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Technology, Security and Privacy: The Fear of Frankenstein, the Mythology of Privacy and the Lessons of King Ludd

Yale Journal of Law and Technology, Vol. 7, No. 123, December 2004

79 Pages Posted: 11 Oct 2004  

K. A. Taipale

Center for Advanced Studies in Science and Technology Policy

Abstract

This article suggests that the current public debate that pits security and privacy as dichotomous rivals to be traded one for another in a zero-sum game is based on a general misunderstanding and apprehension of technology on the one hand and a mythology of privacy that conflates secrecy with autonomy on the other. Further, political strategies premised on outlawing particular technologies or techniques or seeking to constrain technology through laws alone are second-best - and ultimately futile - strategies that will result in little security and brittle privacy protection.

This article argues that civil liberties can best be protected by employing value sensitive technology development strategies in conjunction with policy implementations, not by opposing technological developments or seeking to control the use of particular technologies or techniques after the fact through law alone. Value sensitive development strategies that take privacy concerns into account during design and development can build in technical features that can enable existing legal control mechanisms and related due process procedures for the protection of civil liberties to function.

This article examines how identification, data aggregation and data analysis (including data mining), and collection technologies intersect with security and privacy interests and suggests certain technical features and strategies premised on separating knowledge of behavior from knowledge of identity based on the anonymization of data (for data sharing, matching and analysis technologies) and the pseudonymization of identity (for identification and collection technologies). Technical requirements to support such strategies include rule-based processing, selective revelation, and strong credential and audit.

Keywords: Technology, security, privacy, law enforcement, domestic security, national security, surveillance, collection, identification, information sharing, data analaysis, data mining

JEL Classification: K42

Suggested Citation

Taipale, K. A., Technology, Security and Privacy: The Fear of Frankenstein, the Mythology of Privacy and the Lessons of King Ludd. Yale Journal of Law and Technology, Vol. 7, No. 123, December 2004. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=601421

K. A. Taipale (Contact Author)

Center for Advanced Studies in Science and Technology Policy ( email )

100 Hudson Street
10th Floor E
New York, NY 10013-2882
United States

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