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HIPAA

PRIVACYnotes Discussion List
Security Protecting Privacy is Good for Business

Respecting Privacy on the Web

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Privacynotes Digest
Security Protecting Privacy is Good for Business

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Published by: Mike Banks Valentine Privacynotes privacy@privacynotes.com www.privacynotes.com
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September 19, 2002 Issue # 026
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.....IN THIS DIGEST.....

// -- Moderator Comment -- //

"Privacy Defined" ~ Mike Banks Valentine

// -- CONTINUING DISCUSSION -- //

"Privacy a REACTIVE Issue Only?" ~ Ian O'Neill

// -- PRIVACY NEWS -- //

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// -- MODERATOR COMMENT -- //

==> TOPIC: PRIVACY DEFINED:

1. a. The quality or condition of being secluded from the presence or view of others.

b. The state of being free from unsanctioned intrusion: a person's right to privacy.

2. The state of being concealed; secrecy.

That's from Dictionary.com and gives expected definition, but what does privacy mean online? I toured the top ten sites for privacy as rated by AskJeeves.com [easy link from Dictionary.com]. What I found surprised me and raised a concern that even the privacy advocates online don't define what they are concerned about. After a more concentrated search following links at those top privacy sites, I came across the following definition at a European site called "The Privacy Hub" at:

http://dsa-isis.jrc.it/Privacy/index.html

"Privacy is concerned with the fundamental right of an individual to decide about the processing of his/her personal data as well as to protect his/her intimate sphere."

"We generalise privacy concerns into four categories:"

1. Improper acquisition of personal information, including its access, collection and distribution

2. Improper use of information, including its deployment for reasons other than which it was explicitly collected and its transfer to other parties

3. Privacy invasion, including unwanted solicitation of personal data

4. Improper storage of information."

That's more like it. Addressing the new privacy concerns of the internet-centered data-rich age is crucial. A quote I agree strongly with is one found on the Privacy Hub site quoted from the Wall Street Journal three years ago,

The "loss of personal privacy" is the number one concern for the 21st century.

(Wall Street Journal, Sept. 1999)

Some might argue that point, How do you feel about it? Do you have a definition of what privacy means to you, especially as it relates to digital information and the web? Does anyone know of a better definition than that offered above by the Privacy Hub?

 

// -- CONTINUING DISCUSSION -- //

===> TOPIC: PRIVACY A REACTIVE ISSUE ONLY?

From: Ian O'Neill

I don't believe privacy is just a reactive issue. Like a great many, I suspect, it did not occur to me that public records which largely remained private as a result of the relative difficulty in accessing them, would become a privacy issue today. Of course they would. This is obviously an important issue that will gain the attention of lawmakers. I suspect that will only happen in the fullness of time however, as governments divest themselves of much of their current responsibilities and concentrate more on what it is possible for them to accomplish well, namely keeping the peace, enforcing property rights, security of the person and maintaining national borders. As this natural evolution unfolds it should increasingly enable government organizations and the public to grapple with these new issues of privacy by freeing up valuable time.

I believe also that the Internet heralds an almost entirely new era in human development. It is an era in which our whole concept of privacy is transformed from a paper trail kept secret in locked file cabinets to electronically shared files which force us to re examine human relations on a fundamental level. This re examination will be necessary to maintain human dignity, and will be integral in striking a new and saner social balance.

 

// -- PRIVACY NEWS -- //

Moderator note: There are two ways to access previously listed privacy news stories. One is to visit Privacynotes archives, the other (simpler) way is to visit

http://privacynotes.com/privacy_news.html where I also keep a privacy news archive.

A long-awaited report from the Bush administration intended to help citizens, businesses and government shore up the nation's cyberdefenses will be revealed today. Sort of. The report, "The National Strategy to Secure Cyberspace," was scheduled to be released today with great fanfare at Stanford University. But officials have decided not to release the report in final form today in hopes of building support among high-tech companies that worked to weaken previous drafts.

http://www.nytimes.com/2002/09/18/politics/18CYBE.html

The White House has decided to delay the release of its long-awaited cyber-security plan in an effort to gain more input from industry executives and government officials. Many of the proposals drew sharp criticism from security and privacy experts and industry executives. The White House has since backed away from several of the proposals, including the privacy czar. But the board instead will release a draft of the strategy and will go back to private industry and public sector experts to seek more suggestions for the final plan, according to sources.

http://www.eweek.com/article2/0,3959,538677,00.asp

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