ERIC Number: ED245249
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1984-Aug
Reference Count: 0
Technology, Privacy and the Democratic Process.
Gandy, Oscar H., Jr.; Simmons, Charles E.
Through a review of two accelerating trends in the technology of producing and distributing information and entertainment, this paper argues that the promises of "the information economy" and the "television of abundance" bring not the emancipation of diversity and access, but the rapid disintegration of an already weakened right to privacy at the same time that they threaten the very foundations of participatory democracy. After examining various emerging technologies for the delivery of video program services, the paper explores the dramatically improved technology for combining information from a variety of diverse sources to construct models of audience segments, which are then used for the delivery of specially tailored promotional or persuasive messages. It contends that privacy law, as well as regulations agreed to as part of cable franchise agreements are inadequate because of their limited scope. It argues also that while the increase in public concern with privacy is positive, the tendency to limit privacy protections to "individually identifiable information" ignores trends in the media environment where individuals are targeted as members of purposely constructed groups or segments. The paper concludes that democracy itself is threatened by a further dislocation of access, redress, and individual control from the local political community. (Author/FL)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Media Role
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (67th, Gainesville, FL, August 5-8, 1984).