Privacy Issues in the Private Sector

by Willis H. Ware

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Accuracy of information records is of paramount importance for the fair treatment of an individual in contemporary society. An accurate record may not assure fairness, but an inaccurate record will frequently lead to unfairness. It is in the interests of electronic data processing (EDP) specialists, of corporate organizations, and of all individuals that such records be accurate because accuracy of record is a basic requirement for fairness of treatment. This paper highlights the findings of the Privacy Protection Commission, and points out the obligations of data processing professionals in regard to assuring the individuals's right to privacy: (1) Make sure privacy is recognized as a corporate matter. (2) EDP managers can participate in the decisionmaking process, make suggestions, and estimate costs. (3) They will be involved in protecting information, controlling its use, and assuring its accuracy. (4) EDP personnel will have to share the liability for things that go wrong in record systems.

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