The world has become an interesting place . The population's perceptions have shifted. What were once inacceptable practices and behaviours have suddenly become the norm. This is especially true in North America. The racial equality is now higher than ever and the same applies to women in work places.
Technology has a big part in this evolution also. Electronic storage and data extraction from huge depositories of information facilitated many tedious tasks. I can't imagine how hard it must have been in the past to find the right document in those paper mountains. Imagine using a ladder to get to the right shelf?. Now it is done with a click of a button. It is also more secure in a physical sense. A natural disaster no longer threatens the integrity of the documents. Files are backed up on servers which are in different places.
Unfortunately this is a 2 sided coin. Hackers might attempt to break into these archives from the comfort of their own home. It makes our personal information vulnerable to rogue attacks. Even the latest firewalls and ant viruses cannot guarantee that information will not leak.
It's scary, but it doesn't mean we should revert back to stone age. There are many examples of how technology can help regular people access large databases. Reverse phone look up comes to mind.
This service allows you to get details about the person to whom a particular telephone number belongs. This is convenient on many different levels. For example 800 reverse phone lookup services allow a person to find out the name of the organization that was calling him. This is also an effective method to catch a prank caller.
Unfortunately this innocent service can be used in a bad way.
A sexual predator also knows how to use reverse lookups. He might be looking up information about a person who is not returning his phone calls.
Sometimes there is a really thin line between danger and convenience. This is a perverted mix of freedom of information and privacy violation.
In my view it is up to the people to decide what information should be collected and disclosed. Our expressions of freedom are like small grains which are easy to lose but hard to get back. One day we might wake up and see our privacy rights completely vanished. And when that stage is reached it's often a done deal which is hard to reverse. I think that every privacy bill should pass through the smallest levels of senate in order to satisfy people's privacy needs.