Internet Privacy Issues the Digital Essay

Total Length: 901 words ( 3 double-spaced pages)

Total Sources: 6

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They suggest that the laws necessary to protect informational privacy from unauthorized collection and use simply must catch up to the realities presented by modern digital technology exactly the way the laws now prohibiting unwarranted wiretapping of telephones once lagged behind the obvious implications of failing to incorporate the needs posed by modern technology into appropriate legislation (Levin, 2012).

Competing Interests and Positions

On balance, there are legitimate justifications for imposing limits on the unrestricted collection and commercial use of information generated by ordinary individuals engaging in communications patterns that are now fast becoming as ubiquitous as the telephone. It is reasonable to suggest that when people use their cell phones or communicate via their Internet service provider (ISP) account, they have a reasonable expectation of privacy in digital data pertaining to that use, such as the identity of every call or email recipient. On the other hand, businesses such as major search engines like Google, cellular telephone service providers, and government authorities alike that depend on information collection and analysis point out that there is a fundamental difference between data such as the conversational content of conversations or the identity of recipients and data such as the triangulated physical location of the user based on signals emanating from digital devices (Larsen, 2007). The 27 nations of the European Union have recently moved in the direction of resolving that issue in favor of the importance of protecting individual privacy rights over certain digital information (Sengupta, 2012).
Specifically, the proposed legislation would impose strict limitations on the legal authority of private (i.e. commercial) enterprises to collect and use information about individuals retrieved from myriad Internet applications. In addition to mandatory disclosure of any storage or use of information about individuals, the legislation would also entitle individual Internet users to retain greater control over whether and how information generated by their digital trails is used, and it includes rights of notice in the event any information properly stored is unintentionally released (Sengupta, 2012).


DeCew, J. "Privacy," the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Fall 2008 Edition),

Edward N. Zalta (ed.). Accessed online:

Larsen, R. (2007). Our Own Worst Enemy: Asking the Right Questions About

Security to Protect You, Your Family, and America. New York: Grand Central


Levin, a. "Google's New Privacy Policy: Close but No Cigar." (February 2, 2012)

Accessed online:

Sengupta, S. "Europe Weighs Tough Law on Online Privacy." The New York Times

(January 23, 2012) Accessed online:

Stein, J. "Your Data, Yourself." Time, Vol. 177, No. 11….....

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