ss_blog_claim=a290fbfb2dabf576491bbfbeda3c15bc

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Dilemma between privacy and security

People think there has to be a choice between privacy and security; that increased security means more collection and processing of personal private information. However, in a challenging report to be published on Monday 26 March 2007, The Royal Academy of Engineering says that, with the right engineering solutions, we can have both increased privacy and more security. Engineers have a key role in achieving the right balance.

One of the issues that Dilemmas of Privacy and Surveillance challenges of techchnological change looks at is how we can buy ordinary goods and services without having to prove who we are.
For many electronic transactions, a name or identity is not needed; just assurance that we are old enough or that we have the money to pay.
In short, authorisation, not identification should be all that is required.
Services for travel and shopping can be designed to maintain privacy by allowing people to buy goods and use public transport anonymously.
"It should be possible to sign up for a loyalty card without having to register it to a particular individual - consumers should be able to decide what information is collected about them," says Professor Nigel Gilbert, Chairman of the Academy working group that produced the report. "We have supermarkets collecting data on our shopping habits and also offering life insurance services. What will they be able to do in 20 years' time, knowing how many donuts we have bought?"

Another issue is that, in the future, there will be more databases holding sensitive personal information. As government moves to providing more electronic services and constructs the National Identity Register, databases will be created that hold information crucial for accessing essential services such as health care and social security. But complex databases and IT networks can suffer from mechanical failure or software bugs.
Human error can lead to personal data being lost or stolen. If the system breaks down, as a result of accident or sabotage, millions could be inconvenienced or even have their lives put in danger.

Full Report...
Post a Comment
 
ss_blog_claim=a290fbfb2dabf576491bbfbeda3c15bc