Privacy and the Internet

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Privacy and the Internet

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The concept of privacy is based on the surmise that individuals have the right to their own privacy – that is, the right to control who knows what they do, when, and why. This is often limited by laws, governments, and social interaction. It is within these limitations that we explore how the age-old concept of privacy has fared in this modern, globally connected age.

The Internet

The Internet, still a young phenomenon, has created both tremendous opportunities and unpredictable fears. Internet privacy is foremost amongst these fears, and vital to the success of a safe online environment supporting everything from reliable e-commerce to real-time chat amongst friends.

Privacy and the Internet

Today, the Internet is a global network consisting of hundreds of millions of computers around the world, all connected and able to communicate with each other. In many of the more developed countries, more than half of all households are connected to the Internet. Millions of people pay their bills, book airline tickets and hotel rooms, sell and buy goods... and a whole lot more online. The Internet is a truly global, international phenomenon that millions of people are entrusting with their most private, secure details. At the same time, the Internet has generated a sense of anonymity and crossed all international boundaries. A great many people, companies – even governments, now depend upon the Internet. These facts coupled together make Internet privacy of utmost importance to anyone who uses the Internet, and at the same time, very difficult to apply and enforce.

In order to understand the privacy issues facing the modern Internet user, and the individual in general, it is necessary to gain a quick understanding of the history of the Internet. The Internet is the merger between computers and telecommunications, and as such, it is necessary to have a quick look at both.

Proceed to the History of Computers

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The information used in the creation of this report has been gathered from an extremely wide variety of sources, many of which have themselves referenced a large range of other sources. This makes it difficult to give specific references, however a general list of web-based resources used is given below.

Warning: Sites are external and not under the control of the University of Queensland or the author of this site. All sites last accessed 2003, October 23.


Author, Contact and Copyright Information

This site was designed as a university project for the University of Queensland’s COMP1800 course by Ned Martin, student number 40529927.

Further contact and copyright information is available

Design and Content © Copyright 2003 Ned Martin, where not directly referenced from another source.

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