“Valuing” Privacy While Exposing Data Utility
Protecting data privacy is an area of increasing concern as the general public has become increasingly impacted by its inability to guarantee that those things we wish to hold private remain private. The concept of privacy is found in the earliest writing ofmankind and continues today to be a very high value inmodern society.Unfortunately, challenges to privacy have always existed and at times, these challenges have become so strong that any real sense of personal privacy was assumed to unattainable. This occurred in the middle-ages when communal living was normative, at least among the poor, so it was necessary to accept this as a simple matter of fact. This does not mean that privacy was not valued at the time, simply that it was assumed to be unachievable so the absence of it was accepted. A poll in a recent undergraduate/graduate class at the University of Calgary revealed that over half of the students felt that there was no way to protect their privacy in online systems. It was not that they did not value their privacy but simply felt, much like those in the middle-ages, there was nothing they could do about it. In addition, about half of the students felt that there was value in their private information and felt that they would consider trading it for an economic return under certain conditions that varied widely from individual to individual.
KeywordsPrivate Information Data Privacy Online System Early Writing Personal Privacy
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