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Privacy, Surveillance, and the New Media You


Edward Lee Lamoureux

Very little in the American way of life functions adequately under surveillance.  Democracy itself may be at mortal risk due to the loss of privacy and the increase in surveillance.

Examining challenges in a wide range of contexts, this book investigates and critically examines our systems of data management, including the ways that data are collected, exchanged, analyzed, and re-purposed.

The volume calls for re-establishing personal privacy as a societal norm and priority, requiring action on the part of everyone at personal, societal, business, and governmental levels. Because new media products and services are professionally designed and implemented to be frictionless and highly rewarding, change is difficult and solutions are not easy. This volume provides insight into challenges and recommended solutions.

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Chapter 6: FIP 5: If You Don’t Protect It, You Should Not Have It


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If You Don’t Protect It, You Should Not Have It

If by my life or death I can protect you, I will.

—J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring

Any organization creating, maintaining, using, or disseminating records of identifiable personal data must assure the reliability of the data for their intended use and must take reasonable precautions to prevent misuse of the data.

—FIP 5, Records, Computers, and the Rights of Citizens

Violations of specifications in the second part of the fifth FIP—that holders of a private data point protect it to prevent its misuse—were illustrated in chapter 1. Further illustrations, from reports in 2016, will follow in the present chapter. First, however, this chapter explores a less-often examined aspect of data-privacy protocols, as suggested by the fifth FIP: Organizations must “assure the reliability of the data for their intended use.” Without becoming strictly tied to statistical language, reliability of private data refers to the accuracy with which the data represent the subject(s) who provided the data.

We will, first, examine the ways that the data marketplace furthers the initial goal of the fifth FIP, improving the reliability of data. Analysis of large data sets provides insights that help solve problems and thereby giving benefits some of the people who contributed the information. Consumers often benefit from recommendations that are the result of analyzing data...

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