The Value of Digital Privacy in an Information Technology Age
List and describe at least three technologies that allow an individual to research citizen’s private data.
Personal information is collected from a multitude of public and private databases. Among the public collection of databases the following can be found on nearly any U.S. citizen who has included themselves in any of the following: birth, marriage, or death certificates; public court filings, arrest records, and property tax rolls; state issued licenses such as drivers and/or professional licenses. Facebook, Spokeo, and CensusLink are among the many private sector databases of collected information on U.S. citizens. ...view middle of the document...
One technological website to private info on U.S citizens is Spokeo. Spokeo is a leading people search engine; they assimilate information from a vast array of databases; from phone books, social networks, marketing surveys, real estate listings, business websites, and other public sources of information. This public information is then made accessible both freely for basic people searches and by enrolling your information to become a member. By purchasing a membership for either a monthly or annual fee, Spokeo then allows you an unlimited amount of people searches and access to their private information through the vast arrays of databases. The ability to search from one website lowers the encumbrance of collecting the information about individuals in such a significant manner, virtually opens the doors to one’s personal life (www.spokeo, viewed 5/4/13).
Census Link is another type of data provider. Using the information gathered from the US Census and applying various analytical metrics marketers are able to determine broad metrics such as population trends, income distribution, and education levels. In addition, specific individuals can ultimately be identified through those metrics when jointly applied by reconstructing the lifestyle profiles to certain categories and areas, pinpointing one single citizen’s private information (www.epic.org, viewed 5/3/13).
Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of public access to this information both for the researchers and those who are being “investigated.”
Being able to easily determine criminal history could be helpful in any situation where there could be breaches of trust, where children or elders must be cared, where ethics and morality converge with compensation. One of the disadvantages is misinformation being collected and used to someone’s detriment unbeknownst to them. Socialist groups legitimate accurate data being used against an individual, reasoning that many accept the argument that after one has paid their debt to society they should not be plagued by their previous indiscretions.
The mirroring advantage to disadvantage is the relationship between the researcher and the investigated party. Take the site Spokeo, within their privacy terms states the following in the usage of login credentials and information you provide to third parties site by letting Spokeo access the database of the third parties inputted private information: “Your third-party login credentials will be stored only as long as You continue to enable private content syndication tool, this information will be deleted within a reasonable period of time following the termination (www.Spokeo, viewed 5/4/13).
Determine what measures citizens can take to protect private information or information they don’t want disclosed.
Research through the internet and with-in various local governmental web portals reveals that the breadth of information available is extensive. With-out a conscious effort made...