Information Computer Technology has already played an important role in people’s daily lives. It is widely used in information gathering, communication and mutual operation. Modern people have been benefited from more efficient information flow, less cost and faster communication. However, every coin has both sides. ICT also has brought people’s lives some concerning issues at the same time along with advantages.
One of the concerning issues is the personal privacy. In internet age, privacy, as defined by Alan Westin in Privacy and Freedom (1970) is “The claim of individuals, groups or institutions to determine for themselves when, how and to what extent information about them is communicated to others.” The current advanced computer technology increases capabilities to track, store and analysis personal data, which threatens individual’s privacy and security in using ICT. Though surveys showed that individuals have strong concerns about privacy (Widespread concerns about privacy, no date), many are still not aware the ways how privacy can be infringed. The threats of privacy are indicated in following aspects.
Firstly, individual’s personal data can be tracked and gained through databases, spyware and cookies, which give providers wider chances to access personal information. The WWW servers can create extensive log of the users who are accessing the web. It is even possible to record the address of the user and the previous address from where the user connected to the web service. Service providers can then collect and analyse these information to generate commercial market reports. Searching engines like Google and Yahoo store users’ personal data’s for years, some information is used for commercial purpose. It is said that Google filters its users’ emails to provide them with targeted advertisement. To show constraints, Google currently announced that they plan to partially delete the IP addresses after 18 months and create automatically expiring...
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