I was just roaming the internet for some interesting reads and I came across this very interesting paper about how to define a legal framework for the "reasonable expectation of privacy" when it comes to our new cyber-existence. I thought I'd share it with you guys, and see what you think about agencies being able and allowed to collect and analyse huge amounts of data about any individual they like.
The main point of the article is that the conventional wisdom that says that when you roam outside, in public places, you can't expect privacy (i.e., people (incl. authorities) could be watching what you do) doesn't work when it comes to roaming the cyber-world (visiting sites, blogging, chatting, posting on forums / leaving comments / tweeting, etc.) because, in that world, people can collect and analyse all of your actions (past and present) as a whole and this way, they can infer so much about who you are, what you do, who you associate with, what your views are, etc..., that it amounts to things that anyone would consider to be their "private business". And in most countries, private citizens (and by extension, companies) are not allowed to look into other people's "private business" too much (i.e., it's illegal, and usually a felony), and authorities are not allowed to do that either unless they can show "probable cause" and obtain a warrant.
Currently, many agencies and private companies are taking huge liberties in this regard, enjoying the legal void and the lack of any serious policy to guarantee people's right to privacy, to do anything from customer profiling (to drive product suggestions and ads) to full-blown cyber-espionage.
What are your opinions about this?
Do you expect your cyber-activities to be private?
If not, what about the sum of all your cyber-activities and all the information that can be inferred from that?
Can you think of a practical way to guarantee people's right to privacy in this information-rich environment?
If information collection and analysis needs to be controlled, what does that imply for internet freedom and net-neutrality?