Essay on Privacy Matters

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ENG 101
Professor Barry
Essay 1
19 September 2014

Privacy Matters
Should the government keep their ability to access our personal information? In “Visible Man: Ethics in a World without Secrets” the author Peter Singer “encourages readers to question their current views on privacy and examine how new technologies have the ability to affect the future” (Barrios 461). He explains the potential harm of new surveillance technology and how government officials misuse them. We need to understand how the government collects every bit of information with or without our consent or purpose to further our own chances of protecting our selves. Our social standards also need to change due to our lack of self-image throughout society. We have allowed ourselves to become careless with what information we make public and yet expect the right to personal privacy. The matter of personal privacy is greatly at stake and needs to be addressed immediately.
Although “technological breakthroughs have made it easier to collect, store, and disseminate data on individuals, corporation, even the government” (Barrios 462) the concern of information being misused poses a threat to society and its future. For example, “since 2001, the number of U.S. government organizations involved in spying on our own citizens, both at home and abroad, has grown rapidly. Everyday the National Security Agency intercepts 1.7 billion emails, phone calls, instant messages, bulletin-board postings, and other communications. This system houses information on thousands of U.S. citizens and many of them haven’t even been accused of any wrongdoing. What’s even crazier is how citizens have helped the government collect their personal information and still expect to not be misused. We’ve allowed our friends and contacts, and even strangers, to know where we are any time due to our obsession of blogging, tweeting, and posting” (Barrios 462).
The standards of what we want to keep private and what we want to make public are constantly evolving” (Barrios 463). Certain information that people feel the need to share may be too revealing for others. On apps such as Instragram or Snapchat users are able to post promiscuous or inappropriate posts in which everyone is able to see. This revolution of freedom is being deterred from employers looking down upon unreliable employees even outside of work to protect the businesses public image. However, “with some social norms, the more people do something, the less risky it becomes for each individual” (Barrios 463). My suggestion for decreasing that risky behavior is to increase the presence of surveillance devices or lessen the amount of information that is allowed to share.
Typically when people feel as though they are being watched, they will respond differently as opposed when alone. A good example would be when “Melissa Bateson and her colleagues at England’s Newcastle University tested this theory when they put a