Privacy of Personal Information on the Internet
United States Policy
Living in the United States has its advantages. We are afforded many opportunities that are unavailable or unheard of in other countries. We maintain a limited right to privacy in the areas of education, marriage, procreation, contraception etc. In certain instances, government officials are allowed to watch, listen, search and/or seize a person's personal information. Warrants are usually needed in order to gain this type of information. The Bill of Rights states the provisions to our right of privacy. The Fourth Amendment is the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched.
French Republic Policy
The right to privacy is implicit to the French Constitution. The French Republic has had many acts regarding the privacy issues of its citizens. The growing popularity of the Internet has made it necessary to include the Internet in these acts. In 1994, the Constitutional Court ruled that the
Data Protection Act
In 1978 a Data Protection Act was brought into law to protect personal information of private parties and government agencies. Registration and permissions were needed in order to process personal data. Individual parties had the right to access, demand corrections and sometimes deletion about the information being kept on them. Violators of this act faced imprisonment and/or fines.
Modifications to Act
In 2003, revisions began to be made of the Data Protection Act. The new law would increase the powers of the Commission Nationale de l'informatique et des Libertes (CNIL), the data protection authority which enforces the data protection act and other related laws, by allowing it to investigate, issue warning, impose sanctions and give more authority over commercial data processing files. With the new act, individual's rights of access and correction to their personal information are strengthened. The negative aspect of the new act is that it weakens the commission's control over large government information systems by creating a new data system category, known as "sovereignty file" over which the CNIL would loose key powers. With the sovereignty files, the CNIL would no longer need to approve processing systems as they did with the old act.
Identification requirements on Internet
The French Liberty of Communication Act requires anyone who wants to post content on the Internet to identify themselves, either to the public, by their name and address on their website (in case of a business) or their host provider (in case of a private individual). Early on in the measure, there was a preparatory measure that stipulated that if the new act was violated, by ignoring the rule or falsifying information, large...