Friday, September 29, 2006

Ethics and online disclosure

The Guardian published this review about personal data.

It is an issue that the CIPR may like to follow through on because of its ethics ramifications.

Facts about each of us are increasingly available to men and women whom we have never met. News that the media giant AOL is being sued for inadvertently releasing details of individuals' internet searches is just the latest reminder. With computers ubiquitous, a log of how someone uses them can give insight into character that would otherwise require a strong personal connection. Such records are exactly what firms like AOL and Google are in a position to build up. This new corporate gaze has joined the well-practised eye of the state. And earlier this month the government proposed to reverse the presumption against sharing of personal data between public agencies, a move which stirs Orwellian visions of a future where officials can readily hunt out and find black marks against any citizen.