We are certainly in the age of technology, but with all technology that is available, where does the line of privacy lie? More and more technical gadgets are being tested and manufactured for the convenience of individuals to enjoy them in the privacy of their own homes. Also, any business or public place you visit with most likely be ran by the aid of some sort of technical gadget.
Society has become so used to this, no one really questions when personal information is asked to be shared to a complete stranger and typed or scanned into a piece of technology. Who knows where all of this information is going? With emails, cell phones, and google, it’s virtually impossible NOT to get someone’s personal information.
Emails are something that’s getting sent on a daily basis all day every day. With having to set up email accounts, which ask for your social security numbers are basically your fingerprint, is an open door for people to find out any information they want to about you. Typically, some companies use company email addresses for memos that need to get to employees or company executives or any personal emails that need to be shared. With company emails come company email policies that will explain why the emails were provided and what is not acceptable content to pass through email.
In the Michael A. Smyth v. The Pillsbury Company case, Mr. Smith and another employee were terminated for exchanging emails that made threats to sales managers and made rude comments about certain company events. Mr. Smith sued the Pillsbury Company for violating public policy by committing a tort known as “invasion of privacy”. In the policy, Pillsbury stated that all employee emails were going to remain confidential and privileged including plaintiff.
On these grounds, Smith thought he had a case against the Pillsbury Company, but as the defendant (Pillsbury) pointed out, the company wants to keep their employees safe so the frequent email checks to ensure that nothing illegal or disrespectful is being sent to any member of the company employees that utilize the email provided by the company. To Pillsbury this was a liable enough reason and invasion of privacy was not relevant.
To me, this goes along with other popular gadgets and social networks such as smartphones, Facebook, and Google. All of these are intertwined because they all are things that society virtually live off of but it can give you the birth place of any human being if you just knew a few simple things.
With Smartphones you can surf the web, sign your phone onto any email account (where your social security number is ALWAYS need), and satellite waves called Wi-Fi or Wireless Local Area Network. Wi-Fi can pick up anyone’s smartphone and or computer and can receive the carrier’s information like telephone numbers or even where this individual lives!
This could probably be a disadvantage or an advantage depending on the situation. If I was lost, say for instance, if I used a smartphone, my actions could be traced and I could possibly be found. On the other hand, if I was trying to stay away from someone, they could use Wi-Fi or internet to track me and see where my last location was.
With Google and Facebook these are things I feel are inevitable. If you have ever paid a bill online, signed up for anything, or searched for something via web, your personal information is already out there for the grabbing! Billions and billions people use Google and Facebook on a daily basis. If you have signed up for facebook and you have conceived a Facebook page, you can be googled! The USA Patriot Act that stands for, Uniting (and) Strengthening America (by) Providing Appropriate Tools Required (to) Intercept (and) Obstruct Terrorism Act of 2001. This Act was enforced and signed by President Bush after the September 11th disaster.
A four year extension of the Act was also signed via autopen by President Obama which gave protection to government officials when roving wiretaps, business records, and other personal information that could possibly help government relations in the long run. I personally agree with the law.
We are in the world of electronics and technology. Everything we own, every business we run or visit, and every website we search is tracking us. If a serial Facebook rapist was out to get me, by him sending me an inbox message on Facebook or even being my friend on Facebook, he could easily be tracked down through those just seemingly small thing. There are other things like ancestors.com that could help you finish the missing piece of your family tree.
Even though privacy is a big part of being an individual, you have to be mindful of the things you do when it comes to the internet and technology. There are certain ways for you to maintain individual privacy such as not putting your phone on speaker or using headphones when you listen to music.
The law doesn’t prohibit the right to conversation but when the conversation is done through texting, if it gets leaked, who’s at fault? It’s your right to have a cell phone but is it the other person you text their right to repeat it? When the send button was pressed you gave up your right to the confidentiality of that conversation. So to me, it’s just life. I try to keep what I can to myself but once I cross that line of “internet service” I give up a little piece of privacy with every search, download, or sign up.