Essays academic service


Technology and the consequences of personal security

It is approached from a socio-ethical perspective with specific emphasis on the implication for the information profession.

The issues discussed are the concept privacy, he influence of technology on the processing of personal and private information, the relevance of this influence for the information profession, and proposed solutions to these ethical issues for the information profession. This is due to the development and use of technology. This paradigm shift brings new ethical and juridical problems which are mainly related to issues such as the right of access to information, the right of privacy which is threatened by the emphasis on the free flow of information, and the protection of the economic interest of the owners of intellectual property.

In this paper the ethical questions related to the right to privacy of the individual which is threatened by the use of technology will be discussed. Specific attention will be given to the challenges these ethical problems pose to the information professional.

A number of practical guidelines, based on ethical norms will be laid down. ETHICS The ethical actions of a person can be described in general terms as those actions which are performed within the criterium of what is regarded as good.

It relates thus to the question of what is good or bad in terms of human actions. According to Spinello 1995, p. Definition of Privacy Privacy can be defined as an individual condition of life characterized by exclusion from publicity Neetling et al. The concept follows from the right to be left alone Stair, 1992, p.

Impact of Technology on Wireless Security

As such privacy could be regarded as a natural right which provides the foundation for the legal right. The right to privacy is therefore protected under private law. The legal right to privacy is constitutionally protected in most democratic societies.

To what extent has technology had an impact on both privacy and security in Singapore?

This constitutional right is expressed in a variety of legislative forms. During 1994 Australia also accepted a Privacy Charter containing 18 privacy principles which describe the right of a citizen concerning personal privacy as effected by handling of information by the state Collier, 1994, p.

  • Online patron records and privacy;
  • As a small and open nation, Singapore is naturally integrated into the modern global landscape;
  • Neethling's law of personality;
  • The Changing Context of Information;
  • The most serious illustration of this issue is cases of personal sex videos being indiscriminately upload online that have greatly ruined the dignity and privacy of unfortunate individuals;
  • This norm is closely related to freedom, but can be regarded as a more concretely applicable norm.

Privacy is an important right because it is a necessary condition for other rights such as freedom and personal autonomy. There is thus a relationship between privacy, freedom and human dignity. Respecting a person's privacy is to acknowledge such a person's right to freedom and to recognize that individual as an autonomous human being.

The duty to respect a person's privacy is furthermore a prima facie duty. In other words, it is not an absolute duty that does not allow for exceptions.

  1. Communications and the Law, 13 2.
  2. According to this legislation a person has the right to be informed about the nature of an illness as well as the implications thereof. Information ethics in a complicated age.
  3. Lastly, a new profession is emerging in the infopreneur whose main line of business may be the buying and selling of person-related and other private information. Therefore the choice to privacy from intrusion may not restrict the freedom of others.

Two examples can be given. Firstly, the police may violate a criminal's privacy by spying or by seizing personal documents McGarry, 1993, p.

Technology and the consequences of personal security

A government also has the right to gather private and personal information from its citizens with the aim of ensuring order and harmony in society Ware, 1993: The right to privacy as an expression of individual freedom is thus confined by social responsibility.

Different Categories of Private Information Based on the juridical definition of privacy, two important aspects which are of specific relevance for the information profession must be emphasized. The first is the fact that privacy as a concept is closely related to information - in terms of the definition of Neethling 1996, p.

The fact that privacy is expressed by means of information, implies that it is possible to distinguish different categories of privacy namely, private communications, information which relates to the privacy of a person's body, other personal information, and information with regard to a person's possessions. Each of these categories will be briefly dealt with.

This category of privacy concerns all forms of personal communication which a person wishes to keep private.

The information exchanged during a reference interview between the user and the information professional can be seen as an example. This normally refers to medical information and enjoys separate legal protection Neethling, 1991, p. According to this legislation a person has the right to be informed about the nature of an illness as well as the implications thereof.

Such a person further has the right to privacy about the nature of the illness and can not be forced to make it known to others. The only exception is when the health, and possibly the lives of others may be endangered by the specific illness - such as the case may be where a person is HIV positive and the chance exists that other people may contract the virus.

Personal information refers to those categories of information which refer to only that specific person, for example bibliographic name, address and financial information. This type of information is of relevance to all categories of information professionals. This information is closely related to property right. According to this a person does have control over the information which relates to personal possessions in certain instances.

For example, a person may keep private the information about the place where a wallet is kept. The Expressed Will to Privacy The following important aspect of privacy is the desire for privacy by means of an expressed will since this desire is important for the delimitation of privacy. In short, the desire for privacy implies that privacy will only be at issue in cases where there is a clear expression of a desire for privacy. For example, a personal conversation between two persons will be regarded as private as long as there is an expressed will to keep it private.

