Technology and privacy have been some of the controversial issues and at the center of study today. The technologies are things like transmitters, computers, spectrographs, and video lens, and another chief substance that is extracted is what is referred to as personal information. Privacy can be termed as the capacity to negotiate social relationships through the control of personal information. As laws, policies, and technological design increasingly structure individual's relationships with social institutions, individual privacy is therefore faced with emergent threats and opportunities. Over the past several years, the realm of technology and privacy has undergone through transformation process that has in turn developed a landscape that is both encouraging and also dangerous (David, 96).
It is evident that tectonic shifts in the economic, technical, and policy domains have pushed people to a new landscape that is more multicolored, more precarious, and equally more hopeful than ever before. Through bringing together perspectives from political science, law, sociology, communications, and human-computer interaction, this paper also hopes to offer conceptual frameworks whose usefulness may outlive the hysterically changing details of particular cases. We hold a belief that in the years ahead the community will increasingly confront important choices about law, technology, and institutional practice. Therefore, this paper offers a starting point for analysis of these choices (David, 98).
The New Landscape
Configuration of technology and privacy issues in the late 1960s and the early 1970s focused on a small number of large centralized databases. In the United States, concern about privacy arose through popular works by various researchers as well as a detailed scholarly treatment by distinguished researchers. In each case, however, the general form of the response was the similar. This led to an enforceable code of practice that came to be known as data protection in Europe and privacy protection in the United States. The organizations that collected personal information about people was given certain obligations and individuals had rights against organizations in possession of personal information and in some cases these practices were codified by professions or industry associations while in other cases they were reduced to law. Instead, the kind of the model discussed above is by no means obsolete, but the world to which it initially responded has changed a lot.
According to David, (99) such changes can be termed as technical since databases of personal information have grown greatly in number and in variety. The techniques for constructing these databases have not changed in any fundamental way, but the techniques for using them have multiplied. Data-mining algorithms, for instance, can extort commercially meaningful patterns through tremendously large amounts of information. Generally the pervasive spread of computer networking has had a number of effects and has made it now easier to amalgamate databases and personal information presently routinely flows across jurisdictional boundaries. Computer networking has also led to an infrastructure for a wide array of technologies that track the movements of people and things. Various technologies rely on digital wireless communications and advanced sensors. Computer networking also provides the basis for a new generation of advanced communications media. In the context of the analog telephone system, privacy concerns (e.g., wiretapping and the abuse of records of subscribers' calls) were largely circumscribed by the system's architecture. Newer media, such as the Internet and the online services discussed capture more detailed information about their users in digital form.
David, (100) further affirms that in unison, the new media have provided the technical foundation for a new public sphere. Privacy activists and concerned technologists have used the Internet to organize themselves, broadcast information, and circulate software instantaneously without regard to jurisdictional boundaries. Potentially the most significant technical innovation, though, is a class of privacy-enhancing technologies (PETs). Other significant changes are political and economic.
Generally ideas concerning privacy have often been challenged through the emerging technological knowhow. As new technologies are being adopted and incorporated into the routines of daily life, new wrongs are likely to occur, and these wrongs are often found to invalidate the tacit presuppositions on which ideas about seclusion had formerly been based. It is evident that people are growing onto a more transparent society of record such that documentation of our past history, location, communication, current identity, and physiological and psychological states and behavior is also becoming very possible (Philip, 121). With predictive profiles and DNA, there are even claims to acknowledge individual futures and such cases information collection is usually done invisibly, automatically and remote. The amount of personal information collected is also increasing. New technologies have the potential to reveal the forgotten or withheld, unseen, and the unknown. Like the discovery of the atom or the unconscious, they surface bits of reality that were previously hidden.
Economic and Technical Scenarios
Privacy issues, then, relate to the machineries applied by individuals in defining themselves and conducting their relationships with each other. These mechanisms comprise technological advancements, customs, laws, and their dependability and evenhandedness are obligatory conditions of a just social order. Those people raising concerns about privacy propose, in effect, to confront the workings of institutions. Among other things, disputes about privacy are, contests to influence the historical evolution of these institutions (Philip, 126). Before considering these contests in detail, however, it is vital to consider the economic and technical logics that, some have held, are truly driving the changes that are now under way.
Constructing Technology and Policy
Even though powerful as stimuli to the thoughts, the scenarios discussed in the previous section are too coarse to account for the social contests by which privacy issues advance (Philip, 109). Other technological systems, for instance, the infrastructures of transportation, communications, and finance are considered to have embedded their own disciplinary logic that shapes the privacy issues that arise within them which includes economic logic which states that privacy issues have advanced in the context of various trends in the global economy; policy logic which is considered to have emerged from a global network of scholars.
Conclusion and Recommendation
It is therefore clear that the world changes fast - it always has, at least for human beings and more so in regards to technological advancement. I may conclude that maybe it's moving a bit faster presently as people try to absorb the fast or rapid increase of digital services in our lives. We're all moving to the digital world and the privacy issues are not left behind as they go hand in hand with the technological development. Laws and regulations also have been witnessed to have moved at the lightening speed as a result of global data flows.
I would recommend that edification and guidance among system developers, employees with information handling errands, and the general public be encouraged in this rapid growing world of technology. Also, it will be important to invest great effort to resolve the proper combination of means to protect privacy in particular instances and finally it vital that the benefits of technologies be weighed alongside its costs.