Wednesday, March 4, 2015

The importance of privacy

Our professor surveyed the class yesterday, asking our class how much we valued privacy. I was surprised at how little the class seemed to value it. "We have nothing to hide," was the main response. If we have nothing to hide, then we shouldn't care if the Federal government barges in, sweeps though our house and empties our trashcans on the floor. Right? 


I disagreed with the class. I think we value privacy, whether we realize it or not. As humans, we like to have the choice to withdraw, knowing we aren't being monitored, watched or judged, which is why prison is such horrible punishment. Inmates don't have privacy. They can't withdraw into their cell, and they are constantly subject to invasions and strip searches by prison authorities. 

Privacy is an important part to living a happy, healthy and meaningful life. I'm glad some stuff I've written on Facebook were private because if they weren't, well, I wouldn't have a chance at being President. Not that my messages were illegal, they were just are not representative me. They were representative of my growth as a person, or my ignorance in youth. 

That being said, I don't think the internet is completely without privacy. A Facebook post is public and a message is semi-privae. An email is even more private. It's important that websites clearly express how they will use information. In the real world, I know what I can say in my house verses a public space. I think the internet, social media in particular, should have similar transparency. 

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