The moment that this will is relinquished the information is no longer regarded as private. The same applies to the other categories of personal and private information. If a person makes a private telephone number as a form of personal information known to a company, it is no longer regarded as private information. According to the law it can then even be seen as business information which may legally be traded in. This expressed will to privacy acts therefore as a very important guideline for the information professional regarding the delimitation of privacy.

The confidential treatment of information is not only applicable to the above-mentioned four categories of private and personal information - it may refer to any category of information, such as, inter alia, trade secrets. Definition of Information Technology Before the influence of technology and the consequences of personal security use of technology in the processing of personal and private information can be dealt with, it is important to briefly pay attention to the concept technology.

Just another Blog.nus weblog

For the purpose of this paper the definition of Van Brakel 1989, p. It creates the possibility of wider as well as simultaneous access to information. By implication, it becomes easier to access a person's private information by more people. On the other hand, a person can be excluded from necessary information in electronic format by means of a variety of security measures such as passwords. The technological manipulation of information refers, among others, to the integration of information merging of documentsthe repackaging thereof translations and the integration of textual and graphical formats and the possible altering of information changing of photographic images by electronic means.

The use of technology in the processing of information can therefore not be seen as ethically neutral. By this he specifically refers to the manipulation of information by means of technology. The impact of the use of technology on the privacy of people manifests itself in a variety of areas.

These areas include, inter alia the following: This relates to personal information as discussed earlier. This is done by so-called electronic eyes. The justification by companies for the use of such technology is to increase productivity. According to him peoples' privacy in the workplace are threatened by these devices. It can also lead to a feeling of fear and of all ways being watched - the so-called panopticon phenomenon.

This poses an ethical problem which relates to the private communication of an individual. It is technically possible to intercept E-mail messages, and the reading thereof is normally justified by companies because they firstly see the technology infrastructure E-mail as a resource belonging to the company and not the individual, and secondly messages are intercepted to check on technology and the consequences of personal security to see whether they use the facility for private reasons technology and the consequences of personal security to do their job.

By this is meant the integration of personal information from a variety of databases into one central database. The problem here does not in the first place arise from the integration of the information as such. Inside such a card a computer chip is buried that records every item purchased along with a variety of personal information of the buyer Branscomb, 1995, p. This information obtained from the card enables marketing companies to do targeted marketing to specific individuals because the buying habits as well as other personal information of people are known.

This coincides with the shift in ethical values and the emergence of the cyberpunk culture with the motto of "information wants to be free". According to an article in the IT Review 1996, p. The Individual and Socio-economical Effect The use of technology for the processing of personal and other forms of private information has far reaching effects on society.

The following effects can be distinguished: The effect on the individual can be summarized as a loss of dignity and spontaneity, as well as a threat to freedom and the right to privacy.

In her research on the impact of technology on the privacy of the individual, Rosenberg 1994, p. This brings about a redefinition of the role of society big businesses in the personal and private lives of the individual the use of personal information as a commodity. It also becomes clear that the legislation for example on E-mail on the protection of the privacy of the individual is falling behind due to the rapidly changing world of technology. Firstly, the information professional works with all four categories of personal and private information.

  • Behaviour-analysing surveillance cameras, biometric profiling and even spy satellites have allowed us to combat terrorism both in Singapore and on a global scale http;
  • Technological innovations in crime prevention and policing cps 2011-3, nr 20 19 extent of current adoption, and then review the available empirical research on the impact.

Secondly, increasing use is made of technology in the processing thereof. Lastly, a new profession is emerging in the infopreneur whose main line of business may be the buying and selling of person-related and other private information. The Main Ethical Issues In the handling and processing of these different categories of private and personal information the information professional is confronted with the following ethical issues: This question is of utmost importance to infopreneurs.

This issue refers specifically to information gained from the reference interview.

  • It relates thus to the question of what is good or bad in terms of human actions;
  • The fact that privacy is expressed by means of information, implies that it is possible to distinguish different categories of privacy namely, private communications, information which relates to the privacy of a person's body, other personal information, and information with regard to a person's possessions;
  • Data is vulnerable, not properly secured Organisations are not securing their data.

According to Froehlich 1994Smith 1994 and Shaver et al. This issue is of specific importance in cases where an information professional is working with personal information that can have a direct influence on the life of a person. An example is the processing of medical information. The question here is whether an information professional may use any of these four categories of private information for any other reasons than the original reason given for the gathering thereof.

Relating to this is the question whether the person must be notified about the way in which personal information is going to be used. This ethical problem relates to the above-mentioned questions and boils down to the question of consent of the user in terms of the use of personal information. Related questions are as follows: Applicable Ethical Norms Applicable ethical norms which can act as guidelines as well as instruments of measurement must be formulated to address these ethical issues.

The following norms can be distinguished: They will be discussed briefly. Truth as an ethical norm has a dual ethical application. Firstly, it serves as norm for the factual correctness of information. As a norm it thus guides the information professional regarding the accurate and factually correct handling of private information.

In the second place truth is an expression of ethical virtues such as openness, honesty and trustworthiness.