and others. - July 21, 1998 FOX News (AP)
The European Union Data Directive
Personally I have to wonder who's 'ox' is being gored? Will Europe's desires rule us? Is their 'Euro-dollar' worth government mandate?
DATA PROTECTION IN THE GLOBAL SOCIETY
15 November 1996
Alan F. Westin
American Institute for Contemporary German Studies
The Johns Hopkins University
And Now PRIVACY and word from our sponsor -
"...National surveys of the American public, conducted by
Louis Harris and Associates (with Dr. Westin as academic advisor) show that
eighty-five percent of Americans say they are concerned today about threats to their
personal privacy, and eighty-one percent feel that consumers have "lost all control"
over the way businesses collect and use their personal information.
Based on more than 1,000 questions drawn from fifteen U.S. national surveys since
1978 on aspects of privacy, Dr. Westin divided the American public into three
groups regarding attitudes towards privacy:
- "Fundamentalists," about twenty-five percent of the American public, who rate
privacy as an extremely high value, are loathe to trade this for promised
benefits to them or to society, and generally favor legislative standards and
- At the opposite pole are the "privacy unconcerned," about twenty percent of
the American public, who are generally ready to give personal information
about themselves in order to get consumer benefits and support government
programs, and are not at all worried about intrusiveness.
- This leaves the "privacy pragmatists," fifty-five percent of the American public
and clearly the "swing group" in setting public norms. The pragmatists are
willing to listen to possible benefits to them or to society from disclosing their
personal information and weigh those values against the important privacy
interests involved If they feel the benefits are meaningful, they next look for
meaningful safeguards basically, the fair information practices
elements and decide whether they trust these to be provided by private
standards or whether they feel laws are needed. Whether private standards are
accepted generally depends on the trust the public has in particular industries
or government agencies to handle their information in a responsible way.
The Harris privacy surveys have found that the two driving factors behind people's privacy attitudes are their level of distrust of institutions (both public and private) and their fears about misuse of information technologies.
...Dr. Simitis's central point, echoed throughout the day by other European participants, emphasized that Europeans see privacy as a fundamental human right, and data protection as an essential means to protect that right through a coherent and enforceable legal regime. Europeans "have understood that the technology and the use of personal data have direct implications a) for the position of the individual in society, and b) for the structure of society." The European data protection laws grew out of this fundamental human rights outlook. ... [emphasis added - aj]
AS THE CYBER-WORLD TURNS: The
European Union's Data Protection Directive and Trans-border Flows of
Susan E. Gindin - January 24, 1998
"Among the Directive's requirements are that the member country statutes provide individuals with the right to advance notice of a data collector's intent to collect and use their personal data, the right to access and correct data collected about them, and the right to object to certain data transfers. The Directive further requires that the statutes require that data collectors process personal data only for specified, explicit, and legitimate purposes; that data collectors maintain the security and confidentiality of personal data; and that statutes provide judicial remedies for violations.
.(there are exceptions - see her complete work)
"Moreover, because the EU takes such an all-encompassing approach to data protection, the Directive would also seem to affect entities with Internet Web sites which collect personal data from Web site visitors, even if the entity does not actually transact business with anyone in the EU. In its Assessing Adequacy policy paper, the Commission indicated that it regards "transfers involving the collection of data in a particularly covert or clandestine manner (e.g. Internet cookies)" as transfers which "pose particular risks to privacy" requiring particular scrutiny in terms of "adequate protection."
... (plus a lot more..)
"Susan E. Gindin is an attorney in Colorado who is particularly interested in electronic privacy and information security issues. Her article, Lost and Found in Cyberspace: Informational Privacy in the Age of the Internet, is published in 34 SAN DIEGO LAW REVIEW (Aug.-Sept. 1997), and is available online at http://www.info-law.com/lost.html.
Lawyer Library: Guide to Cyberspace Law
No Freedom of Information By Malcom Howard - Wired magazine, Apr 1997
"The capabilities and efficiency of information technology - often
touted as the harbingers of democratic
enlightenment - are ironically being used to justify
an even greater clampdown on public access to
Jim Warren, "the Internet is a potent grass-roots political action tool."
Mr. Warren successfully [almost alone] lobbied the California legislature to put all proceedings on the Internet. "Any free society must have...access to adequate information on which to base sound decisions..."
The first ones that came out of the woodwork saying "we don't want to do that" were the people
who run the legislative data center saying "Well,--" and it took a while for them to say this, but the
substance was they were selling this information for five hundred thousand dollars a year!
And then there's the IP Address Monopoly issue....
And from Stanford University: Databases in Cyberspace: Maintaining Individual Privacy Rights
Identity and Deception in the Virtual Community, by Judith Donath of MIT