Stratospheric Transparency: Perspectives on Internet PrivacyReport as inadecuate

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Forum on Public Policy Online, v2009 n2 2009

As a parent of teenagers in the 1980s, I recall a concern of the intrusion by MTV into our home. After futile attempts to block the program, my spouse and I set out to convince our sons of its intrusion. Our challenge was miniscule when compared to the Internet privacy issues of today. This paper addresses such challenges and proposes some guidelines based on research and experience that may help Internet users to strike a balance between the advantages of social networking and virtually limitless information access, and possible calamities wrought by Internet intrusions and personal privacy breaches. The concept of stratospheric transparency touches the social responsibility of what to put in cyberspace, a cyberspace prophylactic that may encourage people who use the Internet to ask themselves questions such as, Do I want to live in an Internet fishbowl? Would I want my most respected relative or friend to see my post? Am I using the same standards for behavior in Cyberspace that I use at home and at work? and, If I do not have any standards when I surf the Net is this a time of my life when I should seriously avoid Cyberspace? This paper relates the Karman line (highest atmospheric altitudes of the earth) to the possibilities for innovation and wisdom in the future development of Cyberspace. Some people are traveling into Cyberspace without knowledge about how they are influenced by activity there, and without knowledge that they can influence its development and help keep it from litter and pollution. It is as if they are traveling into space, not realizing that to maintain altitude at that level, one must travel faster than the rotation of the earth. (Contains 2 figures.)

Descriptors: Internet, Privacy, Social Networks, Social Responsibility, Mass Media Effects, Security (Psychology), Trust (Psychology), Behavior Standards, Influence of Technology, Access to Information

Oxford Round Table. 406 West Florida Avenue, Urbana, IL 61801. Tel: 217-344-0237; Fax: 217-344-6963; e-mail: editor[at]; Web site:

Author: Hauck, Rita M.


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