Privacy-Dangers and Protections

Privacy-Dangers and Protections

William H. Friedman (University of Central Arkansas, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-937-3.ch016
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It is no wonder that the average citizen is concerned about the difficulty of guarding one’s privacy. Now, your own cell phone can reveal your ever-changing whereabouts by means of “location technology” (Lagesse, 2003). Chips that receive coordinates from global positioning satellites now make it possible to locate persons, cars, merchandise, in short, whatever we value. Like most new technology, it is easy to see advantages as well as drawbacks. Some positives of location technology are that ambulances, police and fire services can reach victims more quickly; driving suggestions can be delivered in real time to motorists (thus helping to avoid traffic tie-ups and prevent getting lost); advertisers can inform potential customers of the existence of a nearby hotel, store or restaurant; stores utilizing RFID (see the KEY TERMS section for explanations of possibly unfamiliar terms) can trace merchandise movement to reduce waste, replenish inventory, and stem shoplifting. Some negatives are that nefarious agents can also use location technology to track their prey; location-tracking history can be subpoenaed by one’s legal adversaries; and it is inevitable that corporations and government will have an interest in conducting such monitoring (Griffin & Whitehead, 2001, 2002).

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