4 Things You Need To Know About Your Online Privacy
In the online world, the fine line between what can and cannot be done is often blurred out. Because it is a rather new domain of life, many things are not yet set in stone. Although, several bills about online rights have been passed on to congress from the time of the internet’s conception. Still, there are many flaws, ambiguities, and holes in the current provisions we have for online rights – especially when it concerns privacy.
Privacy, after all, is a very touchy subject. To this day, the lines drawn for privacy remain vague – online and offline. For example, you have all the right to keep a certain matter private but also required to disclose it when the situation is dire (e.g. there is a threat to society). But what if it is something you must keep private at all costs? What if disclosing it may cause personal repercussions?
The law oftentimes sound self-contradicting – but that’s just how it is. This is precisely why we have something called “due process of law.” It’s all a matter of interpretation. If there was an exact answer to everything, there would be no need for a jury to exist.
Going back to our topic on online privacy, things might seem really blurry. But there are actually five things we know for certain:
1. All Websites For Children Are Required To Get Parental Consent
The COPPA or Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act states that a website cannot collect any information from children below the age of thirteen (13) without sending parents due notification. Written under this act is the agreement that the website is in no way authorized to collect personally identifying information from children without receiving approval from parents.
2. Telemarketers Need Your Consent To Call You
Under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act or TCPA, non-personal parties whose intentions are to market a certain product or service need a person’s written consent before they can start emailing or leaving them messages for commercial purposes. Furthermore, all persons should be allowed to opt out from receiving such messages and product notifications.
3. No One Has The Right To Access Protected Computers
As long as you are using a personal computer and your data is encrypted, all acts that purport to tamper, violate, or forcibly intrude your online security is considered criminal. The Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA), probably a provision you’re most familiar with, does not condone criminal behavior such as hacking and online trespassing.
4. Even Your Employer Doesn’t Have The Right To Eavesdrop On Your Conversations
According to the ECPA or Electronic Communications Privacy Act, unauthorized access, manipulation, interference, or recording of personal correspondences found online (emails, messages, etc.) is a violation of an individual’s right to online privacy – even if that certain individual is someone who directly reports to you. This is because in the eyes of the law, a person is a person. Status, position, or influence doesn’t excuse anyone of anything.