Privacy in Computing
In this chapter
· Privacy as an aspect of security
· Authentication effects on privacy
· Privacy and the Internet
· Privacy implications for emerging technologies
Computers did not invent or even cause privacy issues; we had those long before computers and probably even before written language. But computers' high-speed processing and data storage and transmission capabilities made possible data collection and correlation that affect privacy. Because privacy is part of confidentiality, it is an aspect of computer security.
Privacy is a human right, although people can legitimately disagree over when or to what extent privacy is deserved; this disagreement may have cultural, historical, or personal roots. Laws and ethics, which we study in Chapter 11, can set the baseline for and enforce expectations of privacy. But inherently, the right to privacy depends on the situation and the affected parties. And just as confidentiality, integrity, and availability can conflict, so too can privacy and other aspects of security. We won't take a position on when a right to privacy should be enforceable because that is outside the scope of this book. You might characterize the presentation of this chapter as "assuming a particular right to privacy exists, what are its implications in computing and information technology?" We as citizens help decide the contours of privacy rights; we as computer security experts implement those decisions in computer systems.
Privacy is also a broad topic, affected by computing but not just a security topic. We don't want to try to survey all possible privacy issues in this chapter, just those inextricably linked to computer security.
In this chapter we look at the meaning of information privacy. We examine identification and authentication, two familiar aspects of computing that have significant privacy implications. We study how privacy relates to the Internet, specifically in e-mail and web access. Finally, we investigate some emerging computer-based technologies for which privacy is important.