DiminishingPrivacy in a Technological World
The right to privacy is an essential factor in a free society withoutwhich people would lose the willingness to relate with one another ina confidential manner. With the strict changes in policiessurveillance technology, there is a serious conflict between anindividual’s right to hide a secret and the Nation`s mandate totrace that secret. For instance, the state of the art technologythat includes wearable computing, financial crimes enforcementnetwork, and surveillance cameras are the notorious gadgets spyingprivacy. These technological changes have expanded to the extentwhere the privacy invasion projected for the next generation areshocking. To do away with privacy invasions, tougher laws need to bestipulated to reduce the government`s authority to tamper withindividual’s rights to privacy.
Privacy is very crucial in the modern society. Tapscott (1) definedprivacy as a secret concept concerning an individual’s life.Privacy enhances the values of the liberal, democratic, healthy, andpluralistic community. It can also offer an individual with the roomto grow in terms of developing new ideas, respect, and a safetyvalve. Furthermore, Tapscott maintained that the loss of privacycould be either voluntary or involuntary. The loss is voluntary in asituation where the individual freely shares the information like inonline society. However, the loss is involuntary where anindividual’s privacy is secretly invaded more so with thegovernment or security agents.
Even though Tapscott noted several benefits that we enjoy byvoluntary sharing our information online, I think that the potentialrisks that we expose ourselves to outweigh the benefits. Forinstance, personal information that you post online like your phonenumber, car information, password, and PIN numbers among can beviewed by anyone and sometimes used against you. This risky conductmay lead to danger. Human or social hacker who is experts in spyingpersonal connection via social media also uses online information tobully people through online interactions. Such hacker usuallystrategized their characters to sound harmless and legitimate toattract their targets.
In his work, Bennett expounds the manner in which individuals seethemselves and how others people see themselves too. Nonetheless, theinternet has had effects in this type of notion or this kind ofprinciple as advanced by Bennett. The Internet has had effects onimages of individuals with more effects portrayed through the socialmedia. Through the different social media platforms like Instagram,WhatsApp and Snapchat individuals get exposed to different modes oflife and personality. As Tapscott (1) notes, “Facebook makes theworld more open”. This exposure has an effect on the psychologicalmanner in which individuals see each other. In most cases, thecelebrities often push idealized images of human perfection, and thiscan make someone look down upon themselves. Given that throughinternet individuals connect, friends always connect and can see whatothers do. Often, individuals use this chance to post pictures ofthemselves and allow the whole world to comment. Through this avenue,individuals get perceptions of others about themselves. Tapscott (1)captures that “social media, in particular, are providing newbenefits to sharing personal information, and not just from gettingmore birthday wishes.” Notably, most of the moments that arecaptured in these platforms are unplanned and have higher chances ofgiving a false image of the person. The internet in most casesexaggerates the personality of individuals making the persons comeout as perfect at all times when it might not be the case. This caneasily end up in a discrepancy in the manner in which individuals areportrayed by the different internet platforms.
Additionally, in his work, Bennett also explores the art of publicshaming. The main question that arises is whether the action isreasonable or defensible. Public shaming on the internet entailsindividuals being publicly humiliated by use of technology likesocial media. Notably, questions have arisen whether the act is to bedefended or reasonable. For those who defend the act, public shamingis just a form of online participation where individuals can freelyexpress their views regarding some issues and injustices that faceindividuals. On the other hand, public shaming on the internet can besome online mob. In the end, it will have many effects on individualsincluding their reputations and careers. Notably, public shaming onthe internet should be discouraged as it entails publication ofprivate information of individuals on the internet. Every otherperson is concerned about his or her privacy, and when informationclassified as private gets to the public domain, one has a reason toworry. Often, public shaming can lead to hate messages and even deaththreats to intimidate the victim.
In conclusion, private information needs to remain as such. Sharingof private information is not advisable as it can easily lead toexposure of one’s life. No definite level of privacy exists withinthe technological world that should be termed as safe and wise. Infact, it is unsafe and unwise to reveal private information to thetechnological world. Upon sharing of the private information on thetechnological platforms, it ceases to be private rather it becomespublic. At one point, I shared some photos having a good time with afriend while hiking and the internet went crazy. Friends thought thatthe person was more than just an acquaintance. I was misunderstood,and damage was uncontrollable.
Tapcott Don. Should we ditch the idea of privacy? (2012)retrieved fromhttp://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/2012/05/11/should-we-ditch-the-idea-of-privacy/[Accessed 10/06/2016]