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Part II: The Enemy Is Out There: Threats... > Illegal Threats to Individual Privac...

Chapter 5. Illegal Threats to Individual Privacy

In Chapter 4, “Legal Threats to Individual Privacy,” you gained an understanding of how you can be attacked by individuals, businesses, and governments who want to use laws or the lack of laws to legally invade your privacy. Through legislation and industry self-regulation, consumer information is almost up for grabs by anyone who is willing to devote a bit of time to searching for personal information. Individuals have become empowered through the use of technology to perform their own data mining for personal gain using other people's information. As if the few legal activities were not enough of a threat against our privacy, we are faced with illegal activities that can be even more damaging.

With any change in society, there always seems to be an element that takes advantage of that change for personal benefit, and by illegal means. Technology has opened up a host of possibilities that a criminal can use to take advantage of the consumer. Cybercrime is one of the fastest-growing criminal activities because of the widespread use of technology and easy access of technology. It is becoming easier on a daily basis around the world for anyone to have access to technology, specifically the Internet. With the wealth of information available through technology, we are faced with illegal uses of that information. Illegal activities ranging from financial scams, computer hacking, pornography, virus attacks, and cyberstalking are easily conducted because of the Internet. This obviously does not mean we will shut down the Internet because of illegal activity, but we should know what threats we face from the new technological criminal.


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