Options for Promoting Privacy on the National Information Infrastructure. Privacy in the Marketplace

04/01/1997

Advances in information technology have produced an economy that thrives on information. Marketplace privacy issues are, in turn, as complex as the market itself. A comprehensive analysis of these issues exceeds the scope of this paper. In order to frame the issues generally, this paper examines how the government and business community balance their information needs with personal privacy values in three specific areas: (1) personal financial information (considered private by most but frequently and necessarily disclosed); (2) video rental records (interesting because this example highlights the problem of dissimilar privacy protection schemes for similar types of information); and (3) direct marketing (a topic of interest to consumers and the source of many complaints to government agencies).