Introduction The term ‘privacy’ refers to an individual’s ability to seclude themselves thereby expressing themselves selectively. It, therefore, means that something is sensitive or simply special to a person. Privacy also limits who accesses the places, things or body of another person, hence making it about an individual’s control and security to things like their bank details and medical records. Privacy is thus important to human dignity in all societies as it is a human right of every individual. However, technology is turning out to be a threat to privacy due to its integration to human lives and its new interactions and empowerment (TheMetaphysicsResearchLab, 2014). There exist technical capabilities agencies to search, collect and store large data quantities of internet searches, electronic payment and telephone conversations some of which are in use by government. The public is thus worried that their privacy is being recorded on the internet and public places such that every move a citizen makes is under observation hence creating an equality where being observed is not a shameful act or crime.
Surveillance Facing Public Opposition
Electronic surveillance refers to the monitoring of people using technology mostly without their knowledge (Heaney, 2016). The techniques used include photography, audio recording and video recording. The photographs identify key crime suspects while audio and camera devices record conversations and keep watch of movements. In some places video surveillance is used to capture those violating traffic laws; while banks, ATMs, convenience stores, apartment buildings and workplaces are most times equipped with video surveillance to help in solving crime or discourage it. All these observations in public places are facing oppositions from citizens because people don’t like being observed. A majority of Americans for example, have disapproved their government in collecting of internet and telephone data to enhance anti-terrorist efforts (Gao, 2015). Moreover, most Americans believe that their civil liberties should not be sacrificed safety from terrorism. In a survey done in 2014, about 74% of the citizens said they would not give up their freedom and privacy for safety reasons while 22% disagreed. Addition ally, Americans are of the view that policies of antiterrorism have not adequately protected them this far so their bigger concern is that they have restricted the civil liberties of the average person way too much. Most American citizens want to be in a position to control who accesses their personal information and to what extent the information is collected, but only a few of them have that control (Rainie & Madden, 2015). Moreover, some citizens have changed their behavior when it comes to using technology while others have become less confident of that surveillance programs are serving public interest.
Government use of technology for public interest
Government officials use surveillance to monitor public cruelty through the internet, social networks and other technologies. This helps in observing people whose digital activity causes suspicion of violent acts and terrorism. The suspicion may arise from unusual bank withdrawals, encryptions used that hide software and use of social media to pass hateful language to American leaders. This therefore implies that law abiding citizens have nothing to worry about in terms of monitoring as they have nothing to hide. Social media streams are also being monitored by government through watching out for words on a watch list (Obeidallah, 2012). Moreover, social media like Facebook and Twitter may have tools that perform real time analysis of hash tags and phrases. Therefore, Governmental officials use internet and technology to observe the cruelty of the public and to keep an eye on people’s interest on the internet. As for social networks, they provide a further understanding of people’s profile.
Government use of Privacy Observation for Protection
Privacy observation by government protects the public from danger through tracking the movement of a known target to a reasonable level that allows access online activities, purchasing habits, mail and phone conversations. Other technologies like Radar helps in seeing through walls and ceilings hence track human targets who are inside buildings. Drones are also at play in the surveillance as they carry out spy missions. Korean researchers are working on making drones that can hide from subject, save on power, powerful lenses that take high resolution pictures, ultraviolet imaging that detect materials not visible to the natural eye. This technology assist in noticing criminals and crimes before being committed hence protect the country.
Privacy is therefore an important aspect of human dignity in all societies as it’s a human right of every individual. However, there exist technical capabilities agencies that search, collect and store large data quantities of internet searches, electronic payment and telephone conversations some of which are in use by government. The public is thus worried that their privacy is being recorded on the internet and public places such that every move a citizen makes is under observation. However, the Government intentions are to protect the public from danger and crime. Therefore, privacy has its positives and negatives as it hurts people emotions; but is also necessary for the people to understand that keeping an eye on internet is with the intention of protecting the country.
Gao, G. (2015, May 29). What Americans Think about NSA Surveillance,National Security and Privacy. Retrieved from PewResearchCenter: http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2015/05/29/what-americans-think-about-nsa-surveillance-national-security-and-privacy/
Heaney, J. (2016). Impact of Technology on Privacy. Retrieved from Study.com: http://study.com/academy/lesson/impact-of-technology-on-privacy.html
Obeidallah, D. (2012, March 9). The Government is Reading your Tweets. Retrieved from Cable News Network: http://edition.cnn.com/2012/03/09/opinion/obeidallah-social-media/
Rainie, L., & Madden, M. (2015, March 16). Americans Views on Government Surveillance Programs. Retrieved from PewResearchCenter: http://www.pewinternet.org/2015/03/16/americans-views-on-government-surveillance-programs/
TheMetaphysicsResearchLab. (2014, November 20). Privacy and Information Technology. Retrieved from Stanford Encyclopedia of Phylosophy: http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/it-privacy/