There surveillance, enhanced collection, storage and analysis of

There is an increased awareness as well as abhorrence of the routine use of recording and communicating information about individuals as they act and perform in the normal line of their commercial and public lives. The information that is being addressed possessed and used by whoever collects it and from there may be transmitted-mainly electronically-for free or favor-to others-second parties, third parties or even fourth parties (Nissenbaum, 1998). Philosophical and legal theories of privacy have, for a long time identified the link between privacy and information about people. Nevertheless, such recognition has dwelt much on personal, intimate and sensitive information with the presumption that privacy norms do not apply to public information or it is the exercise would prove burdensome and hence its application will be challenged on moral and legal grounds (1998). However with the advancement in information technology, the meaning of public information is slowly taking a new meaning. IT has facilitated surveillance, enhanced collection, storage and analysis of information through better profiling, data mining and aggregation.

As such, there is a need for a satisfactory legal and philosophical comprehension of as right to privacy, with the ability to protect the fundamental values at risk in privacy protection and a level of protection for privacy in public (Porter & Griffaton, 2003). This brief essay is a case study of the information privacy in a giant motor manufacturing company, General Motors. With its headquarters in Detroit, General Motors Corporation is the world’s biggest vehicle manufacturer and has been the industry’s leader for more than seventy years. The company, founded in 1908, employs more than three hundred thousand people from all over the world today. It manufactures cars and trucks in thirty three countries with more than nine million cars and trucks been sold around the globe in 2005. Its brands include Chevrolet, Cadillac, Opel, Saturn, globe’s leading financial companies, GMAC Financial Services offering residential, commercial and automotive financing as well as insurance.

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Being a large manufacturer, GM is in a journey to find solutions in order to reduce cycle times, ameliorate employee, partner and customer satisfaction as well as integrating business processes (General Motors Corporation, 2011). Nevertheless, for such a large organization, identity management or simply put information privacy has proved a mammoth technical and business issue. Its privacy statement elaborates how it handles personal information one shares with GM businesses. General Motors obtains the information through a number of ways. These include consumer web sites, events, and Business Reply Cards (BRC’s), customer call centers or even from sweepstakes entry forms.

Apart from these means, the company may also obtain information from websites, surveys and other public sources (General Motors, 2011). GM uses the information obtained in a number of ways. These are: responding to the customer’s requests, customizing and improving communication content or even for marketing and product research. The organization may share one’s information concerning a customer and his or her vehicle within the company, its affiliates or dealers. If the above trend is replicated in the case of employees, there is no doubt that there are many loopholes to the company’s information privacy policy.

Both the means of collecting information and the way the information is disseminated to other parties leave many questions in the client’s mind. For instance, due to the access to one’s email address, the company may keep sending messages to an employee or a customer which may prove a nagging experience. This, therefore, calls for a sound policy to address the issues of information privacy. However, going by the technological facelift the information technology industry is undergoing, the challenge for the implementation of a sound privacy policy is bigger than ever before.


General Motors Corporation (GM). (2011). Privacy Statement. Retrieved from

com/toolbar/privacyStatement.html#par_text_11 General Motors Corporation-Detroit, US-MI, 313-556. Retrieved from http;// Nissenbaum, H.

(1998). ‘Protecting privacy in an information age: the problem of privacy in public’ Retrieved on 19th September from Porter, W.G & Griffaton, M.C. (2003).

Defense Counsel Journal. ‘Between the devil and the deep blue sea: Monitoring the electronic workplace’.


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