I wrote this while in law school in 2010, and it still seems more on point today (albeit quite a bit outdated now though). What was more surprising was that a few of the things I discussed in this paper were later confirmed through wikileaks and the Snowden affair. I thought I would share this paper on privacy and data collection to see what my readers would think.
This is the original Abstract of the paper, and you can read it in its entirety at the link below – keep in mind this is 4 years old, so things have changed, but I still thought I would share this.
Privacy protections in the United States exist in the form of a scantly effective patchwork of reactionary laws. This patchwork has substantial holes allowing companies, the government and even hackers to access copious amounts of personal, private information to use for a variety of legal reasons. Although the use may be legal, the question becomes whether use of this collected information is ethical and proper. Most businesses collect vast amounts of information on their customers and purchase information about others for marketing reasons, housing this information in improperly maintained databases posing security risks. This paper addresses three questions. First, is the collection of this information proper from a legal standpoint? Second, who collects personal information, why do they collect it, and how do they access this information? Finally, what are some of the concerns surrounding the collection of personal information, and what reasons exist to support the regulation of data collection?
Since the time I submitted this paper, I made only one change – and changed my e-mail address from my school’s account to my gmail account.