Invading Your Privacy: Simply A Matter of Ethics?

After doing the assigned coursework for this section, it is clear to me that the invasion of the privacy of the individual for the sake of security is marked by good intentions, though it has gone too far in recent years; similarly, the same invasion of rightful property for the sake of corporations is unethical and must become more transparent as well as more regulated. After the horrific events of 9/11, I can understand the desire of the government to prevent an additional attack by any means necessary, and I am in support of their surveillance up to a certain point; however, I am also a firm believer in my rights as a citizen of this country, and the government tapping into my private life and conversations without my permission violates the rights guaranteed to me in the Bill of Rights. Also, the government has no right granted to them within any legislation that allows them to order companies such as Verizon to hand over sensitive information about their customers, information that annihilates any semblance of trust between service provider and user. The phone conversations of clients of Verizon and other companies are not under the jurisdiction of the National Security Agency, otherwise known as the NSA, and their presumption to the right to these conversations is a clear sign that changes need to be made in the structure of terrorism prevention programs. On a related note, the unrestricted access of corporations to private information of potential and current clients is also a violation of said clients’ rights. The sale of contact information for various demographics and individuals that are considered “likely clients” to companies that use this information is not a problem per se, but the issue has potential to become problematic if left unchecked and if no transparency on behalf of the companies who aggregate the data and those who utilize said data is mandated. When I open my computer and make use of Google for homework, and the advertisements are tailored to mention student discounts on various retail websites, and when the company from which I purchased a suit for high school forensics my junior year of high school still is mentioned on the side of my screen, I am made to feel uncomfortable. I have recently taken to using “Incognito” mode on my Internet browser in order to avoid the collection of my data, and I have disabled “cookies” as well. Though there are measures in place to protect online privacy, the vast majority of those accessing Internet content are not aware of them. I would argue that these options must be made more accessible, becoming “common knowledge.” Until this point, rights are being violated, and though the violation is not severe, it could quickly become more dire if left unchecked.

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