Survey to measure privacy concerns
- By Daniel Keegan
- May 26, 2000
With technologies such as data warehouses and easily accessible search engines
at people's fingertips, does the public feel that access to public records
is threatening their privacy? That will be the focus of a survey to be conducted
in July by a nonprofit think tank. The results will be available in the
Dr. Alan F. Westin, president of the Center for Social and Legal Research,
the organization conducting the survey, said that as information become
easier for people to get their hands on, it might be time to rethink the
standards for what is open to the public.
"We need to identify genuine problem areas and reconsider actions about
what should be withheld," he said. The ease at which personal information
is available, such as driver's records, makes stalking, identification fraud
and other illegal activity that much easier.
"I believe that our survey will favor a reconsideration of how we disseminate
records," he said.
The survey, conducted with the help of Opinion Research Corp. International,
of Princeton N.J., will survey 1,000 adults.
ChoicePoint Inc., a company that provides retrieval, storage and analysis
of public information for government, has funded the survey with more than