Database & privacy

Database technology and Privacy Concerns Database technology has gained a significant level of pervasiveness in recent past despite the numerous privacy concerns that have emerged. Fundamentally, database technology is important when it comes the keeping of statistics of certain populations whereby individuals can access their personal details in privacy. Although database technology was intended to enhance the privacy of data, there has been growing tension concerning the privacy of the same, especially considering frequent privacy leaks among school and government databases in the United States (Custers, 2013). Indeed, the tension between database technology and privacy will play out with the growing number powerful database applications across the globe.
Database privacy leaks usually occur through SQL injections and the victims of such leaks usually feel demoralized because it can risk their life, property, and fortune. Statistical disclosure control has had an enviable reputation because of the protection of the personal details of members of a particular population. Based on Mathematical Optimization, many techniques can be used to solve privacy issues. Frequency tables produce solutions that are biased while algorithms are expensive. Even with the advent of powerful database technology such as modern cryptography, the tension between such technology and privacy concerns will not fade out. Nonetheless, Enhanced Controlled Tabular Adjustment is a modern technique used to overcome most of the privacy challenges (PSD & Domingo-Ferrer, 2014).
Databases play important roles in the society and the more advanced they are, the better they serve the people. Most people recognize the impending risk to their privacy and a 1996 poll proved that 24% of Americans have at one time or the other experienced privacy invasion. In addition, 80% of Americans did not trust how companies used and circulated their personal data during the previous year. Some of the most important roles of databases include ensuring that the fair allocation and distribution of resources (Garfinkel, 2000). In this regard, database privacy leaks reduced the participation of people in keeping better information in such databases, especially hospital and government database privacy breaches. It is however, worth noting that some of the database leaks are beyond control and they should not spark much tension except in circumstances where sheer negligence has led to such breaches (PSD & Domingo-Ferrer, 2014).
Privacy and discrimination have become major issues in the information society. For instance, Huber’s case in 1996 when he moved to Germany. He later contested the keeping of his personal information in the database and termed it as discrimination under the AZR Law. Mr. Huber essentially alleged that AZR data was only applicable to population statistics and criminal investigation, thereby compelling the authorities to delete his personal details. The case later proceeded to the European Court of Justice where the judges were concerned with nationality-based discrimination, especially among union citizens. It means that privacy concerns and tension will continue to grow as long as the strength of database security systems is not guaranteed (Custers, 2013).
Custers, B. H. M. (2013). Discrimination and privacy in the information society: Data mining and profiling in large databases. Berlin: Springer.
Garfinkel, S. (2000). Database nation: The death of privacy in the 21st century. Beijing: OReilly.
PSD (Conference: 2004), & Domingo-Ferrer, J. (2014). Privacy in statistical databases: UNESCO Chair in Data Privacy, International Conference, PSD 2014, Ibiza, Spain, September 17-19, 2014. Proceedings.