Can privacy be protected in the information age?

This work is beginning from a question: “Can privacy be protected in the information age?” It is hard to answer on it immediately, because there is no one right answer. Right answer can appear in process of the discussion and only analysis of different sources can help us to find an answer and prove selected standpoint. First of all it is important to pay attention on the two straight opposite opinions which can be taken for the research base. It is easily to understand that among them are “yes-position” and “no-position”.

Let’s stop on privacy question in more details. Privacy is a growing concern all over the world. Saying about information technology we see that information technology has had a big impact on our everyday lives and open a new stage in the world’s development process. In such a way the last twenty and even twenty five years have been called the “Information Age”. The spread of the Internet give a possibility to millions of people produce, compare, collect, store and distribute information. Every day and even every minute more and more people are using internet technology to find information and to connect with important people, to buy different goods and services, to learn something and be informed. All these aspects connected with privacy policy and privacy rights should be protected.

      Simson Garfinkel and Adam L. Penenberg discuss the wide range of privacy problems, which mankind is faced now. They show us that privacy can be protected, but not in all cases. Garfinkel's (2000) study found the following:  The problem with this word “privacy” is that it falls short of conveying the really big picture. Privacy isn't just about hiding things. It's about self-possession, autonomy and integrity. As we move into the computerized world of the twenty-first century, privacy will be one of our most important civil rights. But this right of privacy isn't the right of people to close their doors and pull down their window shades””perhaps because they want to engage in some sort of illicit or illegal activity. It's the right of people to control what details about their lives stay inside their own houses and what leaks to the outside. (p.2)

Solove (2006) continues Garfinkel’s topic and due to this research were found several new variants of privacy protection. He used a wide variety of sources, including literature, history, and philosophy. Solove (2006) forms a new understanding of what privacy is and this notion is appropriate for the new challenges of the Information Age. Also author recommends us how the acting law can be changed and improved to simultaneously protect our privacy and allow us to enjoy the benefits of our new information world.

Hyatt (2000) shows how the government, industry, individuals, and interest groups have access to personal information about different people. It is interesting to look at various kinds of access schemes and understand that information about you can be received sometimes in very easy way. Hyatt (2000) explains us how privacy is being taken both at home and at work by new technology. Also author’s findings can help people to determine a level of privacy based on their financial resources, personal values and lifestyle.

Now we can find a lot of articles that privacy can’t be protected in the information age and our data is in danger. I agree with it, but there are few data sources that are highly protected from different swindlers and among them is banks’ information, for example. You can say that banks’ accounts are often used in fraudulent purposes, but banks are interested in their clients’ privacy and looking for new systems of protection, which can protect information and give people a chance not to be afraid for their money and valuable papers. Many highly skilled specialists are involved in privacy protection process and they have good results of their work.

It was only one example described above how privacy can be protected and I believe that it were convincing arguments for you that it is possible sometimes to protect privacy. It will be very unadvisedly from my side to declare that there are many ways to protect privacy, but if you want to do it, you can find the best way for it.

For the conclusion I want to say that in our everyday’s life we shouldn’t be afraid about our computer data and every minute think about them. Yes, there are many situations when different data were stolen, but these situations show us that exactly we should be more attentive and take care of our information more carefully.

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