Sunday, December 17

Personal Privacy on The Internet

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Tavani explains that personal privacy is defined as either “a repository of personal information that can be either diminished altogether or gradually eroded” or as “something that can be intruded upon or invaded” [Tavani 2010]. By law, real-estate transactions are available for the public to see. These records contain personal information about the buyer, seller, and the property itself. By displaying this information to the public, any person involved with the transaction has had their personal privacy violated. These people have no control over the information that is made public and are not susceptible to outside forces intruding upon their personal privacy.

                The information displayed in the transaction may not seem entirely revealing, however there are several techniques adopted by companies to make use of this information. By merging or matching the information found in the real-estate transaction with other computer databases filled with personal information about the individuals, a company can use this combined information to target a person for advertisement. For example a mortgage company can combine the real-estate transaction with financial information to determine if they should try to entice a person to change mortgage companies.

                There is an infringement of business confidentiality when the transaction takes place between incorporated entities. Since the details of the transaction are made public, other competitive companies can use this information against the companies involved in the transaction. There are many different ways for business’ to compete with one another but a business can easily time the release of a major project so that it corresponds with the time a competitor makes a major real-estate purchase. With less finances, that company may not be able to compete with the other and effectively lose a large amount of potential profit.

                On the other hand, there are legitimate times when this information needs to be public. By recording such information, there will always be a record on file of who the property belongs to. It is possible for there to be a court case involving two individuals arguing over who owns a specific piece of property. Outlined in the public real-estate transaction will be the exact area of the property and the person who purchased it. Using the information stored here, the dispute can be quickly resolved.

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