Topic 5.1 – The importance of privacy in ICT Systems
  1. Why is privacy important in ICT systems?
  2. Why is freedom of information important in ICT systems?
  3. How are these two needs balanced?

Starter Activity

Pick one of the case studies below. Read through the case study carefully and then write down your answers to the questions related to the case study.

Case Study 1 Case Study 2 Case Study 3




Arguments for data privacy

  • Privacy is a fundamental human right and it should be protected by law.

Arguments against data privacy

  • Easier for criminals and terrorists to act if data is not shared, especially if it encrypted.
  • If you have nothing to hide you don’t need to worry about privacy.



Advantages of data freedom

  • Data sharing allows advances in medicine and science
  • Easier to catch criminals with CCTV, DNA databases.
  • Allows citizens to keep tabs of governments and organisations(Freedom of Information Act)
  • Allows the development of technology that requires data sharing to be effective – Online Gaming, Sat Nav systems ( that monitor traffic), improved search results

Disadvantages of data freedom

  • It allows authoritarian governments to monitor and interfere with legitimate political, religious and social groups
  • Allows intrusive targetted advertisings.
  • Allows companies / organisations that ability to filter staff/customers based on medical conditions.



It is clear that there is no right or wrong answer in regards to privacy vs data freedom, rather there must be some kind of balance reached that recognises the importance of both arguments.

Activity 2 – Data Privacy: A balancing act

Your job is to make a make a short animation highlighting the issues surrounding privacy and data freedom. The title of your presentation should “Data Privacy: A balancing act”.

In order to be successful you will need:

  • A written aim – What message do you want to convey?
  • A script – what are your animation characters going to say? What else is going to happen?
  • A storyboard

You can use any of the tools below:

Questions that could be explored

  • Do we need more data protection legislation, or less?
  • Is too much data being shared? Or too little?
  • What success stories are there? When has it all gone wrong?
  • How much do we depend on data in our modern life?