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Privacy in a Digital World
The history of privacy in the United States is a storied one. The context of the 4
th
Amendment to the Constitution has been debated for years to determine if the “right to
privacy” is a constitutionally guaranteed right. Additionally, many people are
technologically ignorant of what behaviors and activities will put them at risk.
The “Carnivore” is a good example of an historic digital technology that
generated privacy concerns. The Carnivore was a digital intelligence gathering tool that
was supposed to be used by the FBI to fight crime. People’s concerns about the tool
were so vocal, however, it was never used.
Currently, there are specific laws governing the protection of digital privacy. In
some cases, these laws protect the individual, and in others, they protect the
corporation or government entity intending to use digitally collected data to their
advantage. The Electronic Communication Privacy Act of 1986 and the Freedom of
Information Act of 1966 both address some privacy concerns.
One way digital privacy is compromised every da…