Talk:Information privacy

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Wiki Education Foundation-supported course assignment[edit]

Sciences humaines.svg This article is or was the subject of a Wiki Education Foundation-supported course assignment. Further details are available on the course page. Student editor(s): Yeexyc.

Above undated message substituted from assignment by PrimeBOT (talk) 00:31, 17 January 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

"Information should be free" POV[edit]

I removed the "information wants to be free" paragraph from the North America section. I'm not making any judgment on the validity of the opinion, just pointing out that it's an opinion and it doesn't belong in this encyclopedia due to the Wikipedia:Neutral point of view policy. If you want to add a description of the arguments that people make in favor of information freedom, and cite your sources, that would be fine. But please don't add opinions to the article. Rhobite 21:35, Jan 19, 2005 (UTC)

Anarchist/Protestors vs. Information collection[edit]

I'd like to see more information about salting DBs, and DB pollution in order to simulate privacy.
~ender 2006-03-07 11:14:AM MST

Privacy Protection in India and China[edit]

Given the increasing roles of India and China in global commerce,ohh fuk it would be useful to know if/how these countries protect privacy. More and more western corporations are outsourcing business functions to these countries. Every business function involves operations on data. Many functions require the private data of customers. If corporations aren't (secretly) doing it already, the temptation will probably grow to move private data to these countries for cheap processing and analysis. ~rkm1

We should move Information privacy to Informational privacy. We will describe three reasons below.

  • Wikipedia's notability standards address that all article titles must have reliable sources using this term. However, after we had gone through all of the links in the References section, we had not even a single instance of any article using the term "information privacy." Most of the articles that mentions privacy uses just "privacy" without any grammatical modifiers in front of it. We also found many links in a dead state.
  • We will demonstrate that more reliable sources in academic databases contain "informational privacy" than "information privacy" below in the Conclusions section.
  • The term "information privacy" sounds ungrammatical. English grammar categorizes information as a noun. However, the usage of the term information functions as an adjective, which does not match the lexical category of the actual word itself. This article already contains three terms that use an adjective to modify the noun. These include Financial privacy, Medical privacy, and Political privacy.
  • The lead section of this article uses the term data privacy emboldened, which makes this article look unwieldy compared to almost all of the rest of the articles in Wikipedia.
  • Search engine results for potentially ambiguous terms like "information privacy," will produce grossly inaccurate measures of the popularity of the usage, as we will explain in the below section.

Critique of search engine data[edit]

As of 19 February 2009, Google search estimated 6,800,000 results for "information privacy" and 29,500 for "information privacy." However, the most of the search results for "informational privacy" lacks any mention for the phrase "information privacy." Most of these results actually use "information privacy" coupled with additional adjectives. We see them coupled with "medical information privacy," "electronic information privacy," "personal information privacy," and "health information privacy." If we leave the webpages that contain any of the last phrases aside, the other webpages which uses "information privacy" contains the term used out of its official context. Then we would see occurrences of the phrase implicit in "Information Privacy Law," "Freedom of Information Privacy Act," and "California Financial Information Privacy Act," "Electronic Privacy Information Center," which does not even contain any instance of "information privacy" in this context. Because most of the results contain webpages that contain the term coupled with other modifiers, instead of phrase "information privacy" occurring independently in itself without any modifiers, we should not disregard this move. Ergo, the vast quantity of "information privacy" search result occurrences compared to "informational privacy" does not imply any evidence to favor for the the former term.

We will display a table containing the Google estimates of the search results below.

Search termEstimated resultsNotes
"information privacy"6,800,000
"personal information privacy"1,390,000All of the occurances that we have seen does not contain "information privacy" used independently from "personal."
"legal information privacy"958,000The results almost unianimously contain "Legal Information - Privacy Policy" or just "Legal Information: Privacy," which does not contain the term in its proper context.
"information privacy policy"3,360,000All of the pages seem to use this term out of context. We have seen examples of this. All ten results from the first page of a search on "information privacy policy" uses this term out-of-context. We will exemplify the first five entries: "UW Electronic Information Privacy Policy on Personally," " Corporate Information: Privacy Policy," "Kroger - Company Information - Privacy Policy," "CPC Information Privacy Policy."


We can now draw inferences. We can subtract 3,360,000 from 6,800,000, because 3,360,000 of the results from the search on "information privacy policy" does not use this term in the correct context. This leaves us with 3,440,000 potential webpages using the term "information privacy" in its correct context, not just in some privacy policy note.

