Choicepoint: A Case of Privacy in the 21st Century Essay

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Choicepoint: A Case of Privacy in the 21st Century


Since its founding in 1776, America has been a country where the rights of individuals are one of the most important issues. As time has passed and the country progressed, this issue has evolved and taken different forms; the Civil War was fought over whether people of all colors had the right to freedom, in the early 20th century women finally demanded their long overdue right to vote (Wikipedia, 2003), and most recently, in the 1960’s, people of color had to assert their right to equal treatment under the laws of this nation. As the 21st century begins, the citizens of this nation are facing a new and unique challenge to the rights of the individual, specifically, a person’s right to privacy. In the digital age, do people still have a right for information about them to be kept private or is anything and everything up for grabs to whoever is seeking the information? Does the government of this country have a legal responsibility to protect the gathering and dissemination of data about its citizens? Are companies who engage in the gathering and dissemination of information acting within ethical bounds set by society regarding people’s personal privacy?
Ethical Issues
a.) Choicepoint’s Ethical Issues: As one of the three leaders in the information industry, Choicepoint faces many ethical issues. An important one is making sure they gather information in a legal way and do not violate privacy laws when gathering information, like they did when gathering information on millions of Latin Americans to sell to the U.S Government(A.P 2003). Once the data is compiled, Choicepoint needs to be sure they maintain proper security over the information. This mea...

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Otto, Paul N., Antón, Annie I., and Baumer, David L., "The ChoicePoint Dilemma: How Data Brokers Should Handle the Privacy of Personal Information," IEEE Security & Privacy, vol. 5, no. 5, September/October 2007, pp. 15-23.
Scheff, Liam. (2003, April 22). ChoicePoint, Diebold, ES&S, Sequoia: Winning Elections The Republican Way - Racism, Theft & Fraud - RI10. Retrieved April 22, 2008 from

Women’s Suffrage. (2008, April 11). Retrieved April 22, 2008 from Wikipedia Web site:'s_suffrage
Zetter, Kim. (2005, March 11). Bad Data Fouls Background Checks. Retrieved April 22, 2008 from

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