The Digital Age and Privacy Are there any rights to privacy?

TheDigital AgeandPrivacy:Are there anyrightsto privacy?

TheDigital AgeandPrivacy:Are there anyrightsto privacy?

Theinternet is a newmediumof communicationthat has providedthecontemporaryworldwith a newlocus forassociationandsocialorganization.However,theprivacyof users of currenttechnological advancesis at thestakesince theprotectionof their rightsto privacyis muchmoredifficultin thevirtualthan in therealworld.Thisis becausetheincreasein technological advanceshas openeda newplatformforpeopleto shareconfidentialinformationabout others andcriminalsto accesstheprivateinformationof theorganizations,governmentagencies,andindividualmembersof thesociety(Berman, &amp Mulligan, 2000).Thechallengeof privacyhas increasedinspiteoftheexistenceof lawsandpoliciesformulatedto helpthegovernmentprotecttheprivacyof its people.Theinverserelationshipbetween theprotectionof privacyandtechnological advancessuggestthatthecurrentlawsare obsolete.Thisimpliesthattherightto privacyexistsonlyin papers,butnot in therealworld.

Howtechnology has subjectedprivacyat risk

Technologicaladvanceshaveopenedmanychannelsthrough which privacycan belost.However,there are three majortechnology-based threatsto privacy.First,millions of peoplepost personalinformationabout their families,friends,andthemselves on thesocialsiteson a dailybasis.Mostimportantly, manysocialsiteusers post theprivateinformationbefore modifyingtheprivacysettingsin orderto differentiatecategoriesof followerswhoshould accesstheir postings andthosewhoshould not. Researchshowsthatabout 41 % of theFacebook users leavetheir profilesvisibleto thepublicand44 % reporttheir personalinformationis accessedby thepublic(Lawrence, 2015). Thisshowsthatthesocialmediahas contributedto thelossof privacy.

Secondly,governmentagencieshaveembarkedon collectingandstoringprivateinformationin thenameof thenationalsecurity.Thenotionthatpeoplewhohavenothingto hidehavenothingto worryabout has encouragedthegovernmentto continuemonitoringpeople’sactionsevenwithout their knowledge(Tech Target, 2014). Corporationshavealsoadoptedthistrendandmounteddigital cameras to monitortheir employeesat placesof work.Althoughsecurityis paramount,theprivacyof thecitizensshould as wellbe respected.

Third,the databreachis thecommonestof all thecausesof lossof privacyin thedigital era.Astechnology advances,cybercriminalsare advancingtheir tactics with theobjectivesof accessingprivateinformationfordifferentreasons,suchas financialgainsandcrippling organizations.Researchshowsthatabout 70 % of thepeopleaged14-65 yearshavehadtheir privatedata breached whileabout 43 % of thecompanyreportsthattheir privateinformationhas beenaccessedby unauthorizedpersonseachyear(Weise, 2014).Someof themajortargetsof hackers includethecreditcardinformationandbankaccountdetails.Therefore,technological advanceshavemadeiteasyforcybercriminals to stealtheidentityof consumersof technology, which putstheir livesandmoneyat risk.Thetrendof an exponential increasein therateof breachof privacysuggeststhattherightto privacyis continuallygettinglostwith technological advances.

Legislators’reactionto theincreasein theincidentsof privacybreaches

Apartfrom thegovernments(suchas securitycameras) initiatedbreachesto privacyotherformsof breachhavebeenincreasingexponentially. Forexample,cybercrimecoststheusers of technology (includingindividualsandcorporations)about $ 100 billions annuallyanditisanticipatedthatthisfigurewillriseto $ 120 billion by theyear2017 (Go-Gulf, 2015).Thisraisesthequestionof whetherlegislatorshavebeeneffectiveenoughto formulatelawsthat can counter factorsthat threatentheprivacyof corporationsandindividuals.Thelegislativebodiessufferfrom three majorweaknessesthat tendto reducetheir effectiveness in countering emergingchallenges.First,nearlyall thelawsformulatedto protecttheprivacyof consumersof technology are reactionarywhilelimitedproactive measureshavebeentaken.Forexample,theChildren Online Privacy Protection Act wasformulatedin 2000 as a reactionto increasesin thenumberof websites that collectedpersonalinformationabout kids(Magee, 2014). Thisindicatesthatlegislatorshavebeenreactingto prevailingchallenges,buthas a limitedcapacityto foreseethefuturepotentialthreatsassociatedwith therapidlyadvancingtechnology. Consequently, thecurrentlawslackthecapacityto addressnewchallenges,which subjectcorporationsandindividualsto theriskof losingtheir privateinformationinspiteoftheexistenceof a largenumberof legislative.