We can secondly subtract the results containing the term "personal information privacy" from the last estimate. Subtracting 1,390,000 from 3,440,000 will leaves us with 2,050,000 webpages using the term "information privacy" in its proper context.

We can obviously go further, leaving with under one million potential results using this term correctly. We should advise that the phrase "informational privacy" does not have any ambiguities present in "information privacy", and we verified it by doing a search.


Given the above elucidations, we should move this article to Informational privacy, for the following reasons:

  • No authorized source even used the term "information privacy" in any instance.
  • The term "informational privacy" has more grammatical correctness than "information privacy."
  • "Informational privacy," as explained above, contains far less ambiguities, out-of-context uses, and confusions than "information privacy."
  • We, as demonstrated above, showed the awkwardness of naming an article based on unreliable on search engine sources, especially for ambiguous terms like "information privacy." Wikipedia's notability guidelines also cautioned this. See WP:SET.
  • Databases with reliable journal entries, such as Google Scholar, mentioned "informational privacy" in its correct context more than that of "information privacy." For an example of this, see the Google Scholar search result estimates for "informational privacy" and "information privacy." We found 2,700 results for "informational privacy" and 12,600 results for "information privacy." "Information privacy" still outnumbers "informational privacy" by a ratio of 6:1, but far less than the ratio from the estimates of the webpage search results. If we refrain the Google Scholar results to drop the entries that uses "information privacy" out-of-context, the ratio will seem greater.

We arrived at the conclusion that we should move this article to Information privacy. We will appreciate any further comments, concerns, and problems of this move. Thank you. Lumingz (talk) 00:43, 20 February 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

We should regard Information security on a different standard. We should not move "information security" to "informational security" as we see the latter as ungainly. Google Scholar actually estimated 126,000 results for "information security" and a mere 231 for "informational security." Lumingz (talk) 01:14, 20 February 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Oppose name change
Who is "we"? Where is the link to the discussion about this, which would presumably clarify who we are? (I realize that discussion is not required for non-controversial moves, but this move is hardly likely to be uncontroversial. If think this uncontroversial, why the essay?)
If there is a question of notability or verifiability of the name, requesting a citation would be appropriate before assuming it was not verifiable.
"Use the most easily recognized name" WP:NAME
  • Even after one arbitrarily eliminates many of the usages the Google search still gives 1 to 2 million references compared to some 30,000 for the alternative
  • Since the concept of information privacy includes legal information privacy, medical information privacy, etc. we can not just throw out all the pages that mention information privacy in more specific context.
Information privacy includes all the other related forms (the point is to use a common term that is easily recognized, not something obscure)
Don't follow the logic of the Google schollar searches - appear to be saying that informational privacy is the more easily recognized name because it occurs less often?
Interesting that "Informational privacy" is more grammatical, but "Informational security" is ungainly. (Please provide reference for the grammar claim, they both seem ungainly to me.) Zodon (talk) 04:19, 20 February 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
If want references to verify use of term, try [1], [2], [3] for starters. Zodon (talk) 04:31, 20 February 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Even after one arbitrarily eliminates many of the usages the Google search still gives 1 to 2 million references compared to some 30,000 for the alternative
Sorry, but I already mentioned this above. Google Scholar gives 12,600 for "information privacy" and 2,700 for "informational privacy." The search results for "information privacy" also includes the out-of-context usages.
We will list some out-of-context usages from the Google search results below:
  • "Consumer Action :: Sensitive Information - Privacy and Your ..." [4]
  • "What is Private & Public Information : Privacy and Data Security" [5]
  • "Copyright Information, Privacy Statement, and Terms of Use" [6]
  • "STATE-51 System name : Office of Freedom of Information, Privacy ..." [7]
  • "... Rights: acknowledge a person's rights to life, information, privacy, free expression, and safety ..." [8]
If want references to verify use of term, try [9], [10], [11] for starters.
The first source, created in 2008, uses Wikipedia as a reference. Perhaps the article borrowed the term "information privacy" from Wikipedia. The second source contains five occurrences of "personal information" but appends the word "privacy" at one instance. It does not use "information privacy" in a way which makes it distinguishing, other than to append "privacy" to modify the term "personal information." The third source only mentions "health information privacy," not the term used in a more general context.
If you want to see specific examples of the usages of "informational privacy," we will list them below:
  • The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, a highly-renowned source, has a section specifically called "informational privacy" in its "privacy" article. [12]
  • The bibliography of the site contains zero references for "information privacy" but two references for "informational privacy." [13]
  • Specific articles about "informational privacy" [14] [15] [16]
This shows evidence that "informational privacy" more accurately represents the guidelines set by Wikipedia, especially the source from another encyclopedia, the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Lumingz (talk) 21:48, 20 February 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The guidelines say "The names of Wikipedia articles should be optimized for readers over editors, and for a general audience over specialists." (emphasis added) So while grammarians and some specialists may use informational privacy, information privacy is also used in the field, and is far more common, as your research demonstrates.
If you look at Google search trends informational privacy doesn't even have enough searches to be ranked, as compared to information privacy.
Article view stats for wikipedia show one view every few months for informational privacy, much more for information privacy.
Information privacy is used by people working in the field (like Marc Rotenberg, Electronic Privacy Information Center). Zodon (talk) 22:32, 20 February 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
These arguments are WAY old, but I just had to weigh in.
There is nothing ungrammatical about abbutting two nouns to coin a term. I don't know the technical, grammatical name for the construction in English. Much of our grammar is based, however, on Latin, and the Latin is termed the ablative absolute. Therefore, there is no need to form the awkward, adjectival "informational". Not that Zodon's arguments were insufficient. I would have simply concurred with his conclusion, but that insistance on the terrible adjective was like the proverbial fingernails on the slate. Just my two cents' worth. Rags (talk) 08:21, 7 April 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]

