Information Privacy

Information Privacy

I.  Introduction

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In today’s information age, where almost everybody have direct access to wide range of information either on the internet or within company networks.  But being readily available and sometimes lack of security procedures would also harm personal privacy which continuous to be one of the main issues not only to companies but more importantly to individuals.  It is true and no question that both information security and privacy are just two main drivers to effective implementation of information technology, companies these days have already felt and known its importance and has not anymore been an option in performing business these days, most especially if the business are operating globally.  Information security and privacy provides a secure way of transacting business between companies and their customers globally.  It also helps streamline the process within the company where each stage of business operations and processes are being checked and secured.  Like in this case where the family of military personnel in Iraq died in the battle of duty is demanding for their loved ones email login account which for them should rightfully be given to them.  In this paper it will provide some of the legal rights pertaining to this case which will give not only the families who have this kind of situation but also for all readers of this paper that there are legal practices that needs to be followed in having this kind of issue.

II.  The Case for Accessing an Email Account of a Died Love One

Email is indeed one of the most private properties that anyone should secure about.  Not only it has all the most personal information anybody can have, it could also provide some historical information of the individual which is necessary in understanding what has happened to him or her during the time the individual is still living.  In this case where it is more serious one, where a son who is assigns in the battlefield, where he died doing his job outside his country is beyond than just knowing his personal life.  (Chambers, J, 2005).  For the family whom he left out, this would definitely give them peace of mind that their son has died in the battle with true heroism and patriotism.  Just like the following list below as some of the most common example of laws and regulations or an example that cover information security includes:

UK Data Protection Act of 1998 – regulation of the processing of information relating to individuals, including the obtaining, holding, use or disclosure of such information, particularly applied to all members of EU.
Computer Misuse Act of 1990 – an Act of the UK Parliament making computer crime a criminal offense like hacking information on the net.
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) – is a USA Federal Law that protects the privacy of student education records.
Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) – national standards for electronic health care transactions and national identifiers for providers, health insurance plans, and employers. And, it requires health care providers, insurance providers and employers to safeguard the security and privacy of health data.
Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 (SOX). – An act that requires publicly traded companies to assess the effectiveness of their internal controls for financial reporting in annual reports they submit at the end of each fiscal year.
The above listed computer related security policies and laws applied in companies are just some of the most common laws that are expected to be adhered by most businesses internationally.  (Information Security, 2008).  These may be a law that protects any personal or corporate information, but it is understandable that it should be protected against those that are not related to the person or company.  Like at least for individuals, immediate family members such as parents or companies such as board of directors are entitled for any information and should be entitled as always because it is very logical that even in simple situation other people would also be comfortable in discussing their issues to people close to them and that does not and should not exclude a person’s father or mother, like in this case.  Information privacy and security maybe very important to implement strictly at all times but it should be well understood by anyone that there are also some information rights that should be given to somebody who really deserves it.  Like again in this case, there should not even have to bring it in courts since in true legal following the parents are still in the authority over their children, most especially in situations like these where it is not that simple and clearing up doubts are important.  One goof example of this kind of situation which would very much relates is the US Department of Education Parents Guide to the Family  Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).  In this act, it allows parents to access their children information in order to know what is really happening on their children, like grade cards, schedules, report cards, exams, etc.  The US Department of Education knows that legally the parents still has the legal authority to their child always.  In the case that is being presented in this paper, the military person at 20 years old maybe an adult already, but still the parents still has the authority, most especially in this case, the military personnel is still living with his parents and not legally married, meaning single.  And in by law for anyone who is still single, the authority of the parents is still there and would always be there.  (Parents’ Guide to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act: Rights Regarding Children’s Education Records, 2007).  This means that there is no reason for the email company not to give the account to the parents.  In fact in doing this, it does not actually apply the rule of law of privacy but it is more of legal rights of parents over their child who is not yet married.  Another worst situation that would carry on to these kind on unlawful act of not giving the email account, it would also create further damage to the families, where in this case it was said that there are known tendencies of illness that are present to the parents where it is more critical for the rest of the families.  These would add up to the burden to the families and relatives and that should also be weighed in by the court and should have strengthened the case in favor of the parents and not for the email provider.

Work Cited

Chambers, J. (2005). Family gets GI e-mail. The Detroit News. Retrieved 26 February 2009,

from http://www.justinellsworth.net/email/detnewsapr.htm

Information Security. (2009). Wikipedia, The free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 26 February 2009,

from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Information_security

Leach, S. The Christian Science Monitor. Christian Science Monitor. Boston, Mass.: May 2,

2005. pg. 12

Parents’ Guide to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act: Rights Regarding Children’s Education Records. (2007). US Department of Education. Retrieved 27 February 2009, from http://www.ed.gov/policy/gen/guid/fpco/brochures/parents.html

 

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