Integrity of Information and Protection of Privacy

Information comes to us from diverse sources, even when it is supplied through a single telecommunication network. It has become extremely difficult for users, who are increasingly dependent on information, to know the original source of the information. Therefore, information providers should expend a great deal of care in gathering and handling data to maintain the integrity and authenticity of the information and make certain that users can determine the source.

This goal can be achieved in a number of ways. Full documentation of sources and methods is essential. Only authorized persons should be allowed to enter important data into data bases, to change data, or to process data for use by others, and there must be a record of these people and their activities. An audit trail must be provided through which one can trace entries into, and changes in, data bases and all steps in processing.

When information concerns individuals’ or organizations’ backgrounds and knowledge of activities, integrity of information implies confidentiality. If the information gathered is private, proprietary, or confidential, its disclosure might damage a person’s reputation or be financially injurious to an organization. Such information should be gathered only for the most compelling reasons, kept only as long as necessary, and guarded diligently against illicit use.

CONCLUDING REMARKS

These technological advances represent only a few of the recent developments that have had a tremendous impact on telecommunication industries. In light of increasing dependence on information, our society needs an enormous stock of information, as well as appropriate means for selective access. In other words, the use of a variety of data bases and the development of data base management technology will significantly influence the growth of telecommunication industries. Because the ultimate objective of telecommunication is the promotion of mutual understanding and the enrichment of culture worldwide, technology that reduces language barriers, promotes computer literacy, and enhances computer-oriented music and arts will expand the horizons of telecommunication industries. All of these and other opportunities should be taken into account in assessing future changes in telecommunication industries.



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