Importance of Data Protection in the Information Age

  • Wayne Madsen


Governments and other human consortia have for years gathered important and personal information on people. While much of this information was recorded in relatively primitive filing systems, its mere existence made the concept of privacy virtually non-existent. For example, government officials of the Roman Empire maintained an extensive system of taxation records on its subjects throughout its sphere of rule. Taxation records, while recorded by scribes on papyrus scrolls, were surprisingly complete. Taxpayers were identified through Rome’s census-taking activities. Real and potential enemies of the empire as well as troublemakers were sometimes identified in the census records. The subjects of these records included Jesus of Nazareth, the disciples of Jesus, the followers of the slave leader Spartacus, and other political and religious activists and also those senators, local potentates, tax collectors (publicani) and Roman governors whose loyalty to the Emperor became suspect for one reason or another.


Personal Information Personal Data Data Protection Data Subject Internal Revenue Service 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    ’EUSIDIC Doubts on Data Privacy,’ The Bookseller, 17 May 1991, p. 1420.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Ibid., p. D6.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    John Markoff, ’Europe Plans to Protect Privacy Worry Business,’ New York Times, April 11, 1991, p. D6.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Eric Stone, ’Drudge Work Goes Offshore,’ Asian Business, Jul. 1991, p. 41.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
  6. 6.
    Ibid., p. 44.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Ibid. p. 46.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Equifax Report on Consumers in the Information Age. Published by Equifax Inc., 1600 Peachtree Street, Atlanta, Georgia 30302, USA.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Tom Kneitel, ’Cordless Telephones: Bye Bye Privacy!’ Popular Communications, June 1991, p. 10.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    EC Proposal for a Council Directive concerning the protection of personal data and privacy in the context of public digital telecommunications networks, in particular the Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN) and public digital mobile networks, Luxembourg: Office for Official Publications of the European Communities (CB-CO-90-452-EN-C).Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Office of Technology Assessment, Electronic Supervisor: New Technology, New Tensions, Washington, DC: Office of Technology Assessment, December 1987, p. 288.Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Susan Kerr, ’Using AI to Improve Security,’ Datamation, 1 February 1990, p. 57.Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Communications of the ACM, Vol. 33, No. 11, November 1990, pp. 129–30.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • Wayne Madsen

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations