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Abstract -- Internet Privacy Guideline (Panel) Policy Track
P8: Internet Privacy Guideline - Panel

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Internet Privacy Guideline (Panel)

Rotenberg, Marc (Chair)
Burrington, Bill ( billburr@aol.com)
Baser, Robert ( BaserR@cp.ic.gc.ca)
Tuerkheimer, Frank ( fmtuerkh@facstaff.wisc.edu)
Calvo, Rafael Fernandez ( rfcalvo@guest2.atimdr.es)


The Internet and Privacy

For the past several years, papers have been presented at INET conferences voicing concern for privacy and the internet. These papers have reviewed privacy laws in many countries including the United States and Canada, the European Community and Japan. At INET '94 it was urged that such abstract discussion should give way to concrete proposals. This abstract proposes that next step be taken at INET '95. Consideration of such proposals would keep the internet community abreast of increasing concerns that privacy and modern electronic communication are difficult to reconcile and at the same time, make an effort at reconcilliation.

The objective is to have a panel of internationally noted experts on privacy and electronic communication discuss various proposals for insuring the protection of privacy rights. Such proposals will focus in large part of efforts directed at disclosure of the degree of privacy afforded a user of the internet. Among these areas are the following.

First, users of the various libraries available on the internet may have a right to know whether user lists are made available to commercial vendees by the provider of the service. Users may also have a right to know whether user identity is retained by a provider or whether such records are destroyed. The parallel to information lists maintained or not maintained by public libraries is obvious.

Second, various degrees of confidentiality attend electronic messages, ranging from encryption, to limited accessibility passwords, to receiver mail boxes generally accessible to anyone. Senders of electronic communications may have a right to know where on the scale of confidentiality the recipient of electronic communications is found so that reasonable expectations of privacy can be rationally calculated.

A panel which will include some of the following will discuss the issues raised by these considerations. It will also look at recent developments in communications law and policy the United States, Europe and around the globe.

Such a panel should be able to synthesize the abstract concerns for privacy with the reality of electronic communications with the end result being a realistic effort at privacy protection.