Secondly,technology is advancingat a higherratecomparedto therateat which lawsare beingreformed.Largerplayersin thetechnology sector(suchas Microsoft Corporation) associatethelossof privacyin thedigital erato obsolesce of lawsthat are expectedto protectindividualsandcorporations(Smith, 2015). Therapidchangesin technology andthemethodsin which cybercrimeisconductedrenderthecurrentlawsirrelevantandwith a limitedcapacityto addressemergingprivacy-related challenges.Althoughlegalreformsmay not be permanentsolutionsto theissueof lossof privacy,effectivelawscan helpthelawenforcers developstrategiesthat can counter cybercrime.However,fusingon legalreformsalonemay not be a longlastingsolution.

Third,individualcountrieshavefocusedon theformulation of lawsat thelocallevel whileforgettingthefactthatcybercrimesthat threatentheprivacyof takeplacedisregardingtheregionalboundaries.Accordingto Smith (2015) thelimitedinternationalcooperationis among theleadingfactorsthat reducetheabilityofthelawenforcementofficerstoprotecttheprivacyof corporationsandindividualsin thedigital era.Thisisbecausedifferentjurisdictionssetlawsthat are appropriatethat are effectivewithin thatjurisdiction,butineffectivein addressingprivacyissuesat theglobal level. Therefore,enhancingthecooperationof differentstatesin theformulation of lawsto protectprivacyis a viable solution.Theinternationalcommunityshould startseeingthelossof privacyas a resultof technological advancesas a global challengeandnot a problemaffectingindividualcountries.However,thepossibilityof theinternationalcooperationis quitechallenging since differentjurisdictionusesdifferentproceduresto formulatetheir laws.Therefore,there is nohopethattheinternationalcooperationwill materializein thenearfuture.

Therateat which thecasesof breachof privacyhavebeenincreasingseemsto overtakethelegalmeasurestakento addressthemenace.Alljurisdictionsacknowledgethefactthatpeopleandcorporationshavetherightsto privacy,butthisis onlyin paperssince therealityprovesthatusers of themoderntechnology havealreadylostcontrolover their rightto privacy.Theformulations of numerouslawsthat are specificallydesignedto protecttheprivacyof thepeopleandcorporationshavebeenshownto be ineffective.Forexample,Colombia formulatedLaws 1266 and1273 in 2009 andPhilippines formulatedthePrivacy Act in theyear2011 to dealspecificallywith technology-based privacythreats(Information Shield, 2014). Thereforetherightto privacyis in thelegaldocuments,butitis alreadydeadin therealworld.

Conclusion

Thetechnological advanceshaveincreasedtherateat which individualsandcorporationsare losingtheir privacy,which showsthattherightto privacyis dead.Someof thefactorsthat havecontributedto theincreasesin thecasesof privacybreachincludetherapidtechnological advancesthat renderthecurrentlawsirrelevant,limitedinternationalcooperationin theformulation andtheimplementation of laws,formulation of lawsas a reactioninsteadof a proactive measure.Althoughlegislatorsin differentjurisdictionshavemadesomeeffortsto makelawsthat protecttheprivacyof corporationsandindividuals,legalmeasuresare ineffective.Aregularreviewof lawscan updatethem with thecurrentchallenges,buttheymay not be sufficientto counter emergingprivacythreats.

References

Berman,J. &amp Mulligan, D. (2000). Privacy in the digital age: Work inprogress. NovaLaw Review,23 (2), 1-20.

Go-Gulf(2015). Cybercrime statistics and trends. Go-Gulf.Retrieved April 3, 2015, fromhttp://www.go-gulf.com/blog/cyber-crime/

InformationShield (2014). International privacy laws. InformationShield Incorporation.Retrieved April 3, 2015, fromhttp://www.informationshield.com/intprivacylaws.html

Lawrence,H. (2015). Privacy and safety. SocialMedia Statistics.Retrieved April 3, 2015, fromhttp://socialmediastatistics.wikidot.com/privacy-and-safety

Magee,E. (2014). Childrenonline privacy protection act law and legal definition.Washington, DC: U.S. Legal Incorporation.

Smith,B. (2015). TheLeads Act: A common sense reform of our outdated privacy laws.Redmond, WA: Microsoft Corporation.

TechTarget (2014). Understanding the balance between privacy andsecurity. TechTarget.Retrieved April 3, 2015, fromhttp://searchsecurity.techtarget.com/Understanding-the-balance-between-privacy-and-security

Weise,E. (2014). About 43 % of companies had a data breach in the pastyear. NortonCybercrime.Retrieved April 3, 2015, fromhttp://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/2014/09/24/data-breach-companies-60/16106197/