Privacy In Brave New World

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Jared Cummings Is Privacy Undervalued? Carly wakes up in the morning, gets dressed, and goes online to visit a couple websites and post a Facebook status—all the while cookies and spyware track her browsing habits and gather her consumer information (Albrecht). She then gets in her car, which has a global positioning system (“GPS”) and drives to work, while a “black box” sends data about the vehicle back to the automobile manufacturer (Favate). Carly passes through a Toll System during her commute, where RFID technology from her E-Z Pass relays her payment information and the location of the car to a local government monitoring agency (Rotenberg). She has a cell phone conversation via her Bluetooth headset. The call can be intercepted…show more content…
These stories described a futuristic world where privacy was scorned, Big Brother was omnipotent, and individuality was forsaken. Unfortunately for us those “fictional” societies are becoming a reality more and more with each passing day. The above passage was a modern rendition of the societies described in these works written some 70 years ago. Considering this frightening reality Jon Mills wisely asks in his book Privacy: The Lost Right, “How do we stand today in the glare of instant communication, tabloid press, Internet intrusions, data brokers, security cameras, and big government?” (Mills). Have individual freedoms been irretrievably altered? Or is individual privacy simply undervalued by society and the law? The question I am attempting to answer today is—“Is Privacy Undervalued?” Our society is confused about what encompasses privacy, from a friendly slap on the behind to the wiretapping of a personal phone call. Dictionary definitions and legal theories are often too broad or too narrow. So in order to really answer the question one has to first conceptualize privacy and then explore real world conflicts about privacy. In the world of the 21st century there is constant tension between surveillance and security versus privacy and personal freedoms. I stand resolved that on a whole privacy is undervalued by the global society because we are confused as to exactly what…show more content…
"Privacy and Human Rights - Overview." 17 June 2012 <>. Horsley, Neal. "Abortion Cams Across America." Abortion Cams Across America. 24 June 2012 <>. Linder, Doug. "The Right of Privacy: Is it Protected by the Constitution?" Exploring Constitutional Conflicts. 24 June 2012 <>. Mills, Jon L. Privacy: The lost right. Oxford [UK: Oxford UP, 2008. Nakashima, Ellen. "Cell Phone Tracking Powers on Request." Washington Post. 23 Nov. 2007. The Washington Post. 24 June 2012 < dyn/content/article/2007/11/22/AR2007112201444.html>. Norris, Clive, and Gary Armstrong. The maximum surveillance society: The rise of CCTV. Oxford: Berg, 1999. Pratt, Allan. "What do Credit Card Companies do with Your Personal Info?" Infosec Island. 23 Mar. 2012. Inforsec Island LLC. 24 June 2012 <

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