Internet and data privacy

Internet and data privacy

Internet and data privacy

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Even though the internet is a great invention and has had many positive impacts on businesses in every part of the world it also has its negative side. In comparison to Europe whereby there is a system that collects business data and makes sure that the business environment is safe when it comes to the use of it and that there are crimes taking place among different businesses related or unrelated. Some of the illegal activities some businesses carry out through the internet and which are good for the business but illegal are spying, eavesdropping on what businesses plan to do through the internet and generally any kind of the use of internet which is not in line with business restrictions and laws of that specific country like the US. These businesses, therefore, try to use the internet to benefit themselves and do not focus on the effect of their practices concerning state law and the business environment.

According to the United Nations report dumped “Measuring the impact of ICT use in business,” (2008), in Thailand internet has been present for many years and it has had its negative and positive share into the economy as well as to the business sector specifically. According to this report internet in Thailand was being used by the year 1987 and by the year 1994 all state universities had internet access and could conduct online studies or had a website. This concerning the United States of America tells us of how advanced internet usage has come from the years when it began till now when we are embracing artificial intelligence in businesses to help business people and especially those in top management to make decisions. Even though with internet presence for so long other countries like China, Singapore, and Korea has surpassed Thailand’s internet usage in recent years.

It is good to look into this report in comparison to the united states internet privacy laws and internet usage within the business sector, its pros, and cons. By doing this it will be easier to establish what is faulty and needs correction as well as appreciate what is apt in the use of the internet and generally it in the business world. Therefore this paper looks into these issues and explains how the laws regarding the use of it in business evolved in the USA and their general impact on businesses.

History of it use in us businesses

Between the years 1960 to 1982, there was a development which was known as electronic data interchange which helped to improve the business world in a great manner. It was a method used mainly by business partners and it was mainly used to transfer such things as business orders and invoices. At this period it was a great manner in which business would be done.

The first person who invented the use of e-commerce in business was known as Michael Aldrich and he was an entrepreneur as well as an Englishman. He invented the use of it in business one day as he was going to a supermarket with his wife and he thought of how tv can be connected to the supermarket to bring products to the person who needed them.

Berners Lee is the man who invented the internet as we know it today. They started the building of the internet through the creation of the world wide web and this managed to get several users. There was a ban on commercialized internet usage but the ban was lifted in 1991. In the future shop book, snider talks of the expectations to be accorded to the business world changing along with internet use. (Snider, 2008). He also talks of how confused people had become with the introduction of the internet into the business and he talks of how this is a critical and important issue that needs to be looked into so that businesses do not get into problems with internet usage. People always fear change and the introduction of the internet into the business had its opposition from the first time it was introduced.

Due to many cases and concerns about the privacy of information transferred through the internet which was business-related, Netscape developed software that was supposed to protect the safety of customers as well as businesses when they were engaging in their business relations and activities. The software had the name Secure Socket Layers (SSL) and up to date, this is one of the most trusted security protocols when using the internet.

“Dotcom” era

This era was characterized by people who were involved in business while not following business principles and the businesses through which they wanted to make faster money flopped and it was a great lesson for most people as well as other investors and customers who would have wanted to take a similar route.

Few companies continued to thrive after the recession caused by the dot com bubble and they include e-bay and amazon. These two have retained their business and have continued growing over time.

Tech start-ups

Of late there has been an increase in investment in technology and this has been due to the popularity of mobile apps. The good about this kind of investment is that small businesses can be connected throughout the world, having customers and products consumed all over the world. This helps and makes businesses reach a wide range of potential customers. Even though there are fears already expressed that this might be another bubble very many people continue investing in this technological advancement and especially Silicon Valley IT gurus.

Data privacy laws in the USA

With the increasing usage of the internet, there have been concerns as to why and how businesses can protect their data from people who are not authorized to get this information. This is because businesses and with the increasing competition levels make every other business have the urge to overcome the other one in the manner in which they do their work and dominate the market. With this, there have been developments of laws regarding how businesses can be protected from unauthorized business data access by third parties who have malicious reasons for accessing this data.

Personal data privacy laws can by extension apply to business firms and organizations because it is through this that businesses have a ground to operate. Us state governments have been addressing the issues of privacy of late mainly regarding the following four tenets;

personally identifiable information privacy

Data disposalBreach notifications

Data security

Data security

This mainly concerns the way or how businesses collect, store, and the ways used to keep the data safe for their customers. Apart from just data storage and safekeeping, this law says that the people who use the data and how the data is used are very essential elements to be looked into. This applies strongly especially with technology and in a sector like the health sector having HIPAA which the authorized staff of a hospital can access data. In this situation, they have to use the data for the correct purposes and not for wrong purposes as some people tend to do.

Breach notifications

By the year 2005 California state had enacted a law to make sure that companies and firms who held their customers’ data made sure to inform them if their data had been compromised. According to ((OCR), 2013), “A breach is, generally, an impermissible use or disclosure under the Privacy Rule that compromises the security or privacy of the protected health information.” This definition lying heavily on the health sector can also be used for other purposes and in this case privacy laws regarding any business operations. An example of this kind of a is situation whereby customer data was lost to a criminal organization in 2005 by ChoicePoint which is a financial data collector. It lost data of over 144,000 people and in this incident; they only notified their customers in California State because at this time this was the only state which had enacted the law regarding this issue.

