Data Security and Responsibility of the User in Mass Communication

The most important aspect of informational security is ensuring the objectivity and reliability of the information obtained by the population through information programs transmitted by television and radio broadcasting organizations. The lack of information creates favorable conditions for manipulations. Therefore, the European Convention on Transfrontier Television establishes impartiality for the coverage of news and facts, as well as encouraging of free opinion by a broadcaster. In order to comply with the requirement for the content of programs in the legislation, relevant norms are established in advanced economies. For example, there is a rule in the United Kingdom that requires that the impartiality of information broadcasting from private TV and radio companies is ensured. The impartiality of programs is interpreted as a ban on comments in reviews of the upcoming news and documentary broadcasts, as well as ensuring of pluralism and balance in covering vital political and economic events, including those that are of social character.A tendentious comment presented in an author’s program should be balanced by the coverage of other points of view in the society on the contentious issue by showing another author’s program or a discussion program in a reasonable period. Such requirements for the information submission in the media are established in all democratic countries in one form or another. The French broadcasting legislation requires compliance with the rule of ‘three-thirds’, according to which a third of allotted time can express a personal position to the parliamentary majority, another third of time is given to the opposition, while the rest of time is given to the government of the French Republic during the conveyance of actual events. The US journalists strictly adhere to the rule of separating facts from commentaries when covering current events (Oster, 2016).

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As personal data is any information related to a specific or determined based on such information individual, a person’s surname and name, year, month, date and place of birth, address, family, social and property status, education, income and other information can be collected in mass communication. As an example, it can be collected passport data, financial statements, medical records, year of birth, biometrics and other personal identification information.

Personal data refers to the one type that has limited access and must be protected in accordance with the law. Legislative and administrative measures for the regulation of the protection of information at the state level are applied in all scientific and technologically developed countries of the world.

The first law that would protect the information was adopted in the USA in 1906. Currently, there are about 500 legislative acts on the informational protection, responsibility for its disclosure and computer crimes in the country. The national policy of USA in the field of the information security is formed by the National Security Agency. At the same time, the most important strategic issues that determine the national policy in this area are usually handled at the level of the National Security Council while the decisions are formulated in the form of directives of the US President. There has been adopted several federal laws in the USA since 1967, which have created a legal basis for the formation and implementation of the state policy in the field of informatization and information security, considering the interests of the country’s national security. These are the Freedom of Information Act as of 1967, the Right to Financial Privacy Act as of 1978, CIA Information Act as of 1984, Computer Fraud and Abuse Act as of 1986, Computer Security Act as of 1987, etc. (Whitman & Mattord, 2016, p. 119).



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The National Plan for Information Systems Protection was signed in 2000 and was described as a comprehensive vision of the tasks to protect key sectors of the economy, national security, public health and personal safety of citizens. As far as plan goes, much attention is paid to the creation and commissioning of a national cryptographic information security system based on public keys. The framework has also included the creation of a national system for monitoring information security and intrusion detection called Federal Intrusion Detection Network, shortly FIDNet, which allows informing administrators about the known impact as soon as possible.

Free access of citizens to the information is limited by the right of every individual for privacy, personal and family secrets, protection of a person’s honor and good name. The protection of personal life is supported by legal documents in any country. These are the norms of international law, the Constitution of a country, as well as criminal, civil and specialized legislations (Trager, Ross, & Reynolds, 2015).

For example, when a journalist collects, processes and disseminates personal data, including private information, he can only process personal data only if the person whose information is being processed and disseminated has agreed to it. What is more, it is not allowed to divulge information in disseminated messages and materials that are directly or indirectly indicating the identity of a minor who has committed crime or has been suspected of committing it, as well as those who have committed an administrative offence or an antisocial act without the consent of the minor himself and his legal representatives. It also prohibited to disclose the information that directly or indirectly indicates the identity of a minor who has been recognized as a victim in disseminated messages and materials without the consent of the minor or his legal representatives. At the same time, it is understandable that personal data includes a person’s last and fist name, age, place of residence and work or stud, and such knowledge can be published only with the consent of an individual. However, people cannot always be sure that their personal data has not become public. For example, mass media can publish the list of victims of some catastrophic events to protect the population from emergences which not always can follow the person’s expectations whose data has been made public.

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The information about a person’s health condition constitutes a special type of personal data. It can be distributed to protect life, health or other vital human interests. Although only authorized bodies are entitled to such distribution of the information, people may also not like this action and would rather keep their personal data in safe without sharing it publicly.

The advance in technologies and the Internet has allowed people collect and share all sorts of information, including personal data, through social networks. Consequently, a lot of personal data is collected on a daily basis. Some people use other people’s personal data for fraudulent actions or to make an intended harm to a person directly or his/her professional activity, as well as to compromise a person by uncovering his identity via the television or different TV shows. Despite the fact that there have been adopted several laws protecting the identity of a person and his personal data, the society still requires the improvement of ways of data security and associated with it programs that could also protect the leak of the data through digital devices and the Internet.

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The problem of protecting the information is not new today. It has appeared long before the advent of computers. The rapid advancement of computer technologies has affected the principles of the creation of information security. It has been paid attention to the confidentiality of the personal data in security systems. Obviously, the only decent way to go is to completely encrypt messages and data from spying and interception. A fundamental feature of the current situation is that the protection of information in computer networks is the most important task these days. Especially, the issue is relevant in terms of the existence of social networks where the personal data is easily accessible almost for everyone. The spread of computer usage into many areas of human life, a continuous increase in computing power and the use of computer networks of various scales have led to the fact that the threat of loss of confidential information in data processing systems has become an integral part of almost any activity. It is a paramount issue for mass communication. Although personal data is protected by law in many states, the vast development of computer technologies and automatization requires major overhaul of the legislation.

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