Essay on No Such Thing as Privacy

Submitted By Dilldoruski1
Words: 2136
Pages: 9

David Padilla
Ms. Garza
English 10
16 December 2012
The Imperial Bedroom Privacy is a concept that every single one of us claims to enjoy, but also something that has slowly been disintegrating, while we’ve become more and more oblivious to it. Although it is not explicitly stated in the Bill of Rights, mostly everyone agrees that at the very least, our Founding Fathers hinted at the right to privacy. Recent occurrences around the world have brought the concept of privacy into the spotlight and have left dark and, in many cases, disturbing amounts of evidence as to where the notion of privacy may be headed if we remain ignorant to it and fail to act. A potential exists for a complete loss of privacy in our lives, a sad reality that needs to be addressed immediately. In an essay written by Jonathan Franzen titled, “The Imperial Bedroom”, Franzen illustrates the fact that our society is always under the microscope of the public eye, although it may not seem like it. That is, what we deem to be “confidential personal information,” may not be so confidential after all. Essentially, Franzen points out that privacy does not exist the way it did before. Advancements in modern technology have made it increasingly easier to receive and send information, allowing us to make transactions and share personal information much more readily than before (Franzen). For instance, a click of a button is all it takes to make a thousand dollar purchase. If a single click is all it takes to buy something, how unrealistic is it to believe that someone else might be able to obtain the information we used to make that purchase? In fact, someone might even use that information to make a fraudulent purchase of their own. The way technology is today, it seems ten clicks is all it would take to do just that. There has often been debate over when it is acceptable to infringe on the privacy rights of an individual. Some especially claim that when it is a matter of security, it is not only acceptable to do so, but necessary, since it could mean the difference between life and death. Take the very famous “WikiLeaks” example. Classified American documents were recently exposed on the WikiLeaks website, causing the United States to act to remove them. The attorney representing this website argued that all it did was engage in investigative journalism, and that it cannot and should not be selective in posting material, as it would put into question the integrity and credibility of WikiLeaks. The United States stood on the position that actions like those could potentially cause a “diplomatic disaster” for the country (Stephens). Whether one agrees with either argument or not, it is clear that technological progress, the internet in this example, has further complicated the concept of privacy, and has raised many questions as to what is and isn’t acceptable in terms of keeping certain information in the personal or private sectors. It seems logical that when it comes to endangering someone’s life, it might be prudent to consider privacy as more of a privilege than an absolute right, as we ethically place the idea of preserving human life over the concept of privacy. There are, however, scenarios in which retaining privacy should be of utter importance. This is especially true in the medical field. According to Andre Picard, author of “Patient Privacy is a Matter of Ethics,” it would be immoral to discuss the medical conditions and records of patients to people who have not been authorized to receive that information. Picard claims that it is especially important to guard this type of information because of the “…nefarious attempts to violate privacy by insurers, employers, private investigators, police and current/ex-lovers.” Individuals have a right to privacy when it comes to their personal lives, especially in areas that do not threaten the well-being of others or raise other types of security issues. Also, medical records have…