Cyber-technology Privacy

Most people cherish their privacy and wish to keep their personal lives as private as possible in order to avoid having their privacy violated by others (Hoven et al., 2016). Furthermore, consumers demand control over who has access to their personal information. Nobody wants their personal information to be easily accessible to everyone without their agreement and awareness. However, advances in information technology continue to jeopardize people's privacy by reducing their control over their personal information. There is an increase in the negative consequences that arise from the accessibility of personal data by other parties without the consent of the owner of the information. We are currently in what is described as a Big Data century with advanced information technology which allows the processing and storage of Exabyte of data (Hoven et al., 2016).

The technical capabilities of collecting, storing and searching large quantities of data on telephone conversations, electronic payments and internet searches are frequently used by government agencies in tracking down some individuals with pending issues with the government (Hoven et al., 2016). Businesses are also using data about their customers for various reasons with some of the reasons going to the extent of intruding into their customers’ privacy. Today, we are living in the times when the meaning of privacy is continuously losing its authentic meaning in the real sense. The combination of the advancement in technology and a decline in the level of personal privacy has given rise to problems concerning policies, laws, and ethics. The issue surrounding privacy touches various institutions including government agencies, the corporate world and some individuals who tend to intrude into other people’s privacy with different motives without the knowledge of the people whom they are intruding. This paper looks into the historical view of privacy, the current issues concerning privacy, legislation surrounding privacy and the global dynamics of privacy and their impacts on personal life.

Historical Perspective

Cyber-technology entails a range of computing devices that are usually used for communication purposes. They range from standalone computers to networked computers and communication technologies and the internet itself. Cyber-technologies include cell phones, personal computers including both laptops and desktops, mainframe computers among other related devices. Cyber-ethics refers to the ethical issues that govern the cyber technology and their users. This part of the communications has evolved in four phases. The first phase had stand-alone computers which are famously known as mainframe computers. In this phase, the associated issue was of artificial intelligence and privacy of the database.

The second phase was concerned with the software piracy, intellectual property rights, privacy, computer crime, and exchange of records as the major issues of great concern during this phase. The development of minicomputers and personal computers were the main technological advancements during this phase. The third phase began in the 1990s up to the present. The main technological features in this phase were the development of the World Wide Web and the Internet. Besides the ethical issues of concern in the preceding two phases, anonymity, free speech, virtual communities and legal jurisdictions that govern the cyber technology were the major issue of concern during this phase. The last phase is yet to come, but the predicted technological features revolve around the issues of converging information technologies with nanotechnology research. The main ethical issues in this phase will be on decision-making capabilities and bionic chip implants.

The last half-century has been marked by a rapid evolution of the information and communications technology (Fischer, 2016). This is a fundamental industry that has increasingly become an integral part of almost every facet of the modern society. ICT has continuously become one of the fundament tools that we can’t do without in the current society. The devices used in ICT are usually interdependent, and therefore, a disruption to one of the devices means a disruption to an entire system (Houston, 2014). As the ICT industry continue to grow, advancements have been done from different angles with different intentions and purposes. As far as many people in the industry have good intentions of improving the industry for the benefit of the human race, there are some individuals with negative intentions of breaching other people’s privacy by breaking into the system to get access to other people’s data without their consent.

The emergence of hacking generation has made it easy for individuals and institutions to easily get access to personal data especially through ICT systems that are not well protected from such attacks. This has given rise to what is currently known as cyber attacks. Cyber attacks are concerned with intruding into other people’s privacy to access information about them without such people having their consent.

For the past years, policy makers and ICT experts have raised concerns about the need to protect ICT systems from the acts of cyber attacks. The protection of ICT systems is what is known as cybersecurity that is meant to protect people and their privacy from intrusion by unauthorized persons (Fisher, 2016). The protection of the ICT systems has been the major aspect in the makes the ICT industry at least dependable by users.

Current Issues

The privacy of internet users is vulnerable due to (1) cyberspace anonymity (2) cyberspace’s asymmetries (3) instantaneous actions taken from a distance (4) lack of borders on the internet and (5) the difficulty associated with the distinction of the internet use (Houston, 2014). The loss or violation of privacy in cyber technology takes place through different methods that include hacking, information theft, fraud, laptop theft, insider exploitation among others. These are the major methods that intruders of other people’s privacy use to temper with people’s personal information and privacy. Cyber technology has brought change to the world both in the positive and negative ways ("The United States Coast Guard Cyber Strategy," 2015). The continuous revolution in ICT has raised the bar for prosperity and efficiency in many phases of the global life. Innovations have continued to be on the lead towards global progress into a foreseeable future in which every aspect of life is linked to ICT. As the innovations to make improvements in the existing systems continue to take shape, improvisations of the methods of breaking into the systems also continue to advance, leading to an increase in cyber attacks.

Cybersecurity has become one of the most serious economic issues when building an ICT system across the globe. Information and data of different level of privacy are continuously breached into and attacked hostile individuals and groups. Criminal organizations, foreign governments, and illicit actors continue to infiltrate sensitive government and organizational ICT systems ("The United States Coast Guard Cyber Strategy," 2015). Therefore, cyber attack is currently the main threat to the ICT industry. When building an information and communication system, it has become a necessity to prioritize on defending the system’s cyberspace, enable its operations and protect the entire infrastructure respectfully. The flow of priorities, therefore, gives a clue of how serious the issue of cyber security is today.

Social networks have revolutionized the way people use the internet to make social interactions. However, these advancements in social networking have come with privacy threats (Nyoni & Valempini, 2015). The need for regulatory instruments to protect users from these threats is now the big issue concerning cyber-technology. Some illicit groups and individuals have shifted to social networks such as Facebook where they intrude into other people’s private information on these networks. The instances of user account hacking have become very common lately. The need in such social networks is greatly on the part of looking into the various ways through which users’ privacy is violated either by the company or illicit groups and individuals from outside.

Legislation Concerning Privacy in Cyber-technology

Privacy entails the appropriateness with which one uses personal information in consideration of various factors such as situation, individual’s expectations, regulatory requirements and the right of a person to control who can access and use their personal information (Nyoni & Valempini, 2015). In other words, privacy is concerned with the right of an individual in controlling how his/her personal information can be used. The control is usually linked to the user’s visibility and presence on the internet. Privacy can also be framed in the form of self-determination whereby individuals need legal channels to know when and how their personal information (Nyoni & Valempini, 2015) is used and the people who are allowed to collect and use such information and the purposes for which such information is used. Many internet users lack the right of deciding on when personal information is released and used. Privacy is supposed to be guarded like property whereby trespass is a serious criminal offense in many states (Nyoni & Valempini, 2015). Where privacy is treated as property, individuals are entitled to legal rights to privacy whereby one is supposed to intrude into another person’s privacy by following laid down protocols under various circumstances.

Different countries have different degrees of legislation that govern people’s privacy in cyber technology designed to control how companies use to get access and use personal information on potential customers. America, for example, has a business-friendly approach with little interventions that encourage organizations to provide themselves with self-regulated protection on privacy (Nyoni & Valempini, 2015). On the other hand, the European Union has consumer approach with tough regulation that bans the use of individual information without the consent of the person (Nyoni & Valempini, 2015). These two approaches have both advantages and disadvantages. For example, allowing corporates to self-regulate themselves create room for innovation by letting users reward sites and systems with the best privacy policies. Some sectors challenge the government for its involvement in the privacy which should be the concern of the service providers and their customers. The arguments for such sectors is that users normally enter into agreements and contracts with organizations on their will to allow the organization to safeguard their privacy.

Global Dynamics

The growing need to protect personal privacy has made it common for organizations to construct a formal agreement with which a customer or potential customer must agree to give their personal information to the organization. Such information is usually concerned with letting the customers know for what purpose the given information is to be used before agreeing to give their personal information. What happens in most cases is that the organization promises to keep the collected information confidential as much as possible.

Personal Impact from a Global Perspective

Individuals are supposed to be frontiers in protecting their privacy from potential threats surrounding them. However, despite all these, it is common that some people are willing to post the personal information on social networks. Personal information is considered confidential, and when accessed easily by other parties, it constitutes the violation or loss of privacy. When privacy is lost through the negligence of a user of the internet like on social networks, no liability accrues to any party as the person gave out the information understanding very well the right to privacy and what constitutes privacy. Hence, one becomes liable to him/herself for losing privacy due to negligence or by choice.


Advancements in cyber technology have brought about both positive and negative outcomes to users. The greatest issue that has raised concern in cyber technology among users, organizations and policy makers is privacy. Everyone has a legal right to privacy, and anyone who breaches into someone else’s privacy commits a criminal offense. Organizations such as corporates and the government agencies on several occasions breach into people’s privacy to access personal information for different reasons. Organizations are required by the law to access and use personal information only when the owner of the information has the consent about it. Despite the legislations put in place to protect people’s privacy, every person is supposed to be the frontier in safeguarding their privacy considering the growing level of social networking.


Fisher, E. (2016). Cybersecurity issues and challenges: In Brief. Cyberspace Threat Landscape: Overview, Response Authorities, And Capabilities, 12. Retrieved from

Houston, D. (2014). Anatomy of a Data Breach. Cyber, Technology, Media, And Privacy Risks: 69. Retrieved from

Hoven, Blaauw, Pieters, Warner, & Martijn, "Privacy and Information Technology," The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Spring 2016 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.), URL = .

Nyoni, P. & Velempini, M., 2015, ‘Data protection laws and privacy on Facebook,' South African Journal of Information Management 17(1), Art. #636, 10 pages.

The United States Coast Guard Cyber Strategy. (2015). United States Coast Guard, 44. Retrieved from

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