Computers and the World Wide Web: Privacy Issues
Maintaining security to achieve computer privacy is important in safeguarding documents and confidential data. Computer users however have always faced issues in relation to maintaining and sustaining privacy across the Internet based on the World Wide Web systems. Computers and the World Wide Web systems have evolved over the decades. Consequently, they have permitted innovators to research and develop better, improved, and enhanced security measures to manage privacy. In the past, diverse security threats hindered privacy among computer and Internet customers. For example, the Galactic Network concept was adopted and thoroughly discussed in 1962. The concept envisioned interconnecting sets of computers to allow users to access and share data and programs with ease. In the past, computers relied on data shared through packets rather than circuits. This was a theoretical feasibility in relation to communications, as it allowed networking and computer interconnections. However, this presented various issues in relation to security and privacy (Bhavya 1).
First, the packets were vulnerable to theft, destruction, and misplacement. Thus, persons without permission would access packets of data illegally or unintentionally exposing crucial data to the wrong parties. This led to various unethical and illegal activities linked to lack of privacy. For example, malicious people would steal, alter, copy, or destroy crucial data transmitted among unsuspecting victims. Such challenges linked to privacy issues while using computers led to social, political, and economic conflicts (Barry et al. 23).
The pipeline required packets to be arranged in multiples from the data’s foundation to the destinations. However, the intermediate networks discretely allowed provision of hosting packet pipelines. The packets were often broken into small pieces to allow forwarding, interpretation, routing, and handling of data. It was challenging to detect duplicated packets while the end checksums of packets and fragments was neither guaranteed nor effectively undertaken. More so, the packets could not handle the global desires to develop techniques with operating systems. The operating systems had to be capable of effectively and efficiently implementing internetworks while maintaining and sustaining privacy (Barry et al. 23).
In 1980s, widespread infrastructures of networks were developed. These included the ARPANET infrastructure hosting NASA, HEPNet, BITNET, SPAN, and CSNET among other communication protocols. They shared costs, coordinated networking, and the private financing augmentations, especially among commercial users. Initially, the Internet speed was neither slow nor fast. However, after 1988, the Internet speed was rated as super high. Consequently, this facilitated innovation for super-high networking in the future. In 1995, Internet and intellectual property rights and communication protocols were redefined. The evolution has continued two decades later resulting in an era of sharing in relation to data and time resources. However, this has not prevented people from over sharing leading of personal, private, confidential, and sensitive data. Consequently, this has led to escalating privacy issues among computer users. Thus, privacy issues arise from data and network insecurities as well as threats. To achieve the privacy measures, data should be protected. This achieves confidentiality, integrity, and availability to legally permitted parties without spoofing, hacking, phishing, and spamming among other internet threats and insecurities reducing privacy (Barry et al. 24).
Spoofing refers to the use of mirrored computer addresses to gain access to other computer systems in order to acquire data illegally without permission. Spoofing is difficult to detect and present as it is challenging to identify the intruder. It is also challenging to eliminate spoofing as it requires removal of IP protocols, which are crucial packets for a computer to run effectively and efficiently. Eavesdropping refers to intercepted communications by malicious people without authorization. Eavesdropping can be passive and active. Passive eavesdropping occurs when unofficial people snoop to networked mails furtively. Active eavesdropping occurs when the person take note and alters the networked messages by inserting something to the communication streams. Both forms of eavesdropping are illegal as data can either be stolen or distorted without authorization. Viruses and worms refer to self-replicated programs using files infecting and propagating active computer systems. Phishing involves obtaining private and confidential data from a person, groups, and companies. Phishers trick unsuspecting victims to disclose crucial and private data, such as their social security numbers, online banking details, and passwords (Bhavya 8).
Laws Addressing Privacy Issues
Achieving consumer trust involves implementing strong data privacy protection technological measures across the digital world. The Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights is an administrative legal document, providing basic guidelines on how to protect commercial and residential consumers from facing privacy issues across the digital world. The Congress enacted the protection Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights through a legislative procedure. This was aimed at ensuring it was comprehensive, global, and interactive. In relation to the digital world, consumers are tasked with controlling their rights to exercise and control their personal data. Thus, an individual has a right to deny a company from gaining access to particular details of her/his personal life (Barack 18).
The Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights also aims at achieving transparency. Thus, consumers ought to access, ask, and understand any form of information affecting their private and security details. Conversely, it requires the people handling private and confidential personal information to respect the context. For example, commercial organizations and companies often collect and stock up clientele data. However, they should ensure they collect, apply, disclose, and/or store clientele personal data consistently in measures that can maintain data privacy and protection. Thus, consumers can secure their personal data as they are responsible for ensuring it is safe and protected from illegal accesses from unpermitted third parties (Barack 20).
Storing personal data in usable formats is advisable across the digital world. Data and networking innovators encourage people to store their personal details in usable formats. This is because usable formats are appropriate and sensitive to private and confidential data. They reduce risks associated with adverse consequences, such as illegal access or making inaccurate changes to the data. They also reduce incidents of phishing and spoofing. Consequently, consumers are allowed to limit companies in accessing some personal data they have collected and stored. Thus, companies handling limited personal data are responsible for ensuring the information is protected to maintain and sustain privacy (Barack 21).
The Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights should however be enacted through a federal legislation procedure. This is because it can ensure companies and commercial agencies handling personal data are more certain in ensuring data privacy and protection is achieved. More so, it can improve and strengthen consumer trust, enabling them to engage locally and internationally while sustaining data privacy (Barack 23).
Currently, the United States economic, political, and social aspects rely on the Internet as it allows domestic and international networking. Thus, the Internet provides citizens, businesspeople, investors, and visitors with an opportunity to express socially, politically, and commercially without limit. More so, Internet networking fosters innovation and development of new enhanced business models. This facilitates commercial agencies to gain access to information, discussing and detailing new products and services available domestically and globally. Sophisticated analytical techniques often foster innovation. However, it is an intellectual property. Thus, it is vulnerable as hackers can phish or use malware, computer viruses, spam, and IP spoofing to steal the techniques. The hackers stealing such techniques can also gain access to other forms of data. This can hinder a multitude of people from maintaining their personal privacy and protection (Barack 31).
Managing, Solving, and Eliminating Privacy Issues
The United States government is tasked with protecting its citizens. This includes offering protection from thieves and hackers accessing citizens’ private and confidential data. Thus, it should enforce a code of conduct self-regulating guidelines implemented to protect personal data. The code of conduct should adopt measures that can detect and rectify issues hindering maintenance of privacy. Thus, deceiving and dishonest acts by malicious people trying to access private data should be protected by local, federal, State, civil, and criminal laws (Barack 9).
The challenges arising from people facing privacy issues in relation to internet, computers, and the World Wide Web are diverse. However, they can also be prevented, managed, and solved. For example, hackers often apply malware to steal personal data with an aim of committing identity theft. Electronic commerce has therefore presented hackers with an opportunity to commit economic and social injustices against unsuspecting and innocent victims. Identity theft refers to an illegal act involving malicious people who access and use their victim’s personal data. They often use the data to obtain financial assets or undertake money laundering. The fake identity is therefore a form of weapon against the victims as their personal and financial data obtained from credit and debit cards is used to commit crime. Hackers also use fake identities to launder money or purchase products using their victims’ social security numbers (Magdalena et al. 18).
The Internet mainly relies on secrecy and mystery. Thus, parties partaking in an e-commerce transaction cannot guarantee identities’ security and privacy measures. Sellers utilizing the Internet platform can hardly detect fraud and illegal activities. More so, law enforcing authorities lack the ability to fully comprehend the Internet fraud, including identity theft. Civil and criminal laws implemented to prevent cases of identity theft are applied in controlling the type of personal information passed across the Internet. However, different States and global nations prosecute persons guilty of hampering with personal data in diverse ways due to dissimilar privacy and jurisdictions (NECCC 16).
Authentic and trusted data records ought to be reliable over a period of time. Thus, they should not be distorted, altered, or corrupted. The following technological architectures can increase privacy, maximizing on data protection. The secure client server architecture uses agency information systems to allow people gain access to data. However, the data is formatted into read-only documents preventing malicious parties from altering or changing the information. Users are advised to address their privacy issues through a database retrieving specific documents that are transmitted to a server before being received into a storage repository. However, it does not prevent passive eavesdropping (NECCC 16).
The cyclical redundancy checksum is often utilized by telecommunication organizations. It ensures transmitted data lacks errors from alterations, distortions, and changes on the document. Bits in packets through compatible sequences ensure errors are eliminated. Thus, this architecture prevents malicious people from spoofing and eavesdropping. Reliable and authentic data is therefore transmitted across authorized parties, increasing data privacy and protection. The one way hash digest is an architecture using algorithm. The algorithms compress recorded data into fixed lengths and smaller sizes. The data is irreversible without compromise based on the number of times it is repeatedly shared among parties. However, converting and transferring the data can alter the information based on the underlying bit streams. Thus, the alterations never match the original data (NECCC 17).
Lastly, the hash digest with digital time stamp is a technological architecture combining use of third party certificates with time registrations. It digests the data stored and being accessed from a computer. Different and diverse hash digests of data records are stored with a date stamp from root super-hash. Consequently, an original and genuine certificate is generated and stored under each unique data record or database. Thus, this architecture documents data using genuine reports. New hash digests are used to generate and compare authentic certificates. Thus, this technological architecture can prevent spoofing, eavesdropping, viruses, worms, and phishing. It is therefore advisable to develop new systems able to combine the four technological architectures. This is because a combined architecture can prevent and protect private and confidential data from being stolen, altered, distorted, or changed by malicious people (NECCC 17).
Barack, Obama. Consumer Data Privacy in a Networked World: A Framework for Protecting Privacy and Promoting Innovation in the Global Digital Economy, The White House Report, 2012. Print.
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Bhavya, Daya. Network Security: History, Importance, and Future, University of Florida, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, 2009. Print.
Magdalena, Balazinska, et al. Data Management in the Worldwide Sensor Web: Building a Sensor-Rich World, Microsoft Research Report, 2007. Print.
National Electronic Commerce Coordinating Council (NECCC). Challenges in Managing Records in the 21st Century, National Electronic Commerce Coordinating Council Report, 2004. Print.