Thus far, I have discussed how personal information is being more readily collected, stored, transferred, and combined with other information. Part I of this book discussed the problems of information flow among various businesses, and part II focused on information flows from the government to the private sector. But there is another problematic type of information flow that is rapidly escalating—data transfers from the private sector to the government. The vast digital dossiers being constructed by businesses are becoming an increasingly desirable resource for law enforcement officials. And this threatens to transform the relationship between government and citizen in some very troubling ways.
Earlier in this book, I described the extensive amount of information that companies are stockpiling about us. To live in the modern world, we must enter into numerous relationships with other people and businesses: doctors, lawyers, businesses, merchants, magazines,