Many TV shows depict law enforcement personnel accessing readily accessible databases that contain all types of records about individuals –records about everything from address to telephone records to finances, insurance, and criminal history. The information you share with your bank, doctor, insurance agent, the TSA, ancestry kit companies, and on social media can make your life an open book. Here are some questions to address as you reflect on this:
1. Are you comfortable with giving away some of your privacy for increased security? Why or why not? How far would you let the government go in examining people’s private lives?
2. How much access should we have to certain aspects of others’ private lives? For example, should States share criminal databases? But should a database of people paroled or released for crimes be made public? Why or why not?
Concepts and Applications
It is the 21st century, and everyone is online. Our personal information is digitized and available to anyone with the means to access it, but should we give up our right to personal privacy in return for greater security? Privacy and security refer to two concerns of individuals within a society. Privacy refers to the protection of a person and her or his information, such as from government invasion. Security refers to protection against attacks, such as those by criminals or terrorists. Both rights are crucial, but often come at each other`s expense. People are not comfortable with giving away some of their privacy for increased security because the government`s use of “National Security” isn’t always about increasing security. It has been used in the past as a comfortable way to avoid transparency, leading to the loss of basic human rights.