Faster, easier, and cheaper access to a plethora of information, products and people is a primary stimulus for the growing number of online consumers who use the Internet to fulfill information foraging, communication and commerce needs. Oddly enough, these conveniences appear to override users concerns of privacy invasion. As the mechanisms behind information technologies become increasingly transparent, users must trust the companies producing the products to protect them from privacy invasion and refrain from deceitful consumer information practices. Should consumers continue to put faith in companies who may be more concerned about financial gains than consumer privacy rights? Since congress has refused to regulate industry information practices, consumers need to realize that the responsibility of protecting their personal information lies in their own hands. It is the consumer’s responsibility to research company backgrounds, investigate privacy policies, become aware of privacy invasion techniques, and learn security safeguards to ultimately make informed decisions and remain in control of how and with whom their personal information is used and shared.
Do corporations respect consumers’ rights to privacy? In 1999, a Sun Microsystems chief executive riled consumer privacy advocates when he brazenly declared, “You [as a consumer] have zero privacy anyway. Get over it” (as qtd. in Turow 8). Privacy advocate groups such as the Federal Trade Commission and the American Civil Liberties Union question the ethics of inconspicuous collection of personal information and urge legislative action against privac...
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Sullivan, Bob. "Online Privacy Fears are Real." MSNBC News. 6 Dec 25 Nov 2004 <http://msnbc.msn.com/id/3078835/>
Turow, Joseph. "Americans and Online Privacy: The System is Broken." A Report from the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania. June 2003. 24 Oct 2004.<http://www.asc.upenn.edu/usr/jturow/internet-privacy-report/36-page-turow-version-9.pdf>
"What is Spyware?" Spy Checker. 01 Dec 2004 <http://www.spychecker.com/spyware.html>.
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