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Chapter 4. Legal Threats to Individual Privacy > Individual Threats to Privacy

Individual Threats to Privacy

Over the past decade or more, computer security has taken on a public face with the general public being made aware of what security means. The Internet has rapidly expanded the availability of knowledge and tools to assist system administrators and users in securing their systems and networks. The consumer can take privacy protection into her own hands. The widespread use of the Internet enables anyone to easily find a security tool and implement it on her on computer. Where laws have not been fully developed to protect the user—such as protecting the consumer from cookies that capture and retain information—tools such as CookiePal have been developed to help the consumer fight back against that dreaded technology. The consumer has an abundance of tools and knowledge available, but she might not fully understand the implications of the tools she uses.

Internet users are a major legal threat to your privacy. Whether someone is a friend or an enemy, he can be a threat to you either maliciously or inadvertently. As already seen with some of the Web sites available to businesses, such as www.discreetresearch.com, the average Internet user can take advantage of these same sites to perform his own searches on you. The proliferation of Web site and software tools available for investigating someone enables even the most technically challenged person to easily gain information. With the aggregation of information through Web sites and government mandates, finding a central repository of information is easier to do; information is not as dispersed as it was in the past. Plus, the cost of information retrieval is negligible compared to what it was before the widespread use of the Internet.


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