Ten years ago, a large percentage of the legal profession–lawyers, judges, administrators and marketing experts were consumed by the privacy debates. The fear, in some cases paranoia, was that “bad people” would misuse personal data. Even public data in public files at the courthouse were thought to be protected in some sort of cloak of confidentiality. After all, real estate marketers were doing “bad things” with online court data; they were obtaining foreclosure records and marketing their services to the distressed homeowner, many of who were no doubt embarrassed by their financial plight. Never mind that those “bad things” were happening in newspaper ads and handmade signs on the community telephone poles.
Consider what has occurred over the past ten years; the amount of information about an individual which is accessible on the internet, without the specific permission of that individual, is astounding. Try googling your own name and see how much information you find about yourself; you will be shocked!
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