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Internet Privacy and Privacy Issues

Internet Privacy has become one of the most commonplace issues in contemporary society. Even though internet connectivity enables many people to interact and share information, privacy issues have remained a big problem for Internet users. Internet-related crimes, such as fraud and cyberstalking, have been on the verge of increasing, hence raising concerns on Internet privacy. Additionally, other problems, such as disclosure of private data, social profiling, and disclosure of private location, have also raised attention on the issue of privacy. One of the most disturbing issues in Internet privacy is the collection and dissemination of personal information to unauthorized parties (Larose & Rifon, 2007). All crimes on the Internet transcend from unauthorized access to personal information. For instance, an individual can only perform identity theft after intruding into unprotected personal information. The leakage of personal information can also be attributed to unsecured data exchange among Internet users. The users may share important information on unsecured websites where hackers can easily access such information. Internet providers may also leak the personal information of their users to other parties. For instance, in the U.S., the government can access personal information without any warrant from Internet providers. It is therefore important to ensure Internet security to foster privacy (Krapf, 2007).

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Based on the above information, this study compares how the U.S. and the E.U. handle the issue of Internet privacy. I tend to agree with the approach adopted by the E.U. For instance, in Europe, the government regulates the activities of Internet providers with regards to storage, disclosure, usage, and collection of personal information. Various governments in Europe have also established legislations to strengthen the rules. Even though the lack of privacy restrictions in America has been lauded for increasing creativity in the Internet industry, the situation has increased Internet crime cases in the country. Unlike Europe where the Internet industry is regulated by external government entities, the U.S. has left the industry to regulate itself, hence creating a situation where users have little or no control over personal data (Elwood & Agnieszka, 2011).

Another element of contrast between the approaches adopted by the regions is on the issue of individual legal rights. The U.S. lacks proper mechanisms, which can be used to protect personal information. It is in America where an individual can easily access personal health information gleaned from various sources (Krapf, 2007). In other cases, some websites have been accused of selling such information without the permission of the owners. It is also in America where the police can conduct cell-signal and GPS tracking on the citizens without any warrant issued by a public legal court. It is surprising to note that the United States is one of the countries in the world where online businesses can access web browsing records of different consumers (Larose & Rifon, 2007).

Contrary to the situation in America, the European Union has established clear legal steps to protect the personal information of its citizens. Every member country in the region has legal statutes, which establish good information management with regards to disclosure, storage, collection, and use. From this comparison, it is therefore evident that European Union upholds Internet privacy as a legal right for all the citizens that must be protected (Elwood & Agnieszka, 2011).


Elwood, S. & Agnieszka, L. (2011). Privacy reconsidered: New representations, data practices, and the geoweb. Geoforum, 42(3), 6–15.

Larose, R. & Rifon, N. J. (2007). Promoting i-safety: Effects of privacy warnings and privacy seals on risk assessment and online privacy Behavior. Journal of Consumer Affairs, 41(1), 127–149.

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