Public Or Private? Essay

1063 words - 5 pages

In today’s society, people are losing sight of how important privacy truly is. We, as Americans, may seem concerned about our privacy, but this “concern” does not stop us from acquiring the latest and greatest technology. Designers are building technology with no consideration of the security and privacy of their consumers. People are purchasing these new iPhones with fingerprint recognition and downloading different apps everyday with the thought of privacy and security in the back of their minds. Cell phones are becoming so advanced that consumers are able to complete multiple tasks ranging from turning their lights off at home to checking their blood pressure. The biggest question that ...view middle of the document...

A document on the website “Privacy Rights Clearinghouse” brings up the idea “…if you are the subject of an investigation or even if you have just been pulled over, police may want to see what you’ve been doing and where you’ve been going – things your smartphone may be able to reveal. Thus, the data provided by your smartphone may be used against you in a court of law” (“Fact Sheet 2b: Privacy in the Age of the Smartphone”).
All electronic components have unexpected side effects, and can be abused either negatively or positively; information technologies are no exclusion. One probable opportunity cost to upgrading to the latest technology is privacy--the worry being that these recent technologies will contravene on the ability to manage an individual’s own exposure to the world around them or to shield information about themselves. Julia Angwin, author of the book Dragnet Nation, states, “Right now, the problem is you cannot tell when your data is being used against you, so there is this kind of feeling of fear” (“If There’s Privacy In The Digital Age, It Has a New Definition”). There are numerous amounts of communal and technical issues that cause this to be an expanding concern, “many possible technical and legal mechanisms that have/are being/will be proposed to provide information protection and define acceptable uses of accumulated information, and protection over the flow and reuse of this information” (“Putting Privacy in Context -- An overview of the Concept of Privacy and of Current Technologies”).
The current announcement of the fingerprint scanner feature on the iPhone 5s makes many people question whether the convenience of new technology is worth a possible rupture of privacy. The new technology was designed to make the accessibility of tasks less complicated. On the other hand, John Casper, the Hamburg commissioner for data protection and freedom of information, claims, “the use of technology to verify a person’s identity based on physical or behavioral characteristics through digital means for consumer convenience could become a treasure trove for hackers” (“Privacy vs. Convenience”). It is safe to believe that any information a person...

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