This topic relates to the issue of reliability. When personal data is given to an organisation or a business, it becomes the organisations responsibility to preserve the privacy of that data. But many organisations sell off this data to a third party for money or other benefits. When giving personal data, individuals have a choice of either “opting in” and “opting out”. Opting in would mean that personal data can not be distributed without the permission of the individual on a “form permitting disclosure”. Where as “Opting out” would mean individuals would not want any of the data distributed, and their name to be removed from the distributions list. Until the 1990s, neither policies were used, but now most organisations and business have an “Opt in” and “Opt out” clause (Baase, 2003).

Area of Impact


Health is an Area of Impact that can be affected. When visiting the hospitals, Individuals are expected to fill out a form. This data is installed in the hospitals database and in turn could be misused. Personal health information can be leaked or sold to insurance companies of medicine firms (Unknown, 2005). Insurance companies would use this information to try to sell insurance to the individuals where as medicine companies can advert to the patients about new and better medicines. Secondly, some data is personal and people might not want others to be aware of them, but this is very difficult as data has to be stored into a database and therefore anyone can access it and find out about the illness.
However, it is very important to record and collect the data of individuals as it is important for the doctors to see if there is a reoccurring illness. It is also important to record the data if the patient is diagnosed with a disease and it is important to see an improvement.


Leisure is another area of impact affected by the use and collection of data. When signing up for loyalty cards, shoppers are expected to fill out a form requiring personal details. The loyalty card could be used when the shoppers buy a product; this gives those discounts or special points. But this data is sold to other companies in return of money. This could lead to privacy issues and the company would know exactly what the customers are buying and could send those adverts regarding similar products.
However, it can be beneficial for customers as they are aware of new products and they can take advantages of all the discounts. People may like the adverted product better than the previous one. There maybe adverted products that they have never heard about but can be useful to them.


The release and collection of personal data can be harmful to an individual. There can be a mistake in the personal data and therefore cause problems for the public. This could cause confusion, where the companies send out wrong adverts tot the wrong people.


I believe that selling data to other companies through loyalty cards is a major issue. It is dangerous to store personal data as any one can access it and misuse it. This could lead to invasion of privacy, and security issues. Individuals may also become frustrated with excess junk mail and adverts. However, people can opt in and opt out but supermarkets cleverly design the forms so that people miss out that section.

Works Cited

Baase, S. (2003). A Gift of Fire 2nd Edition. UpperSaddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.
Unknown. (2005, July 15). Data - use and misuse. Retrieved October 9, 2007, from The Standards Site: