Panama Papers Raise Privacy Issues, Whether This Is A ‘New Normal’
The release of the so-called “Panama Papers” – more than 11 million documents and personal files detailing financial information and offshore accounts of prominent individuals – dominated the international news cycle this week. It’s raised questions about the role of technology and the expectation of privacy.
“We saw this in a different avenue or in a different vein with WikiLeaks and with the [Edward] Snowden affair,” University of Oklahoma College of International Studies assistant dean Rebecca Cruise told KGOU’s World Views, referring to the 2013 lead of classified documents by the National Security Agency contractor. “So the technology helps those people that are trying to perhaps do things we wouldn’t want to know about, but it also, when into the right hands, is then exposed.”
There are files that appear to link Russian president Vladimir Putin to $2 billion in offshore funds, along with Ukraine’s president Petro Poroshenko and the father of British Prime Minister David Cameron. Cruise says these repeated leaks of sensitive material show how little privacy there still is, which is what the Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonesca is focusing on.
“Once this becomes public you lose clients and you lose the availability to provide the services,” Cruise said “And of course people in the governments affected and the citizens affected that have lost out on tax revenue, they’re focusing on the other side of things.”