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We Must Have a Right to Privacy Essay

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The Information Age has emerged with speed, excitement, and great promise. The electronic eyes and ears of technology follow us everywhere. There are those enamored with the rush of technology, who b elieve that the best of worlds is one in which everyone can peer into everyone else's lives. In fact, we now live in a world consumed with "the ecstacy of communication" (Karaim 76). Americans line up to reveal their darkest secrets of their m ost intimate moments, or just "hang out their dirty laundry" on the numerous television talk shows. The more exposure, the better. So it may be absurd that we should worry that our privacy is being endangered, our personal life and even our se crets made public. The loss of privacy is on the fast track, and the high-tech Information Age is a willing conspirator. Somebody, somewhere, may know something about you that you'd prefer to keep private: how much you earn a year, what you paid for yo ur car or house, whether you've had certain diseases, what your job history is. Your medical, financial, consumer, and employment records are in computers and may be flying through cyberspace without your knowledge or consent.

 

Electronic progress has been miraculous, even exciting, but with it problems evolve. One of the greatest is the threat to people's personal privacy. The Automatic Teller Machine (ATM) was developed in the 1980's to give people an easier way to de posit and withdraw cash that they had in the bank. Everyone who has an account is assigned a secret PIN number, but someone in the bank has access to clients' financial records in the electronic database. Another type of new technology is the ele ctronic tolls used on the nation's highways. Drivers can pay tolls...


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...e, Citing Risk to Privacy." New York Times 10 April 1997: 15A.

"Privacy and the Internet: Intrusion, Surveillance and Personal Data." International Review of Law, Computers & Technology Oct. 1996: 219-235.

"Privacy: Entitlement or Illusion?" Personnel Journal May 1996: 74-81.

Quittner, Joshua. "Invasion of Privacy." Time 25 Aug. 1997: 28-35.

Rinderfleisch, Thomas C. "Privacy, Information Technology, and Health Care."

Communications of the ACM Aug. 1997: 93-100.

"Take Back Your Data Campaign." [http://www.ACLU.org] 26 Oct. 1997.

Thomas, Susan Gregory. "the Networked Family." U.S. News & World Report 1 Dec. 1997: 66-80.

"We Know You're Reading This." Economist 10 Feb. 1996: 28.

Wildstrom, Stephen H. "They're Watching You Online." Business Week 11 Nov. 1996: 19.

"Workplace in America." [http://www.ACLU.org] 26 Oct 1997.

 


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