Since then all the 50 states of the United States of America have tried to enact this law and it has worked for all the states including the Virgin Islands District of Columbia, Guam, and Puerto Rico. Some states have stricter laws while others have less strict rules regarding the privacy of a person’s information. An example is a situation whereby the state of Massachusetts defines personal data as a personal name in combination with his/her driving certificate number, state identification card, and social security number while a state like new york city defines personal data as any information that can be used to identify that person like symbols, numbers, marks, etc.

Data disposal

In this section for data protection laws, it is stated that every business that is engaged in the use of a customer’s data it should be able to dispose of it in such a manner that the data will not be able to land into third party organizations, businesses or individuals who might use this information for the wrong purposes. This means that the information should be disposed of in a manner that a person cannot comprehend or rather be destroyed completely if it will never be used again. For this work, some businesses go for third party options which help them to destroy this data while others do it for themselves, and in this case, if they go for a third party company the business is liable for any information which might be disclosed by the third-party business about the information of the customers.

Personally Identifiable Information Privacy

In this section of the law in some of the states of America, it states that the businesses have to use the data they get or have about their customers in a proper manner and not in a manner likely to compromise or give some sensitive information to third parties who might need the data for malicious purposes. Therefore this section provides on how to use some data which is considered sensitive. This is determined by the different states.


According to (GeoSurf, 2017), spying is the act of obtaining information about a person, business, or institution without the permission of that entity. The information may be for personal, economic, political, or military purposes on the side of the person who is collecting the information. The commonly used methods of spying on other people include; the use of the internet mainly through malicious software, like spyware and Trojan, proxy servers, etc. these ways may make the computer of a person or their other devices misbehave and thus through the process the person who wants to steal data they steal the data about the person. Spying can be for different purposes and through how a person does it the reason can be related.

Some people spy to steal while others spy for their security. Stealing might involve ideas, information about tangible items like money, and others which a person can only get a clear photo of when they have information about the place where such items are stored.

Almost all spying activities are illegal and if found out a person can be prosecuted and if found guilty jailed in the United States of America. However, at times the government uses this method for security reasons.

Legal Cases Concerning Internet and Data Privacy In USA

In us, there have been several and many cases whereby the data and privacy of individuals, as well as that of companies, have been violated and this has made many people go to court for justice concerning their privacy violation. Some of the cases which concern privacy include the following;

Carpenter v. the United States Supreme Court case of 2018

The USA hacked by a Russian, the case of $10 Million Hack, 1994

Botnet Operation Disabled by the FBI

DNS malware

Manhattan Community Access Corporation v. Halleck case

The above issues and cases are very essential when it comes to looking at how internet security has been achieved as well as the progress and development which has been in existence.

Carpenter v. the United States Supreme Court case of 2018

This is a case whereby a person was charged being guilty of organizing robbery based on the location of his mobile phone. This is a case that was heated and the carpenter got justice at the end against the country. This is because even though he might have been close it does not mean that he automatically was involved in the crime. The accessing of his information had many loopholes that were exposed during the judgment. This is because accessing his information does not just help the investigators know of how he was involved in the crime but also opens doors for them to know about his private life like where he slept on a certain date where he was on Sunday whether he attended church or not. This is because in the case the information collected was about his GPS location for 127 days and therefore this was not in line with privacy laws.

This kind of case and its judgment has a lot of impact in the business world because even though customer information might be needed for investigation purposes there is a need to develop guidelines in the manner in which this information is used and who accesses this information. After all, if anyone can access the information then it means that it is not being used correctly and that the person being investigated is exposed to other dangers that are against his/her rights as a citizen of the United States of America.

The USA hacked by a Russian, the case of $10 Million Hack, 1994

In this case of 1994, a young mane hacked a bank in the United States and began transferring money to other banks in the world and he compromised the bank systems by accessing the institution’s cash management computer system and compromising valid user ids and then doing harm which was intended.

In this case, the court ruled and for the sake of avoiding severe capital punishment, the person involved pledged guilty and was then sentenced to imprisonment. This acted as an eye-opener that people could hack systems nd therefore from then the USA has always tried to protect the privacy of their citizens as well as the organizations which serve the public.


Great work has been done in most of the states regarding this issue of privacy and therefore the suggestions here below are to try to reach the ideal situation concerning privacy and especially internet security.

The states which have not approved laws regarding the protection of the individual as well as company or group data to do that

For people to take responsibility for their actions and avoid engaging in risky activities which may make their data accessible by people with illegal intentions

Education to the public about the importance of data and internet security and safety


In conclusion, it is safe to argue that internet security has always been a great concern for people who are engaged in business as well as for personal use. It is good to look keenly and develop methods of prevention of data stealing and loss to third parties with illegal purposes and also to look into ways of criminalizing activities related to this subject.


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