"For Your Eyes Only" ... Means What in the Cyber Age? the Gap between What "Privacy" Means in the U.S. versus the European Union Must Be Addressed

By Wellbery, Barbara S. | ABA Banking Journal, December 1997 | Go to article overview

"For Your Eyes Only" ... Means What in the Cyber Age? the Gap between What "Privacy" Means in the U.S. versus the European Union Must Be Addressed


Wellbery, Barbara S., ABA Banking Journal


Today's technologies allow information to be collected, compiled, analyzed, and delivered around the world more quickly and inexpensively than ever before. Information once difficult, time-consuming, and expensive to obtain and compile is often available with a few clicks of a mouse. Consumers cruise the 'Net seeking all kinds of information. Companies, too, benefit, creating new markets as the 'Net allows them to reach potential customers easily and cheaply. Increased access to information about customers can reduce marketing and inventory costs, making consumer information a hot commodity.

The Information Age's greatest promise is also its greatest threat. Enormous amounts of information are collected about individuals. Banks and credit card companies maintain information on payment histories and buying patterns. Supermarkets and other retail stores track consumer purchases using checkout scanners. As individuals peruse various sites on the Internet, mouse clicks can be tracked -- so-called "mouse-droppings" -- providing profiles not only of what people buy, but also of what they read, their health concerns, and perhaps their political and sexual preferences. Thus, information technologies increase the risks to privacy geometrically.

The fact that so much information is now used on a global basis further complicates the primary issues. Multinational companies may ship all their personnel data to one location for recordkeeping, benefits, and payroll purposes; credit card companies may do the same with bankcard information for billing purposes. Credit and insurance markets increasingly operate on a global basis and may require the transfer of information about individuals across borders to evaluate their creditworthiness or insurance risks. And, the inherently global nature of the Internet further complicates the matter.

Many nations share concerns about the impact of the expansion of electronic networks on information privacy. The United States and the European Union (EU) are both addressing these concerns, but in markedly different ways that may lead to disruptions in trade.

Same goal, different means

While the U.S. and the E.U. generally agree on the underlying principles that individuals should have the opportunity to control their personal information, they employ very different means to achieve this goal.

The EU's approach grows out of Europe's history and legal traditions -- protection of information privacy is viewed as a fundamental right. The emphasis given to information privacy in Europe arises at least in part from intrusions into information privacy that were at the root of some of the abuses of World War II.

The EU began examining the impact of technology on society over a decade ago; the inquiry culminated in the adoption of a directive in July 1995 specifically addressing information privacy issues in all 15 member countries. (The directive is formally titled Council Directive on the Protection of Individuals With Regard to the Processing of Personal Data and On the Free Movement of Such Data.) By October 1998 each member state must bring into force laws, regulations, and administrative provisions to comply.

A quick review of the directive's basic terms makes clear that, consistent with European tradition, the directive takes a highly regulatory, overarching, and inclusive approach to privacy issues.

The directive's scope is extraordinarily broad. It has two basic objectives:

1. To protect individuals with respect to the "processing" of personal information (defined as information relating to an identified or identifiable natural person).

2. To ensure the free movement of personal information within the EU through the coordination of national laws (Article 1). It applies to all processing of data, manual as well as automatic, and all organizations holding personal data; it excludes from its reach only data used "in the course of purely personal or household activity" (Article 3). …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

"For Your Eyes Only" ... Means What in the Cyber Age? the Gap between What "Privacy" Means in the U.S. versus the European Union Must Be Addressed
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.