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“When I wrote Privacy and Freedom in the mid-1960s,” writes preeminent privacy scholar Alan Westin in this Daily Dashboard exclusive, “privacy was essentially a third-tier social, political and legal issue.” Noting that “privacy has become a central issue and fierce battleground of the technology-driven world,” Westin demonstrates “how profoundly important (privacy) has become” by revealing search engine results on key words such as “privacy,” “privacy policies” and “privacy officers” and how they compare to other “important societal values” such as “freedom,” “national security policies” and “chief executive officer.” In each case, results for “privacy” and its related key words grossly outnumber the corresponding search terms—“a stunning but trustworthy portrait of just how central privacy has become in the U.S. today,” he writes.
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