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Ethical Issues concerning Internet Privacy 1.  Personal information on the Internet has become a hot commodity because it can be collected, exchanged,

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Presentation on theme: "Ethical Issues concerning Internet Privacy 1.  Personal information on the Internet has become a hot commodity because it can be collected, exchanged,"— Presentation transcript:

1 Ethical Issues concerning Internet Privacy 1

2  Personal information on the Internet has become a hot commodity because it can be collected, exchanged, recombined with ease.  Other ways to gather information ◦ Serial numbers embedded in computers or software ◦ Spyware, cookies ◦ Ex. DoubleClick 2

3  Anonymity – protection from undesired attention  Solitude – lack of physical proximity to others  Secrecy involves limiting the dissemination of knowledge about oneself  Information privacy – concerns the collection, use, and dissemination of information about individuals 3

4  Restricted access – able to shield personal data from some while sharing it with others  Extrinsic loss of freedom- lack of privacy often makes individuals vulnerable to having their behavior controlled by others  Intrinsic loss of freedom – most people behave differently when they are being watched or monitored 4

5 Novice Internet users are amazed by the amount of personal information available online Should be limits and conditions such as: – Exclude unique identifiers (SSN, birth dates, mothers’ maiden name) – Exclude unlisted phone numbers, reverse lookup 5

6  Shopping “Saver” cards (Kroger, Giant Eagle)  2 phases of systematic loss of privacy ◦ Database phase – technology made it possible to collect, store, retrieve large amounts of data ◦ Network phase – consumers routinely communicate with vendors by , post messages to electronic bulletin boards on Internet while surfing and/ purchasing online products (monitored by prying eyes all over the network and collected without their knowledge) 6

7 Cookies – small data files written to the customer’s hard drive by the web site when the user visits that site with a browse; it stores customer’s visit info and when they come back it knows what you did before 3 rd party cookies – placed across the network so it tracks user movements Clickstream data –shows users IP address, browser type, version, URLs visited 7

8  Data profiling – gathering and collating data about individuals to make decisions about individual’s habits  Spyware - small program usually installed without the users consent, tracks user’s surfing habits and sends to a third party  Why is this done? Target marketing and advertising (more predictable response) 8

9 Laws – not the only solution (Code, norms, market) Opt-in Approach – companies must inform user about how data is being used and the user can proceed or not 2004, Utah Spyware Control Act – requires all companies to disclose the changes made to the computer by their spyware and type of information transmitted to the server Technology – anti-spyware Some companies, realizing importance of privacy to customers, will enhance confidence and trust but will mean higher prices -> customers may be willing to pay 9

10 Databases of info is no different than gossip Profiles used by insurance companies and other businesses before selling services to us Technology is more powerful and intrusive than local gossip Companies need to obtain permission before collecting data Some think cookies are just an annoyance others look at as “Big Brother” watching Most users have no idea what cookies do 10

11 US believes best path is a split between market pressure and industry self-regulation Europe treats privacy as a human right deserving full protection In the United States 1984 Cable Protection Act – prohibits cable TV companies to collect data about viewing habits 1988 Video Privacy Protection Act – same with movie rental stores 11

12 1994 Driver’s Privacy Protection Act protects motor vehicle records and prohibits sale or release unless the drivers are provided the opportunity to opt out 1998 Children's Online Privacy Act – forbids web sites from collecting information on children less than 13 unless they have parent consent 2001 HIPPA protects medical privacy FERPA 12

13 Cookies and spyware Intel had a plan to put id numbers in computer chips of Pentium III – Reason - track computer equipment – FTC demanded Intel to recall the chip and be disabled unless the user turned it on – PC makers made a patch and turned the serial numbers back on – Serial numbers would enhance security but lose privacy 13

14 Users warned collection will occur Empowers users to make an informed choice Encourages standardization and simplification of privacy policies Has limitations – it can not ensure enforcement and if violated P3P has little recourse Europe doesn’t rely on market place but relies on LAWS 14

15  Technology has facilitated greater control over employees  Heightened intrusiveness into private lives  Monitor incoming and outgoing and web-surfing habits  Employee Internet Management software – more than half of Fortune 500 companies have adopted some sort of EIM software 15

16  Should be private?  Web-surfing monitoring? ◦ Hidden cameras ◦ Clickstream data ◦ Will it protect the employee from harm or breach or privacy?  Will moral diminish?  Decline in productivity? Web surfing vs. going outside to smoke  Can we find middle ground? 16


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