Sunday, September 2, 2007

Dissertation: Computer Technology, Digital Transactions, and Legal Discovery

Computer Technology, Digital Transactions, and Legal Discovery: A Phenomenological Study of Possible Paradoxes

by Richard L. Ponschock
Ph.D., Capella University, 2007, 199 pages; AAT 3246872

Computer technology provides numerous conveniences while societal dependency is increasing. As computer technology becomes engrained into daily routines, tremendous amounts personal information are being digitized, stored, and in many cases distributed or sold to organizations for secondary uses.

This phenomenological research study examined possible infringements of Fourth Amendment rights on individuals when personal digital transactions generated as part of their daily lives are mined for purposes other than the creator's original intent.


The study found that the secondary uses of personal data for purposes other than the intent of the originating transaction are escalating. These subsequent uses have an impact on individual privacy.

The study concluded that the Fourth Amendment only protects United States citizens from illegal search and seizure by the government and does not protect personal data from a third party.

Current laws and court rulings do not view personal information as belonging to an individual. [snip]

Social networking using MYSPACE(TM) and blogging internet sites is replacing the street corner and playground discussions of the past. The permanency of digital information is expansive as the digital comments and diaries of today can last through the life of their originator.

Any digital record can confront its author again as an e-discovery document in a court of law.

The ProQuest Dissertations & Theses database (PQDT)


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