The LAWCHEK® Bulletin
May 2000 | Vol. 3, Issue 2
Internet and the technology around it grow, users are constantly bombarded with new
information. It is important that users of the Internet keep themselves informed and
educated about online ventures. One subject in particular, privacy on the Internet, is an
ongoing issue in this ever-expanding Cyber World.
One topic that has some concerned is the use of Internet trackers (for example: Cookies). These allow search engines, businesses, and government sites (to name a few), to follow Internet exploration. Track where users have been and where they are going; this way, personal tastes and interests can be recorded. This allows for better advertisement by companies and general development of their sites toward user interests. However, some are concerned this collected information may be used improperly. Others do not want sites "watching" their Internet browsing at all. Both agree that without protection through software and legislation, rights of privacy may suffer.
Besides consumer privacy, there is concern about e-mail privacy and safety. Consumers are concerned whether their e-mail may be easily accessed, open to viruses and Spam mail. Many sites that offer e-mail have privacy policies posted. These should be reviewed as they inform the user how information for e-mails are collected, if e-mail lists are shared with third parties, and what is the company's policy if law officials serve process to access an e-mail account. Most e-mail providers try to keep personal information private. However, if sensitive work documents, etc. are transmitted by e-mail, encrypting messages for better privacy is often recommended.
Many Internet users are also generally unaware of the information about them available online. Some of the information has moved from phone books and other printed references onto the Web. This often includes maps, phone numbers, e-mails and other information of contact.
Some claim your date of birth, social security number, drivers license number, annual
.can all be found through the Internet by those who know how to do the
research. For the curious, the Stalker's
Home Page created by Glen Roberts, has collected this information together in an
effort to educate the public about what is available in Cyber Space.
Concerns for privacy and Internet safety are rising as the Internet is booming as a source of communication, research and general entertainment. According to a study conducted by ACNielsen, 64% of Americans, ages 12 and older, are online. Almost half, 31% are logging on every day.1 The Computer Industry Almanac has calculated that by the year 2002 the number of Internet users will be 490 million people worldwide.2
There are many sites that help users who wish not to be "followed" while browsing on the Internet. Many of these sites have options for e-mail protection and extra privacy as well. Also, organizations, which specifically deal with Internet Privacy, discuss the issues, offer solutions, and inform users where to go to learn more about what personal information is posted on the Internet.
Below you will find a selection to browse and learn more about this growing concern.
|Articles & Latest News|
|Children's Online Privacy Protection|
|Methods & Programs for Privacy|
|Privacy Policies on the Web|
|Privacy Now! Campaign|
|Is it just Paranoia?|
1 CyberAtlas:The Web Marketer's Guide to Online Facts. "Two-Thirds of Americans Online" May 10, 2000.
2 CyberAtlas:The Web Marketer's Guide to Online Facts. "The World's Online Populations" May 25, 2000.
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