Privacy in the 21st Century: Is It Possible?
Eng 122 English Composition II
Dr. Hazar H. Shehadeh
13 May 2013
In the 21st century, there are strong expectations for privacy; however people’s privacy is being invaded on a regular basis (Bier, 1980). Privacy gives one the opportunity to make a conscious decision on whether or not they want to disclose specific information about themselves to others, and the value of privacy is growing harder to maintain on a daily bases (Bier, 1980; Hughes, 1993). Privacy is the ability of a person to control the availability of information about and exposure of him or her; it is an individual’s or group’s right to have freedom from unauthorized intrusions (Hacker, 2013). With so many social and media communication outlets, does privacy actually exist in the 21st century? Does the government have the right to dictate what is private or what is public? As Americans in the 21st century, living amidst Facebook, Twitter, internet technology, satellite surveillance, GPS tracking and chips, the lack of privacy regarding the ability to provide acceptable and appropriate protection to individual identity and personal information have risen. Despite advancements in current security configuration, users of these products are still not receiving the privacy they deserve. Some views state that privacy is a right guaranteed to citizens by the United States Privacy Act of 1974, limiting the use of personal data by Federal agencies. Education is a solution to the online social networkers and the dangers behind sharing our personal information with the public. According to Carolan (2012), Americans’ expectations of privacy in the 21st century is to be treated fairly under the right to privacy law; this law is made to protect their personal information such as social security numbers, credit card information, and medical information. Therefore, according the Fourth Amendment, Americans have the right to be protected under the United States Constitution (Zdziarski, 2013). Nonetheless, individuals find themselves in a society where the internet and online communication is taking over how they do business, privacy rights and communication, bringing into question their Fourth Amendment right to protect their privacy. Consequently, individuals have hopes that their rights will be protected under the Fourth Amendment in a day and time where smart phones and social networking are controlling the waves of communication and how Americans conduct day-to-day business (Carolan, 2012). In today’s society of advanced technology, I Phones, tablets, insta-gram, social media, and online networking individuals have become almost totally dependent on these advanced communication technologies. They are constantly plugged-in for the duration of their day, to the point where doctors have come to term the behavior: nomophobia, the anxiety one feels when they do not have access to their cellular telephone; technoholism, an addiction to surfing the internet; and mousewrist, repetitive strain injury caused by excessive use of a computer mouse (Rauhofer, 2008). This drastic change in how individuals communicate with one another has allowed others to have immediate access to vast amounts of personal information about an individual, their activities, opinions and habits which are being generated and stored in the databases for the purposes of selling, distributing and advertising. Database companies provide services to various organizations and companies in hopes of retrieving personal information about the cliental without their approval or knowledge, which is a direct violation of their right to privacy (Rauhofer, 2008). There are several invasions of privacy and communication such as email addresses and information, global positioning satellites (GPS), and loyalty cards. Nonetheless, there are laws in place to combat the invasion of privacy such as the health information portability accountability act...
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