Information Privacy and whether it has changed since the World Wide Web
Information privacy is related to personal data that is usually stored on computers and online servers (Litman, 2000). However, the information that internet users share online is not private as companies use this information or sell it to the other companies and governments who are interested in the information (Litman, 2000). Before the introduction of the internet and possibly the World Wide Web, private information was limited to the owner. Today, technologies used by online companies in tracking up personal information are so advanced that individuals cannot have control of them.
The use of internet is largely restricted to the World Wide Web as all information that is contained online must be retrieved from the web (Culnan, 2000). This information is mostly accessed through search engines and in the process, the search engines are able to record and store your personal information including the content that one is browsing, Internet protocol (IP) address, the time of search and other sensitive information that a user is unaware of (Litman, 2000). In spite of search engines having information privacy guidelines, they usually overstep their mandate and misuse the stored personal data.
Principles regarding agency collection of information and extent they are allowed to use it have been in existence for some time now. The principles require that information agencies should only collect and use information for lawful purposes and if information that is being collected is directly related to the purpose (Solove & Schwartz, 2003). The disclosure of personal and private information of users to other external bodies is addressed in information privacy principles. Disclosure is only allowed if the owner of the information has been consented, disclosure is necessary and crucial or the disclosure has been consented or demanded by law (Solove & Schwartz, 2003). Today, information disclosure to external parties is done without owner’s consent thanks to the World Wide Web.
When agencies request for information from a user, they...