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Chapter 2. WHAT IS PRIVACY IN A DIGITAL ... > The Protection Given to Information

The Protection Given to Information

Privacy: 1. In a communications system or network, the protection given to information to conceal it from persons having access to the system or network. 2. In a communications system, protection given to unclassified information, such as radio transmissions of law enforcement personnel, that requires safeguarding from unauthorized persons. 3. In a communications system, the protection given to prevent unauthorized disclosure of the information in the system. (188) Note 1: The required protection may be accomplished by various means, such as by communications security measures and by directives to operating personnel. Note 2: The limited protection given certain voice and data transmissions by commercial crypto-equipment is sufficient to deter a casual listener, but cannot withstand a competent cryptanalytic attack.

National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), a part of the U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC), http://www.its.bldrdoc.gov/fs-1037/dir-028/_4148.htm

Many people understand privacy only in relation to the protection their information has, or which they assume it has. They think of privacy of information much as they believe that a locked door or closed drapes protect their privacy at home. This is a misconception. As more and more information is gathered together, and analysis made of an individual's behavior, lifestyle, or other traits as a result of that data, the right to privacy is eroded. We have relied on security technology to protect our rights. However, policy, laws, and ethical standards protect the individual's right to privacy while security technology can only protect the information itself, and be an enabler to protect your right to chose when to disclose it.


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