Internet Privacy

Dr. AbdelGadir Warsama Ghalib

Internet benefits are uncountable, however, there are some issues that could hamper the full utilization of such benefits. Among such, we may refer to internet privacy as an alarming sensitive issue to all internet users almost in all transactions and daily dealings . A positive firm stand is overwhelmingly needed on urgent basis to protect internet privacy, as a dangerous consequence to many. Irrespective of this, however, some claim that such privacy was dead long ago with the advent of the internet.

Lately, the threat of terrorism has compounded the erosion of privacy as successive Govs. slowly roll back laws that protect data and communications online. As known, we are now in an era where phone calls are closely monitored, security cameras in every corner, internet companies disclose personal data to many entities. Moreover, we have seen the unprecedented force used by US authorities to get info from an internet company.. All this scenario could give or lead to a new dimension regarding the concept of privacy.

it’s important to note that the current legal system strongly protects an individual right to privacy, but a question may arise here, are online activities covered satisfactorily by law ?. Going back, we quote that, The United Nations Human Rights Council, national laws, international treaties and constitutions strongly confirm that privacy is a basic human right, that should be protected fully.

The above rules and laws where adopted since long time to declare that every individual had a right of privacy regarding information and all correspondence. However, at that time such correspondence, was limited to telephones, telegraphs, fax mails...., etc. Absolutely no one expected the power of correspondence to reach what we are enjoying now via the internet. As a consequence, we could say that, the concept of online correspondence privacy was a vague legal concept until recently.

It has been realized that technology and new means of communications made it easier for many to track people, read their messages, record and block free speech.... Official bodies can easily crackdown on others and limit the spread of information and correspondence. Internet privacy is now a big concern as many are victims of unlawful trespass and similar crimes.

As a consequence to this situation, the UN has appointed a special rapporteur to oversee internet privacy protection. Many countries are putting new legislations to protect online 

data and communications. This proves that online privacy is not different than offline privacy and needs to be protected in the same way, if not more.

There is an urgent need for drastic measures to curb internet intruders, such as, encryption for tighter protection to online data. Also, internet users are encouraged to take matters more seriously and lock down all private information online. Encryption tools for verification can ensure online data is accessible by authorized individuals only.

We maintain the view that, online privacy should not be different from offline privacy. Meanwhile, as a fact, online privacy is still under threat from large corporations and cyber criminals.

New tough and up to date legislations, full awareness policy, tight encryption and better online security measures seem to be the best option for individuals and businesses concerned about their data privacy. We need firm stand and your active direct role will be of great effect in this respect.. Let’s take a lesson from Facebook recent dilemma and bad effects on the social media.