Privacy and Freedom of Information in Information Society

B R Mandre, C G Aher, D V Patil, Atulchandra Kulkarni


The information technology stands for the technology in making the information available for the people. It itself gives the freedom of information. But total freedom of information may raise some serious issues in the information society. In spite of freedom of information the most needed thing is the privacy of information. This paper describes both the aspects of the information; it’s consequence, need, reality and issues in balancing both of them.

The unification of information technology, telecommunications and communication technologies has transformed the whole world into an information society making the whole world as if it is a global village. The each and everything in this information society is on the fingertips of all the people irrespective of their time zone, geographic location and country. The technology has made a big impact on the accessibility of information. Due to the information technology, the society has changed in very complex manner. It will be a challenging task to discover impact of technology on privacy and freedom of information.

This paper describes the privacy, freedom of information and ethical issues related to the information usage. As such, both are the very important aspect of the information. It focuses on the various issues related to the privacy and freedom of information, responsibilities and influence of the information technology on each of these.

Privacy of information is a very important aspect about an individual or an organization. It protects some specific information about an individual or an organization from being public. This is the factor which should be given due consideration in this information society. As such, privacy is an important factor in this competitive and borderless information world.

Privacy and freedom of information are exactly opposite ends of the aspects of the information. It can be examined by making a comparison of privacy of information versus the freedom of information.

Privacy stands for the needs of the individuals in protecting some information. While, the freedom of information stands for the demand of the society in getting the information. The conflict fires up when both these overlap.

These aspects can be studied in detail by concentrating on following main issues. First is how much information of an individual other people may need to access. Second is how much one should have access to his/her own private information that other people hold. Another is how much access one should have to public information.

The Privacy stands for the interest that individuals have in sustaining personal information free from interference by other people and organizations. The freedom of information stands for the interest that people in society in having the information about an individual, an organization or about a process freely.

Information Privacy is the interest an individual has in controlling, or at least significantly influencing, the handling of data about themselves. Privacy Protection is a process of finding appropriate balances between privacy and multiple competing interests.

Many software companies collect the personal data from the user while installing or downloading the software. This data may be misused in the information society. The threats of hacking makes it mandatory to give attention to the privacy issues.

Authors discuss about the issues in protection from the bulk mails and the email from unknown people. It also discuss about the privacy issues in other related activities on the Internet.

This paper discusses the various issues related to the privacy, freedom of information, privacy protection and information society. It focuses on how the information society is threatened from privacy issues.

This paper gives in depth coverage of the impact of information technology on the privacy issues, freedom of information, advantages, threats, opportunities, effect on it’s stakeholders and focuses on the directions in which the privacy should be protected in information society.