Information privacy is the privacy of personal information within organizations, and their attempts to define content of information stored on computer systems that third party can also access. Data masking, encryption, and authentication are some of the ways of protecting data from the public so that only authorized personnel can access such information (Rouse, 2013).
Organizations always use this aspect of information technology (IT) to increase confidentiality within the management in order to reduce vulnerability and exposure of their systems to unauthorized segment. Information on finance, medical data, criminal records, and business information are some of the personal data that require continuous privacy.
The United States, for instance, has different legislations on data privacy that deal with specific sectors given the different needs that emanate from them. Data usage by unauthorized persons is illegal in most parts of the globe. Therefore, concerned parties must come up with relevant protective measures to address the possibilities of such pieces of information of finding their way on the wrong hands.
Patients’ records are essential in managing health facilities by ensuring that they offer quality services to the clients. For instance, a patient’s medical history is essential in determining the types of medication to administer to the patient. Such data remain confidential, and should only be used for treatment purposes only. As a way of preventing information leakage, which may result in stigma to a patient, the management must ensure that pieces of information on all patients are kept securely to maintain confidentiality.
The US has the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA) that ensures that patients’ data remain accessible only to the authorized segment of the staff. HIPAA uses electronic data interchange to give patients’ information unique identifiers that the unauthorized group cannot interpret. Users are given privileges under strict laws to access all medical records, and, at the same time, have to maintain data integrity and confidentiality on information that may lead to identification of a patient (Rouse, 2013).
Websites also have confidentiality policies that guide their service provision. Some organizations have put tracking measures in place to identify those accessing their websites for security purposes. For example, when one accesses such sites, the computer stores cookies automatically. This move prevents hacking of information by third parties as the organizations can trace all their users.
The US citizens use cyberspace to travel, power their homes, communicate, provide essential government services, and run their economy. The overreliance on the network has posed serious attacks thus causing more information vulnerability. Organizations should work towards limiting data breaches that may arise from information hacking. Using password-protected data is one way of improving the security of online data (Zhan, 2009).
Markedly, choice of passwords is key in limiting data loss. In cybercrimes, one does not need to break into a physical property to steal information or use force to access the materials. For example, bank frauds have been on the rise with the coming of this new technology.
In addition, cases of information confidentiality is worrying, as other internet savvy people can access such information, a recent example is the Wikileaks. These cases prompted US to pass legislations that could help in eradicating this menace. Since many departments and organizations use this modern technology, fighting the vices is a shared responsibility (Raab & Mason, 2002).
The private and public sectors are collaborating to create awareness on cyber security among the internet users. With the high rates of cybercrimes, financial institutions, for instance, have to use complex mechanisms to enhance the security of their data, as fraudsters can easily transfer funds through the online platform to their accounts. In this aspect, the browsing history of users is significant in enhancing information security for the benefit of both the users and website owners.
Internet security has made most users to maintain anonymity while online. A study by Pew Research Institute revealed that 86% of Americans prefer being anonymous to keep their data private (Gorodyansky, 2013). They protect their IP addresses, encrypt emails, and delete cookies frequently from their computers. Information privacy remains a controversial issue in the US given the recent phone-tapping move by the federal government.
The government has also gained access to emails of prominent personalities as a way of enhancing the overall security of the country. Instances of terrorist attacks similar to the 9/11 that led to loss of lives and destruction of properties have been common with the manufacture of nuclear weapons by some Middle East Nations. In security line, the US can breach the information security policy in order to enhance the safety of its citizens and the entire world.
Gorodyansky, D. (2013, October 13). Internet Privacy and Security: A Shared Responsibility. Wired.com. Web.
Raab, C. D., & Mason, D. (2002). Privacy, Surveillance, Trust and Regulation. Information, Communication & Society, 5(2), 237-241.
Rouse, M. (2013, August 5). Data privacy (information privacy). SearchCIO. Web.
Zhan, J. (2009). Information Privacy: Security and Integrity. International Journal of Information Privacy, Security and Integrity, 1, 55-83.