RfC concerning the Lavabit email service[edit]

There is a request for comments (RfC) that may be of interest. The RfC is at

Talk:Lavabit#RfC: Should information about Lavabit complying with previous search warrants be included?

At issue is whether we should delete or keep the following text in the Lavabit article:

Before the Snowden incident, Lavabit had complied with previous search warrants. For example, on June 10, 2013, a search warrant was executed against Lavabit user for alleged possession of child pornography.

Your input on this question would be very much welcome. --Guy Macon (talk) 05:04, 29 August 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]


This concept, individual, personal information privacy, once considered sacrosanct, has been sold down the river by the U.S. Congress. Within the last week, ISP's have prevailed in passing legislation through both houses allowing them to freely "datamine" or "harvest" and sell personal information regarding the usage of the net by their subscribed and paid users. Our newly-minted President indicates his intention to sign the bill, despite his former "Libertarian" lipservice to individual freedom and right to privacy. I feel the rug has been pulled from under my feet. What use to clear history and cookies, private browsers, TOR network, etc, if your own provider is recording (we already knew they were) and profiting from every keystroke. Out goes the baby with the washwater. Rue the day. Rags (talk) 07:34, 7 April 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Unavailable Source[edit]

It appears that one of the citations leads to a source that is no longer available, specifically the first reference. The statement rendered "source-less" in question, " is important to keep abreast of any changes in the law and to continually reassess compliance with data privacy and security regulations," almost seems to blur the line between a neutral statement and a bit of a biased one given the language and lack of a traceable source.

Qewel (talk) 01:01, 29 September 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Information Types - "Internet" wording and sources[edit]

The last two paragraphs of this section have an almost commanding language about them, most notably is the repeated use of "should." These paragraphs can be worded better with more neutral descriptions that don't imply any kind of opinion. In addition, there are no sources for any of the information in these paragraphs, which also makes it seem as though the ideas in them are based more in opinion than fact. MooCow1 (talk) 05:14, 29 September 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Claims and Citations[edit]

The claim concerning caution about the things that people post on social media, either by themselves or by others, from which that information can allow access to private databases needs a reference in my opinion since it seems like that information was obtained from somewhere that was not cited on this article. The cable television section of this article does not include any citations that corroborate the information in that section, which is something that can be added to strengthen this article. The medical records section includes information that is also not cited about people not wanting their medical information to openly available to others, with claims about insurance and employment worries that stand out as non-neutral. At the end of the medical records section there is a reference to HIPAA and the HITECH Act which I believe should be hyperlinked. Also, Link 8 seems like an unreliable source to use for a Wikipedia article. From then onward, I believe everything else is properly cited minus the only sentence in the legality section which has a "citation needed" superscript note on it already. -- Xicanxchick (talk) 06:42, 29 September 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Possible merge with Digital privacy[edit]

I recall I contributed to digital privacy myself, long ago, before the general public recognized this as a mainstream issue.

