Data Privacy

This section offers a concise overview of the issues that the principal aims to tackle and safeguard against, including illustrative instances.

Consent or legal authority are essential in ensuring that the public’s personal data is not collected or monitored without their knowledge or permission. However, the United States lacks a comprehensive regulatory framework to govern the use and collection of personal data, which can lead to uncertainty in how these laws apply in different contexts such as credit, education, employment, and health. While some states have enacted consumer data privacy laws to address some of these issues and protect civil liberties, there is still a patchwork of laws and no standard practices. Many states also provide limits on data retention to help protect consumer privacy and civil liberties. Government surveillance and data collection are governed by legal protections to minimize data collection and protect consumer privacy. Some companies are integrating privacy mechanisms into their products by default and design to further protect consumer privacy. However, there are growing risks and harms associated with data harvesting and aggregation, such as profiling communities in harmful ways and reducing the ability to use analytical reasoning to make informed decisions. The use of surveillance technologies in workplaces and schools has also increased, leading to potential consequences for individuals’ mental health and self-confidence. Additionally, faulty and inaccurate data collected by data brokers can lead to unfair decisions about individuals’ lives, such as job opportunities or loan qualifications. It is important to address these issues and ensure that the public is protected from the harmful impact of data harvesting and surveillance. This requires a cross-cutting and foundational principle of privacy in all aspects of data collection, sharing, and reuse within the existing surveillance framework.

  • An insurer might collect data from a person’s social media presence as part of deciding what rates should be offered for life insurance.
  • Thousands of people are at risk of identity theft, as a data broker suffered a breach and harvested large amounts of personal data.
  • The local police department has not received any videos sent by the housing authority that were made available by scanning for facial recognition software. Reports filed by the community indicate that individuals living in both the complex housing and the leading community are assisting law enforcement by identifying individuals viewed via the camera system installed at the entrance of housing complexes.
  • Companies use surveillance software to track the use and activity of employees, intervening discreetly in discussions and monitoring individual data in order to gather information about union discussions.