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Making Privacy the Default

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Even though the Privacy issue has been on the top agenda for many years Governments have failed to change the strong trend towards Absolute Identification and the No Privacy Future.

The difference between the public and private sector is that in the Private sector individuals vote every day wheras the state monopolies of the public sector takes long time to change.

Individuals can TAKE privacy control in the private sector, but the public sector has to GIVE privacy control. The majority of countries will not because they are not stable democracies and some democracies have had stability too long to remember that the balance of democracy is fragile.

Below are a few of the issues to consider:

  • Legal
    Law is not enough to maintain even the illusion of Privacy as Absolute identification and surveillance technology transfer control over individuals to rapidly growing profiling databases. Basic Human Rights (as for example the UN declaration of 1948), EU law and national Constitutions are increasingly violated as technology drives identification and registration into all aspects of society.
     
  • Economy
    Across all citizen groups and countries the lack of trust for eCommerce is strong and growing. This translates into a serious barrier for the transformation into the networked economy. Trust cannot be established through simple "trust" initiatives, if privacy control is the root source of the problem.
     
  • eGovernment
    Efficiency and convenience in eGovernment processes require access to personal information. With present trends this is accomplished using cross-connection of public databases. Such concentration of individual information outside individual control is sure to lead to increasing abuse. The number of access points, systems and processes addressing individuals profiles will make it impossible to protect and trace the source of abuse. In addition to the obvious risks an even larger problem is a likely active opposition among citizens to the very idea of Public Authorities establishing the tools for total profiling of citizens.
     
  • Democracy
    Free democratic societies are based on free individuals taking stands when evil show its face. If Privacy is eliminated the very basic foundation of society is jeopardized as citizens become too vulnerable.

Why accept a logic that clearly does not provide the answers?

Public Authorities wants to pursue anti-crime protection and provide better service for less - but sacrificing Privacy is neither necessary nor acceptable. Public authorities have to realize the we cannot maintain Privacy through law alone - we need to provide individuals with the technology to take control also. This relates to both the private sector and the fast growing public databases.

Unless changes are made, the growing Privacy resistance is likely to build barriers for the transformation to the networked economy.

Make Privacy the default in the Networked Economy
... because the alternative is not an option!