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Information Technology Practices and Privacy Concerns

David Rebovich

TS5536 – Ethical and Legal Considerations in Information Technology

Professor Gold

November 27, 2011

Technology has made it hard to live a life that is truly private. Many devices and services that people use on a daily basis are repositories for private information. Cell phones, with GPS services, can be helpful, but can also be used by authorities to track a person’s location. Social networking sites make it easy to stay in touch with people, but they also store personal information, and activity history that can be subpoenaed and used against a person if they are ever accused of a crime. Facebook postings in March, 2011 led to the arrest of one of the five suspects in the killing of a teenager in Queens New York. Anthony Collao, 18, was killed after attending a birthday party that was being hosted by gay hosts. The five suspects crashed the party, made slurs, and caused Collao, who was not gay, to leave because of the impending trouble. Collao, after leaving, was chased, beaten and killed, by the suspects. A fifth suspect charged in the fatal beating of a teen in Queens bragged about the attack in anti-gay Facebook postings, law enforcement sources said. (Mark Morales, 2011)
The Patriot Act, signed into law shortly after the terrorist events of September 11, 2001, has the ability to be interpreted, by lawmakers, to allow the use of cell phone tracking by government agencies on United States citizens. Section 215 of the Patriot Act, is a provision that gives the government access to business records. Cell phone location records are covered under this provision. Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR), an outspoken critic of the recent reauthorization, stated, "When the American people find out how their government has secretly interpreted the Patriot Act they will be stunned and...

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