Seclusion Society

In America, privacy should be valued. Privacy is fundamental to who we are as humans, and it is used every day to define our connections with the outside world. It permits us to be ourselves without judgment and think freely without discrimination. It allows us to live autonomously and with dignity. However, our privacy is infringed everywhere, including on the Internet, in public spaces, and on social media. The majority of people’s activity in cities can be observed outside and in building common spaces. Surveillance cameras are everywhere. When people move, their pathways are recorded on building access cards,  or automotive toll devices. Also, personal information may be found on the internet, including your address, background information, family history, etc. Telephone companies and other companies track telephone and email interactions, as well as Internet searches and visits. Credit card transactions—which, for many people, constitute practically all of their transactions—are time, location, and data recorded.

If I were given the option of giving up part of my privacy, I would say no, even though privacy is already being violated and utilized for a variety of purposes. Instagram and Facebook, for example, have a feature that allows them to listen to outside discussions and display what has been discussed as an advertisement on that app. It’s scary to know that even if you believe you’re not being observed, that assumption might still be proven untrue. According to Jeremy Bentham’s online source, Betham decided to create a central guard tower from which all prisoners could be monitored every minute of the day, every day of the week. At any one time, inmates could never know if they were being observed or not, so they would be more unlikely to violate prison regulations. This is a good concept in that situation, but believing that you have a little freedom when you don’t is absurd. Nonetheless, if I had no choice but to give up my privacy, it would be in exchange for opportunities and advancements that would benefit my future and occupation. I don’t want my privacy invaded if it’s not for a valid purpose or doesn’t benefit me in any manner. I’d be willing to give up no more than 40% of my privacy. 

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