« The ICT Paradox : Privacy vs. Performance » Pierre-Jean Benghozi

Individual or industrial privacy : privacy mostly handled through individual viewpoint ; yet individual privacy (secret, confidential data, interoperability…) turn to be a major stake from economic perspective in an international competitive market. Indeed, speaking of privacy, one must distinguish two types of question which pertain, on the one hand, to applications for the general public (protection of anonymity and personal data) and on the other hand, to industrial applications (economic intelligence, vertical competition between producers and distributors, and the capturing of added value).

The first – and most widespread- sense of the term privacy refers to the respect of intimacy, confidentiality, private information and/or the respect of the physical and moral integrity of individuals. The concept extends to encompass the “legal protection” of personal data and has to do with freedom of expression. The threats which loom over these aspects are connected with all information and communication technologies (it is already the case for search engines, trade platforms and social networks), but they could be greatened with the internet of Future and position determination technologies, if their development is poorly regulated. As far as “individual privacy” is concerned, new issues raised by the development of information technologies focus on traceability and the contextualizing of data : they extend the classic tension between security and service quality, on the one hand, and respect of privacy, on the other hand.

Yet, a second sense of privacy has to be taken into consideration. The quite legitimate focus on the personal issues must not overshadow another essential dimension of the protection of data, involving not only data pertaining to individuals, but also companies’ sensitive data. It refers to what we shall propose to name “industrial privacy”.

New problems have arisen concerning the integration of information on production processes or the circulation of objects. Access to such information – even when it is partial – has often strategic value for rival industrial partners or those involved in trade relations. One can thus wonder if the protection of industrial data will not require the specific structuring of rules and regulation organizations. Solutions to protect privacy can be implemented simultaneously or as a complement to other solutions through technology, but also through the initial architecture design and selected functionalities, use procedures, legislation and governance of the Internet It may call to privacy enhancing technologies or to trust enhancing practices.

Dernière modification : 01/10/2009

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