This Article reviews how the Internet and related developments-technological, social, and legal-have magnified the threat to privacy posed by private individuals, commercial enterprises, and the media. It offers a brief overview of the current threats to privacy from sources other than the government, and, in particular, the impact of the Internet in creating or magnifying those threats. Part I discusses the threat to privacy in general, examining how the Internet and developments in surveillance technology, in information storage and retrieval, in dissemination of information, sound, and images, and changes to the informal "social contract" that defines general standards have all endangered privacy as we know it. Part II examines the advantages these developments give to individual betrayers, grudgers, and snoops, who seek to undermine the privacy of particular individuals, and to spammers, who do the same on a much broader scale. Part III reviews the ways in which corporate information gathering intrudes on privacy. Part IV looks at the role the media has played in exploiting and encouraging privacy threatening developments. The Article ends with a not-particularly-cheerful prognosis.
Clifford S. Fishman, Technology and the Internet: The Impending Destruction of Privacy by Betrayers, Grudgers, Snoops, Spammers, Corporations and the Media, 72 GEO. WASH. L. REV. 1503 (2004).