New technologies, especially the Internet, have increased dramatically the speed and easiness with which personal information can be exchanged throughout the world. In addition, offshore data processing centres have become an important part of the operations of many businesses. All of this helps to increase the risk that an individual’s personal data will end up being sent somewhere the data subject did not expect, or being used in a way in which the data subject has never been anticipated (Scheibel & Gladstone, 2000).
Faced with such a scenario, policymakers and legislators have had a few choices. The experiences of the of different nations help to illustrate the various approaches that can be taken in response to concerns about the level of privacy that is afforded to personal data: legislation and self-regulation. At the same time, the experiences of the nations especially United States and the European Union also illustrate the divergences between these two approaches and how such differences, if not reconciled in a mutually satisfactory way, can create problems for international trade and disrupt the growth of e-commerce (Sinclair, 1997).
In response to concerns about the probable exploitation and abuse of personal data, legislation regulatory regime has determined that it is appropriate to pass comprehensive legislation pertaining to the protection of personal data. Through a comprehensive, cross-sectoral piece of legislation, legislators have been able to improve the level of data protection that is available to all individuals. In addition, in an effort to fill gaps in data protection that may occur when personal data are transferred from within one nation to another countries, the legislation regulatory regime had been able to provide a regulation which states that personal data cannot be transferred from one entity within trans-national borders unless the involve state provides adequate protection of personal data (Klosek, 2000).
It is one of the functions that can be attached to a legislative regulatory regime that makes it more efficient in protecting the privacy of the internet users. However, because this legislative regulation is not that accurate to use, it can be said that self-regulatory regime is still considered that the latter is indeed more efficient and effective in protection of personal data in the internet. One of the countries who used self-regulatory regime is the United States. The United States does not have a singular, comprehensive federal law for the protection of personal data across all different industries. Instead, legal protections for data privacy are found in a variety of legislative, sectoral based initiatives at both the federal and state levels (Schultz & Thorsten, 2001).
In addition, there is also a high level of self-regulation in the United States. Since the passage and entry into force of other legislations, there have been even more intensive efforts to enhance the credibility and enforceability of various self-regulatory efforts (Schultz & Thorsten, 2001). By and large, such efforts have yielded positive results and more. Indeed, throughout the United States more companies have been taking steps to improve their policies and practices concerning the collection and use of personal or private information through the use of self-regulatory regime. At the same time, entities have been stepping up their efforts to increase the amount of information that they provide to individuals concerning data processing.
It is noted that self-regulatory regime is considered as the most effective means of protecting privacy. Undertaking concerted efforts to improve the level of protection that is provided to personal data can be beneficial in a number of ways. In addition to the legal necessity of complying with relevant national and international laws and policies pertaining to the protection of personal information, improving data protection on one’s own initiative can help to improve an entity’s reputation and, ultimately, its business.
The initiation of a number of technological advances, including the Internet, has raised new concerns about the protection of the privacy of personal information. While it is true that individuals have long had reasons to be concerned about the privacy of their personal information, the wide availability and use of electronic networks have augmented the ease with which personal data can circulate. This, in turn, may be increasing the likelihood that personal data may be misused or even abused. One of the most essential aspects contributing to the seemingly developing concern about the protection of privacy is known as the Internet.
The use of the Internet has enabled its users from different parts of the world to become more interconnected and has assisted the rapid exchange of data and information between individuals separated by a large physical distant including personal data. While such exchange of data and information absolutely has a number of advantages, it also comprises many dangers including, markedly, the fact that internet user’s personal data can be disseminated to a very large audience.
While the use of Internet is evidently a source of different information for many people, it is also regarded as a great source of data about these individuals. The Internet is referred as a highly interactive tool and facility and different websites require and request the inclusion of personal information of its visitors. On the other hand, through online sales forms, information requests, contest entries and other mechanisms, web sites often collect a great deal of personal data and information about the people who visit them. In addition, a number of websites use obscure means of data collection, such as cookies and certain other software. All of this signifies that there is a large amount of personal information passing through the Internet which may threatened the privacy of the users.
It appears as if concerns about the amount of personal information circulating through the Internet are being strengthened by the fact that Internet usage is increasing. There are a number of different steps that can be taken in order to improve the protection of personal data on the Internet and these includes the use of both the legislative and the self-regulatory regime. In general, it is essential that people who uses internet must be conscious about their right to privacy. And that all those people in the online business sector should be able to choose the best privacy protection policy that they should follow to promote the protection of the internet users to privacy. Whether, it is self regulatory regime or legislative regime, the most significant thing is that the right of each and evry individual is being protected.
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