Privacy enhancing technology
Wolfe, Henry B
Privacy is one of the most fundamental of human rights. It is not a privilege granted by some authority or state. It is, in fact, necessary for each human being’s normal development and survival. Those nations who have, in the past, and currently follow the notion that they have the authority and/or moral high ground to grant or deny privacy to their citizens are notable for their other human rights violations. This paper is centered around the above premise and will offer the reader some good news and some bad news. But most important, it will put the reader on notice that our privacy is constantly under attack from one vested interest or another and that each and every one of us must be vigilant in the protection of our private matters. It is common in New Zealand to assume that anything secret is bad. This is an extremely naïve position to take for any intelligent individual. The old phrase “if you haven’t got anything to hide, then you shouldn’t mind…” is often used to intimidate, manipulate or coerce an individual to “confess” or share information that he/she initially believes to be confidential, private or otherwise not for sharing with others. Secrecy is not bad nor good in and of itself. It is merely a factual description of the condition of some information. Now for some good news. There are a number of technological devices and procedures that can be used to enhance one’s privacy. The bad news is that most, if not all, can be easily defeated with other technological advances.
Publisher: University of Otago
Series number: 97/09
Research Type: Discussion Paper
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