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Should Privacy Exist? Essay

1214 words - 5 pages

Should Privacy Exist? Charles Platt discusses privacy of the individual and the possibility of an entire world under surveillance in his essay Nowhere to Hide: Lack of Privacy is the Ultimate Equalizer. He explains the different levels of privacy needed in different cultures, and he describes why he feels that invasion of privacy might lead to large institutions interfering in his life. Platt points out cases where privacy became an issue, either because it reveals the truth or because the term "˜privacy' was being used as an excuse, to exemplify the importance of an individual's right to privacy. Platt then describes the tools that are open for sale to the public that can facilitate invading other people's privacy. He feels that if everyone has no privacy then everyone becomes equal, which is an opinion that I do not share. Looking toward the future, he then predicts new tools that might be invented and how he is optimistic that the future will bring less privacy and more surveillance on both domestic and macro levels. I feel that Platt's opinions are leaning far too much toward a world without privacy and thus I do not agree with stance on surveillance. I disagree with Platt about why people should be under surveillance: he believes it will make everyone equal, but I believe people should only be under surveillance if they are suspected of attempting to commit a crime. Thus, Platt is far too extreme in his views on surveillance.Platt begins his argument by stating that cultures other than our own have little need for privacy. "The Japanese, for instance, don't even have a word for it""domestic privacy that is; the simple need to hide some of you home life from the neighbors." (Platt, 344) He also claims that most people do not appear to be interested in spying on their neighbors, but I completely disagree with this. I believe that there are many people that would spy on their neighbors if given the chance to do so without facing any consequences. I believe this because people generally tend to be nosy and want to know about their neighbors' lives, although I feel that that is just a sign that some people have too much time on their hands. Another important issue that Platt discusses is the possibility of large institutions using personal information to interfere with people's lives. I share this concern with Platt because I too would feel threatened if my credit ratings, tax figures, and medical records were available to people whom I do not know. Although Platt seems concerned with these issues, it appears as though he still supports the idea of a no-privacy future. He claims that in the future when everyone is under surveillance all people will be equally vulnerable, which he claims is going to be a good situation.According to Platt, lawsuits concerning privacy are starting to flood the courtrooms recently, with the majority of them claiming someone invaded someone else's privacy. For example, Platt states that two cops in Los Angles...

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