ADVANTAGES

Who has the final say whether or not some information about a useris communicated or not? Who is allowed to sell your medicalrecords, your financial records, your friend list, your browser history,etc.? If you do not have control over this process, then how canyou claim a right to privacy? For instance Alan Westin argued inthe very early decades of digital information technology that controlof access to one's personal information was the key tomaintaining privacy (Westin 1967). It follows that if wecare about privacy, then we should give all the control of access topersonal information to the individual. Most corporate entitiesresist this notion as information about users has become a primarycommodity in the digital world boosting the fortunes of corporationslike Google or Facebook. There is a great deal of utility each ofus gains from the services of internet search companies. It mightactually be a fair exchange that they provide search results for freebased on collecting data from individual user behavior that helps themrank the results. This service comes with advertising that isdirected at the user based on his or her search history. That is,each user tacitly agrees to give up some privacy whenever they use theservice. If we follow the argument raised above thatprivacy is equivalent to information control then we do seem to beceding our privacy away little by little. Herman Tavani and JamesMoor (2004) argue that in some cases giving the user more control oftheir information may actually result in greater loss of privacy. Their primary argument is that no one can actually control all of theinformation about oneself that is produced each day. If we focusonly on the little bit we can control, we lose site of the vastmountains of data we cannot (Tavani and Moor 2004). Tavani andMoor argue that privacy must be recognized by the third parties that docontrol your information and only if those parties have a commitment toprotecting user privacy will we actually have any real privacy andtowards this end they suggest that we think in terms of restrictedaccess to information rather than strict control of personalinformation (Tavani and Moor 2004).

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