Computers and personal privacy

by Willis H. Ware


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Highlights the report of the Privacy Protection Study Commission, created by the Privacy Act of 1974. Three major goals of the commission's recommendations are (1) to minimize the intrusiveness of data collection; (2) to maximize the fairness with respect to the influence of record systems on determinations about people; and (3) to create a legally enforceable expectation for the citizen that records will be treated as confidential information. The commission will try to achieve its goals through a combination of industry compliance codes, amendments to acts, a few new statutes, and existing mechanisms. The individual should have the right to see his record and copy it or correct it. The citizen should be fully informed what records will be kept about him, with whom they will be exchanged, and how they will be used. When an adverse decision is made about an individual, he must be told what items in his record resulted in the adverse decision.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation Paper series. The paper was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1948 to 2003 that captured speeches, memorials, and derivative research, usually prepared on authors' own time and meant to be the scholarly or scientific contribution of individual authors to their professional fields. Papers were less formal than reports and did not require rigorous peer review.

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