On a Venn diagram, information is bigger than digital information, though lately, these circles almost seem to touch.

I yet oppose this distinction being lost completely, but it seems to be from this vantage point that we might be better served by merging these overlapping articles. — MaxEnt 15:05, 3 November 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]

External links modified[edit]

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Question on one of the citations[edit]

It appears that reference number 20th now links to a website displayed in Japanese. Is this the right website relating to the relevant Information Privacy section?-GloriaGu2018 (talk) 07:33, 22 February 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Fixed, thanks for pointing this out @GloriaGu2018: (I have also changed a few more occurences in various other articles, found via external links search). My Japanese is lacking, but these 2 domain usages have nothing in common apparently - I have replaced the link with an archived version of the original article (using Internet Archive, you can usually check the origins and authenticity of such links when an archive was created in the past). GermanJoe (talk) 11:29, 22 February 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Additional In-text citations[edit]

Hi, I just wanted to suggest adding some in-text citations on the first couple of sentences. I don't know if you used these sources but I feel like the first sentence should have a reference to “Uberveillance and the Social Implications of Microchip Implants: Emerging Technologies”. I also believe that the bullet list and the sentence preceding it should have a citation from the book “Programme Management: Managing Multiple Projects Successfully”. --Class20 (talk) 22:04, 22 February 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]

@Class20: You can edit Wikipedia! If you have an idea for improvement please edit the article directly because this is the clearest way to express your idea and get feedback. See Help:Referencing for beginners for help with references. Blue Rasberry (talk) 22:24, 22 February 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Data Protection[edit]

Bit concerned that Data Protection redirects here … to my mind Information Privacy is a subset of (total) Data Protection which also includes need to ensure data is not lost or becomes unavailable due accidental or malicious attempts … e.g. loss or corruption of on-line and backup copies.Djm-leighpark (talk) 12:32, 5 June 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Cable Television[edit]

Under the Cable Television section, a quote was posited with a seemingly unreliable source. The source comes from a free patent website rather than a peer reviewed source. The quote seems to be a little unnecessary to state (could be summarized potentially) in order for the reader to understand the idea easily. Also, it seems as if more could be added about niche advertising practices of cable TV companies and how audience data is collected and sold to advertising companies. --Breadyornot (talk) 10:05, 21 September 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Social Media Privacy Inquiry[edit]

I believe the internet portion of this article could use greater information in terms of social media platforms and the research done on information in regards to this. Additionally, some historical background on web 2.0 and how this created shift in informational privacy and the laws in place could be a great addition to this page. Any feedback in regards to if people think this could be a good addition or if it is best linked to another page would be much appreciated. Breadyornot (talk) 18:16, 24 June 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I agree. Social media is a huge impact when it comes to information privacy today. I also see potential in writing about social media company breaches (Facebook Cambridge Analytics for one example) and the effects it brought to data privacy legislation today. Let me know what you think.--Minhyyuk (talk) 07:42, 27 June 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Introduction Syntax[edit]

Hello, I would just like to suggest a clarification of the introductory sentence. I think the lead overall is appropriate, but the syntax of the first sentence makes the definition of "information privacy" itself unclear. I'm a little confused as to what the relationship is supposed to be between and also how the items in the list should be divided and read. --GlossomathisRabbit (talk) 16:27, 27 June 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Legal Scholarship[edit]

Is there any way that the article could include more legal interpretation (from legal scholars) under the "Authorities" section of the article? The general public should have a better understanding on what impact these laws would have + the constraints of privacy protection within these laws. Lilmeowmeow3161 (talk) 19:34, 3 October 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]

United States Safe Harbor program[edit]

Everything in the article is relevant to the topic. However, I think the article could be improved by adding another section for the United States Safe Harbor program. The topic section would be beneficial.

IntheHeartofTexas (talk) 20:26, 3 October 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Overall Impressions[edit]

Overall, the article is very well developed and in good status. The article's strengths lie in its neutral and objective stance on the topic, which allows readers to form their own opinions on Information Privacy. The article could use more relevant sources, since most sources date back to the 2000s and the early 2010s. The article is very well organized, but could use some more sections on topics like implications of Information Privacy concerns on individuals and society, as a whole. Imakespaghetti29 (talk) 17:53, 5 October 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]