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

Business Threats to Privacy

Which is more of a threat to your privacy, the government or the business community? Business has never been about doing what is best for the consumer. Business is concerned with making money, and a good way to make money is to keep the consumer happy and paying for more services and products. If consumer privacy happens to be one of the casualties of doing business, so be it. Only recently have we seen a real regard for consumer privacy by business entities and government agencies. The U.S. attitude toward the privacy issue has been that of an observer rather than of an active participant up until the last few years. As new laws are being passed that try to protect consumers, business entities have become more active in lobbying against such laws. The business community would rather use technology and industry pressure to keep consumer data secure than have government regulations in place to restrict and often cost them money in the implementation of the requirements of the laws.

Businesses operate on incentives. If consumers retaliate and advocacy groups provide a strong enough outcry, a business will change tactics and policies if its monetary rewards are affected. In the past, this has been enough to protect consumers in some fashion. But with the development of technology that has made violating a consumer's right to privacy very easy, the government has needed to step in and pass laws that adversely affect the business community.


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