Document Type

White paper

Publication Date



“I believe that the Internet is a brave new world in the matter of judicial security.” – Testimony of Joan H. Lefkow, United States District Judge, before the Judiciary Committee of the United States Senate (May 18, 2005).

Your personal information may be no farther away than a mouse-click... Your name, locations of your home and workplace, your phone number and email address, details of your family members, your political leanings and many more pieces of information are available through a wide array of public and private sources. But, this is nothing new. Some personal information about you has always been accessible by others in one form or another. In the past, when information such as that contained in public records was maintained in paper files, it was difficult to access. However, information technologies, including the Internet, have changed the way data is collected, stored, used, manipulated and distributed -- making more information more accessible to more people than ever before.

There are no comprehensive laws to protect your personal information. However, there are ways to keep information about you and your family from becoming generally known. As you become aware of the potential privacy risks associated with even the most common activities of daily life, you will be able to make reasoned choices affecting the availability of your personal information. The purpose of this pamphlet is to provide the tools to help you take control over your personal information and protect your informational privacy.

Please note that protecting your privacy is a continuing process because data about you is constantly being collected and distributed.


Published by The Chicago Bar Association and The John Marshall Law School Center for Information Technology and Privacy Law