Jan 12, 2018 in Law

Confidentiality of Information on the Internet

The change of the majority of countries to an era of the information society demands an adequate legal regulation of the relations connected with information. The emergence of new information technologies influences on both material and procedural law. In a modern society relations connected with confidential information have a great value. Confidential information is "the data which is in possession, usage or availability of certain private or legal entities" and is spread only at their will and according to the conditions provided by them (Doyle, 2002).

Internet usage seems to be anonymous only at the first sight. The area of distribution of personal information can appear much wider than people think. It is not often limited to a narrow circle of friends and relatives, and, moreover, almost always is beyond the social network. Many sites, if not the majority, use special technologies for tracking their visitors. Even if it is not a portal with the user name and the password, every time one visits the site the "leakage" of the private information on the visitor of the site occurs (Bournazian, et. al., 2002). For example, popular technologies are built-in "bugs" in the form of images in 1 pixel, cookies or the JavaScript appendix (Bournazian, et. al., 2002).

Thus, at the disposal of the companies, providing these services, there is an enormous volume of information on the work of users in the Internet, and the possibility of correlation of the data concerning the visits of the sites, which allows to create the "profile" of the user, to define his/her tastes, habits, views, location and other individual characteristics.

Confidentiality is an important element in the open information space of the Internet. Neglect of the human right to confidentiality, to be exact, his/her rights of control of the structure and the extent of personal information distribution leads to the loss of user trust, control strengthening and, as a result, to reduction of intensity and volume of information exchange.

Therefore, it is important to support this difficult balance between confidentiality and openness, convenience of using and leakage of private information. To some extent, users can take care of it through installations of the browser or a social network. For example, blocking the heading "Referer" in an inquiry or a ban of reception "cookie" from the sites of the third parties (Chapman, 2007). However, these measures are often ineffective. For example, it is almost impossible to refuse the use of "cookie" of the visited site today without essential loss of browser functionality.

Knowledge and open discussion of these problems is a first step towards finding a solution. The founders of the sites and social networks can make essential contribution to the solution of this problem. For example, minimizing the amount of information, transferred to the third parties, or informing users on a degree of openness of their data on a social network.

In the future the problem of confidentiality on the Internet will be almost solved: users will receive a bigger control on social networks, browsers will care of safety and confidentiality of the customers because, despite everything, people want to communicate with their friends, relatives etc.

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