U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

NCJRS Virtual Library

The Virtual Library houses over 235,000 criminal justice resources, including all known OJP works.
Click here to search the NCJRS Virtual Library

Communications Technology: New Challenges to Privacy

NCJ Number
John Marshall Law Review Volume: 21 Issue: 4 Dated: (Summer 1988) Pages: 735-753
F W Weingarten
Date Published
19 pages
This paper examines issues of Federal privacy policy, focusing on technological developments such as restrictions on wiretapping, employer monitoring of employees, and provision of technological protections.
Five principles that underpin Federal policy protecting communications are: (1) making available some protected channels; (2) making protected channels universally available; (3) providing innate security for some channels; (4) making protections known and predictable; and (5) establishing a procedure to balance privacy with a right of eavesdrop. Revolutionary changes in the technology of communications have created situations that jeopardize the privacy of individuals. Digitally coded information, incorporation of computer intelligence into the communication system, the growth in electronic transactions, and privatizing the deregulation have created challenges for policy makers. Additionally, these technologies have created new opportunities for employers to monitor employees. Rapid changes in technology have overcome past attempts to protect communications privacy. Those advocating personal privacy on a telephone line and a commercial transfer of valuable assets often have similar interests and concerns, thus signaling the need for a broad consensus to protect privacy in the information age. 20 footnotes.