The Privacy Group
The desire of individuals to control who knows what about them is not a new concern and neither is the collection and storage by individuals and organisations of personal information about others a new habit. Nonetheless technological advances, particularly in the second half of the twentieth and now into the twenty first century have brought a number of the issues concerning personal information sharply into focus and given new urgency to calls for a more consistent legal approach to privacy issues. The purpose of this research group is to review the nature of the threat to privacy and more specifically, in the light of recent reports and proposals, to examine whether the concept of privacy includes a right to be anonymous and the extent to which the perceived problems can be ameliorated by measures which allow users to retain anonymity. It must not be forgotten that measures which foster anonymity in order to protect privacy may, incidentally, facilitate or even encourage anti-social and illicit behavior.