photo credit: Servers via photopin cc

Pri­vacy, as we define it, is the abil­ity or right to have a “pri­vate life” — to be left alone, free from ille­gal or unwanted scrutiny and intrusions.

To participate in an intelligent and secure manner in the online environment, individuals must have the ability and tools to protect the privacy of their personal information, wherever it is stored.

Pri­vacy rights include infor­ma­tional pri­vacy — the right to con­trol or limit the col­lec­tion, use, shar­ing, and dis­clo­sure of one’s own per­sonal infor­ma­tion by other agen­cies, whether they are part of gov­ern­ment or the pri­vate sector.

Since knowl­edge brings power to those who pos­sess it, knowl­edge of our pri­vate lives tends to increase the power and influ­ence that gov­ern­ments and cor­po­ra­tions have over us. Some lim­its must be imposed in order to main­tain the del­i­cate bal­ance of power that sus­tains our democracy.

Pri­vacy pro­tec­tion” means defence of the pri­vacy of indi­vid­u­als by leg­is­la­tion, pol­icy, tech­nol­ogy, or other means.