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date: 27 May 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This article focuses on the privacy of personal information. Following a short, indicative literature survey, it frames the discussion in terms of a very few illustrative themes that open up a larger number of avenues for further research; the cited literature, albeit not comprehensive, enables deeper understanding. Three prominent areas of information privacy are selected for review and comment, with a view to identifying some critical questions and issues that are to the fore in policy and governance debates as well as in research. The first area is the ways in which governments and other organizations have attempted to regulate the increasingly intensive, extensive, and global processing of personal data. The second concerns the prevalent practice of sharing data across organizational boundaries, giving scope to further invasions of privacy alongside benefits realized by organizations as well as individuals, and involving uncertainties about control and related matters. The third is especially, but not exclusively, associated with the contemporary preoccupation with terrorist and criminal threats to society, law, and order, and reflects on the effect of the safety and security agenda upon the protection of privacy. The first two involve the erosion, to one extent or another, of different kinds of boundary. All of these areas generate questions and policy issues for debate as well as items for an agenda of future research. The article concludes by drawing the latter together to point a way forward.

Keywords: personal information, privacy protection, data sharing, policy issues, criminal threats, ICTs

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