The Impact of the Internet

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The Impact of the Internet


The Internet is the world’s largest international computer network. It

allows users to access substantial amounts of information held at

various locations all over the world, and has challenged the

organisation of obligations and the responsibilities with respect to

the processing of personal data.

“Personal data covers both facts and opinions about the individual. It

also includes information regarding the intentions of the data

controller towards the individual”


As data subjects, we all have various rights that must be conformed

to. For example, the Data Protection Act of 1998 requires that

personal data is collected for specified, explicit and legitimate

purposes” and should not be processed any further in a way that is

incompatible with these purposes. However, the open structure of the

Internet challenges this concept. A substantial number of problems and

risks are brought about by the fact that the Internet was built around

the idea of accessibility and multiple uses of information. I will

discuss the impact that the Internet has had on data protection issues

in the attempt of drawing a solid conclusion, as to whether current

methods are sufficient in protecting the data that is available



With the Internet, there is no authoritarian figure for accepting the

responsibility of protecting the privacy of the customers. The

responsibility of data protection and privacy is therefore shared

amongst millions of service providers. Users of the Internet are

forced in placing their trus...

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...e users along with the new

technological developments is only a stepping-stone in developing a

100% secure Internet environment. Attempting to build a full proof

system is not possible due to the possibility that human error is

always possible. An article by Malcolm Rosario taken from contained a statement referring to the protecting of

data on the Internet.

"It's like driving Formula One racers on the Internet data highways

without any brakes and safety precautions."


Books –

Professional Issues in Software Engineering, 2001 (Frank Bott, Allison

Coleman, Jack Eaton, Diane Rowland)

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