Technological dimensions of privacy in Asia
Users in Asian countries (where adoption of broadband Internet technology is more widespread than anywhere else in the world) harbor notions of computer privacy that differ somewhat from those that are prevalent in Europe and the US. The spate of viruses and worms that has laid bare the security inadequacies of Microsoft's operating system and application software has exacted a particularly heavy toll on computer users in Asia. However, as well as posing challenges to privacy, technology also offers new opportunities for increasing privacy. Doug Tygar, computer science professor at the University of California, Berkeley, examines recent advances in security and privacy research, and suggests that the Asian computing environment represents a uniquely suitable test bed for new privacy technologies. He also highlights the increased popularity in Asia of Linux, the open-source operating system--due in part to its stability, but also to the fact that users need not fear hidden "backdoors" that might compromise security.