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Improved information technology has led to a significant and growing concern regarding the security and privacy of personal data. Personal information that was once stored in safe deposit boxes can now be readily obtained from data services or the Internet. The increased access to personal information has significant economic and ethical implications for the continued validity of human interactions via electronic media. This entry discusses the impacts from loss of privacy; changes in the value of privacy in society, including the difficulty of protecting an individual’s information; and businesses’ concern about protecting proprietary information.

Although the increased collection and dissemination of personal data have provided efficiency and economic benefits, they have also diminished the protection of such information. This reduction in protection has resulted in ...

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