Theory and Policy in Online Privacy
o Privacy on the internet is an important issue
o 71.5% of 1482 respondents believe internet privacy laws should be developed and
o 77.5% of 1482 respondents would chose privacy over convenience
When visiting a website people believed the following was recorded
Email address (54.5%)
o Developed to allow businesses to know the basics of the people visiting their site.
Times visited site
Past behavior or activity at site
Where person was referred from
Personal information voluntarily given at registration
o DoubleClick, Inc.
o Lexis Nexis
o Image Data, LLC
o “privacy” never mentioned in the Constitution
Implicit presence in the First, Third, Fourth, Fifth, Ninth and Fourteenth
Upheld by Supreme Court: “penumbral right”
o Privacy Act of 1974
o Electronic Communications Privacy Act of 1986
o Digital Telephony Act, 1994
o Computer Matching and Privacy Protection Act of 1988
o Formal and informal mechanisms that promote obedience within society.
Family, school, government, religion, culture
Anonymity on the internet is sometimes used to escape these controls
o Been conditioned to expect only information we choose to be available to be available.
We believe our own home to be private, when we are making online purchases
or “surfing the net”
Individuals must recognize they are committing a business transaction
Defense against Intrusion
o Electronic Frontier Foundation
o Electronic Privacy Information Center
o Center for Democracy and Technology
o Most believe government legislation is the only solution to personal privacy
o Following normative behavior dictates in the course of their routine life activities, they
give no reason for additional attention.
o By straying from orthodox definitions of acceptable activity, one brings himself
additional notice and consideration by others. Labeling them as a deviant.
Those who engage in questionable activity are considered deviants whose
behavior should be corrected in the interests of the community.
Suggestions for Theory Testing
o Social Control
Why businesses and organizations online feel less compelled to honor privacy
concerns of the consumer based than in real space.
o Routine Activities
Determine what makes some individuals more apt to employ technological
methods to prevent breaches of their privacy online.
o Introduce a 27th Amendment for privacy in cyberspace.
o Privacy is a fundamental human right.