Perspective

Control use of data to protect privacy

Science  30 Jan 2015:
Vol. 347, Issue 6221, pp. 504-506
DOI: 10.1126/science.aaa4961

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Abstract

Massive data collection by businesses and governments calls into question traditional methods for protecting privacy, underpinned by two core principles: (i) notice, that there should be no data collection system whose existence is secret, and (ii) consent, that data collected for one purpose not be used for another without user permission. But notice, designated as a fundamental privacy principle in a different era, makes little sense in situations where collection consists of lots and lots of small amounts of information, whereas consent is no longer realistic, given the complexity and number of decisions that must be made. Thus, efforts to protect privacy by controlling use of data are gaining more attention. I discuss relevant technology, policy, and law, as well as some examples that can illuminate the way.

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