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Privacy and Confidentiality of Data

May 19th 2011
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A growing trend in software industry to have an assumed acceptance of the granting of permission to receive information from and/or accumulate information about the user without actually getting the users consent. This is usually also without informing the user of what use that data will be put to. This has the potential of undermining civil liberties and the assumed right to privacy that used to exist before our new digital age came into being.

Fifty years ago, a person walking down the street could do so under the assumption that their movements and actions were not being scrutinized by anyone including the police unless they were doing something of a suspicious nature. Today, a prudent person has to take the opposite approach and assume everything they are doing has become fair game for those who gather data. From a civil libertarian perspective, this is decidedly not a good thing.

Even a company such as Google, founded under the principle of "do no evil", has chosen to participate in this intrusive personal data-gathering of private and potentially confidential “none of your damn business” information.

Everyone needs to contact their Federal and State legislators and explain their expectations for confidentiality of their personal information. One might consider a call for legislation to require an informed opt-in when somebody wants to gather data.