Every day there is news of data loss of many people’s personal information. As losses accumulate, the realization increases that personal information privacy (PIP) is no longer controlled by either the persons or the companies that gather information (Friedewald & Pohoryles, 2013). To date, research suggests that personal information privacy is the responsibility of persons’ faking contracts with companies for the protection of their information, that it is the government’s responsibility to protect the person, or the responsibility of companies to regulate the internal use. All these perceptions are company-centric but threats that increased beyond the company to its data-sharing partners, leading to data aggregation and sale that are mainly uncontrolled and unregulated (Friedewald & Pohoryles, 2013). Such definitions leave someone with an obvious belief that persons manage their own physical visibility to the world. Further, the legal definition comprises privacy in “personal issues.” Privacy can be perceived from different points of view: on the one hand, is how a person’s inherent right to privacy can be protected.
What is the impact of emerging information technology on privacy?
Disputes about privacy revolve around new technology, from the widespread of bio-markers, genetics, closed-circuit television, Smartphone, social media to government cybersecurity programs. The effect of the new technologies specifically focusing on information technology is important to finding a solution to upholding data privacy (Friedewald & Pohoryles, 2013). Although technology is connected to use of devices, information technology comprises of complicated socio-technical performance systems, and its use background forms the foundation for talking about its function in varying likelihoods for accessing data, and thus influencing privacy.
How can privacy concerns be solved by information technology?
While information technology is perceived as being the main origin of privacy issues, it is important to establish if it can be used to solve the same problem. Since technology is used to gain access to personal information, the same technology can be altered to prevent access (Friedewald & Pohoryles, 2013). There are guidelines and rules, or practices that can be applied in designing methodologies of using encryption for the protection of individual’s information from unauthorized users. Specifically, techniques from the area of information protection that are intended to protect personal information from illegal access can be of importance in the protection of information.
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Are there possible privacy solutions due to the emerging technologies?
After evaluating how the existing technology may influence privacy and how it can help in mitigating the undesirable impacts, it is important to consider future and upcoming technologies that may have an intense effect (Friedewald & Pohoryles, 2013). For example, it is critical to consider the possibility of computers that are connected to the brain in which personal thoughts are at risk of being exposed to the public, influencing others decisions. Besides, it could even be possible to alter someone’s actions using technology. Consequently, such possible future technological advancements require more considerations as to how much of a threat they are to privacy.
Privacy issues in emerging technology
One of the many challenges posed by emerging technologies is to address is what it means for personal privacy. Far-reaching transformations to the way people communicate with each other, the world, and organizations are currently being ushered in, and some have quite meaningful impacts on personal privacy. Whereas it is true that technology is advancing fast, it is important that the developers should put into consideration the privacy of users.
The impact of emerging information technology on privacy and data ethics
The fast advancement of emerging technologies, such as cloud computing, Big Data, and the internet, are leading to most societies struggled while trying attempting to keep up with and adopt them (Calluzzo & Cante, 2004). As a result, serious concerns and issues are thus being raised. The threat to the privacy of personal information is among these issues. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights Article 12 that was issued by the United Nations General Assembly in 1948 recognizes the right to personal privacy. There is a need for a new taxonomy of privacy issues, including those caused by new technology that could assist decision-makers and policymakers to better weigh privacy against its counter-vailing rights, value, interest, and obligations (Calluzzo & Cante, 2004). That means a change in relations between politics and science. The post-modern technological system is greatly embedded in politics. Since they challenge assumptions at the cause of the present morals, upcoming technologies are provoking a crisis that is either endorsed by law or is still at the tacit presupposition level. These results in an increasing gap between technology, citizens, and politics, witnessed when a person’s private sphere conflicts with the idea of common ground.
Resolving privacy issues using information technology
Technological designs sensitive to ethics offer a theoretical-based perspective to the designing of technology that is responsible for human ethics in a comprehensive and principled way in the entire process of design. It gives a set of guidelines and rules for system designing with a specific design in mind. Privacy is one such value, and thus value susceptible design can be applied as a technique of designing a privacy-friendly information technology system. There is also several software tools designed to offer some type of privacy for users (Gürses et al., 2016). These tools are referred to as privacy enhancing technologies. Cryptography has also been applied as a way of protecting data (Gürses et al., 2016). The modern cryptographic methods are necessary in any information system that requires storing personal information. For instance, by offering protected links for browsing and networking, privacy is enhanced. It is however, important to note that cryptography only, does not offer security from data violation. It is only when it is used properly in a certain situation that it becomes a protection against personal information.
Possible privacy solutions due to emerging technologies
Further to assessing information technology from the existing moral standards, it is important to think of the likelihood that changes in technology impact norms. Technology, therefore, does not only impact confidentiality by altering the information accessibility, but also by altering the customs. For instance, social networking websites ask their users to provide extra personal information that they else may not. The over-sharing of information becomes an embraced practice in some groups. With emerging and future technologies, such impacts are projected and thus they should not be considered when trying to control the impacts
It is also important to think whether, with the future information connectivity intensity, it is reasonable in the protection of personal privacy by hiding data from the parties who are likely to misuse it (Gutwirth & De Hert 2008). It has been argued that it might be more practicable to safeguard one’s privacy using transparency – by necessitating that actors should validate choices made about persons, therefore maintaining that decisions should not be made according to illegitimate data. Such an approach has its won issues, since it may be difficult to show that incorrect data was used to make a decision.
Calluzzo, V., & Cante, C. (2004). Ethics in Information Technology and Software Use. Journal of Business Ethics, 51, 3, 301-312.
Friedewald, M., & Pohoryles, R. J. (2013). Technology and privacy. Innovation: the European Journal of Social Sciences, 26, 1-6.
Gürses, S., A. Kundnani, & J. Van Hoboken, (2016) “Crypto and empire: the contradictions of counter-surveillance advocacy”, Media, Culture & Society, 38(4): 576–590.
Gutwirth, S. & P. De Hert (2008). “Regulating profiling in a democratic constitutional state”, in Hildebrandt and Gutwirth 2008: 271–302.