The Privacy Implications of Cloud Computing


When users store their data with programs hosted on someone else's hardware, they lose a degree of control over their sensitive information. The responsibility for protecting that information from hackers and internal data breaches then falls into the hands of the hosting company rather than the individual user. Government investigators trying to subpoena information could approach that company without informing the data's owners. Some companies could even willingly share sensitive data with marketing firms. So there is a privacy risk in putting your data in someone else's hands. Obviously, the safest approach is to maintain your data under your own control.

Radio Frequency Identification: Applications and Implications for Consumers


Industry representatives have described the numerous benefits of RFID in today's workshop. But RFID is a classic information technology in that there is a potential downside as well. If the technology is implemented irresponsibly, we as a society could experience it not as a wonderful convenience with many social benefits, but as a tool for consumer profiling and tracking -- in other words, as one part of a larger surveillance infrastructure.

Statement on Outsourcing and Privacy


We at the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse commend Senator Figueroa and the two Senate Committees for conducting a hearing on outsourcing, and for considering not only the employment implications but also the potential risks to the privacy and security of records containing sensitive personal information. I restrict my comments to the issues of privacy and security.

RFID Implementation in Libraries


We recommend that the library community conduct a comprehensive technology assessment of RFID as soon as possible to enable librarians to make the best possible decisions involving the implementation of this technology. Such a risk-benefit analysis would include an investigation of the potential privacy and civil liberties implications and the best methods to mitigate these harms.

RFID Position Statement of Consumer Privacy and Civil Liberties Organizations


RFID tags are tiny computer chips connected to miniature antennae that can be affixed to physical objects. In the most commonly touted applications of RFID, the microchip contains an Electronic Product Code (EPC) with sufficient capacity to provide unique identifiers for all items produced worldwide. When an RFID reader emits a radio signal, tags in the vicinity respond by transmitting their stored data to the reader. While there are beneficial uses of RFID, some attributes of the technology could be deployed in ways that threaten privacy and civil liberties.

RFID and the Public Policy Void


If ever there were a technology calling for an in-depth multi-disciplinary holistic analysis involving all stakeholders, it is RFID. Yet this technology has sprung upon the scene with little attempt so far to address its many probable adverse impacts upon society. It does not take a great deal of reflection to understand the profound privacy and civil liberties implications associated with RFID if indeed all the "things" of the world are uniquely identified and can be located and read at a distance.

Privacy Today: A Review of Current Issues


The purpose of this report is to highlight and summarize key privacy issues affecting consumers today and tomorrow. Readers who want to explore issues in depth should visit the Web sites of government agencies, public interest groups, industry associations, and companies. A list of public interest groups that are working on these issues is provided at the end of the report.

Eight Reasons to be Skeptical of a "Technology Fix" for Protecting Privacy


I'm going to begin by listing just a few of the many technology-based services that are available now or are soon to be launched. I will then list eight reasons why I am not convinced that these services are the entire answer to safeguarding consumer privacy.

Then, to close, I will discuss approaches that I believe are more likely to provide meaningful protection of our personal privacy.

Issues of Privacy and Access


Advances in technology give rise to the classic double edged sword. There are obvious benefits, such as locating and garnishing the wages of deadbeat parents. But there is also the downside, the development of a cradle to grave electronic dossier which can pose threats to personal privacy and which can be used for purposes of social control.

My presentation will focus on the privacy implications of advances in technology and the importance of crafting policies to enable the benefits to proceed while minimizing the negative consequences.

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