Privacy in the 21st century will affect every human beings life as we know it in the future. Is privacy in the 21st century possible? No. Whether we are talking about issues like video surveillance detecting our every move or computer hackers stealing identities, privacy is dead as we know it. The only way to bring more privacy back is if we all come together and demand the privacy we deserve.
Making correct decisions at home, work, and church, about who we vote for and the groups of people we support, will greatly impact our world around us and the freedoms we strive to keep for our children and generations to come. Three areas of concern for many people are having a government with too much information and too much control, having less and less privacy as the years go by, and how some religions are responding to certain privacy issues that some say are talked about in the bible. These three topics or issues are some of the most controversial areas of concern and is also growing at an exponential rate.
When studying the fourth amendment and what our forefathers were trying to preserve and protect, we realize that we have been given the right to be free of unreasonable searches and seizures, and that is why we need to make sound educated decisions when trying to correct the negative problems in our world. Rights and freedoms do not need to be sacrificed. Having many wonderful rights and freedoms is one of the main reasons this country has become such an inventive and successful country, like the world has never seen before.
As we venture into the 21st century, our freedoms and the way we are “supposed” to live and act, has changed dramatically. It seems that every time we turn around we have less privacy and government has more control. When it comes to our rights and freedoms, the government’s ability to make us feel safer and more secure has made us except policies and procedures that normally would not even been thought about in the past. Not all the “spy” technology that humans create is going to cause harm though.
Biometrics is a technology that applies a person’s unique physical traits to a sophisticated electronic device or system to confirm identity. This kind of technology has its upsides and downsides. Facial recognition is one aspect or system of biometrics. Facial recognition biometric systems are everywhere today. We can find them in many places throughout large cities. Places like transit vehicles, city streets, casinos, banks, hospitals, and many other common places people are found have facial recognition technology. The upside to having this type of technology is that it would be a good crime deterrent.
Crime is probably the number one reason having this type of technology would be a huge benefit. Law enforcement departments would be able to sometimes prevent crimes before they happen and definitely have concrete evidence if the crime is not stopped beforehand. Recently, after the Boston Marathon bomb exploded, the different law enforcement agencies used the cities video surveillance technologies to track down and find the criminals. Finding the bombers before they were able to do more damage would probably not have been possible without video surveillance.
The downside to this technology is the assumption that people are secretly being videotaped. According to a study by the New York Civil Liberties Union, people in Manhattan are being secretly videotaped on public streets, outside buildings, and even in their backyard, by hidden surveillance cameras. Most hidden surveillance cameras are secured to rooftops, lampposts, and building entrances, but almost four hundred rotating cameras are hidden in light bulbs that look like street lights stated Dority (2001).
People that are constantly in fear of crime will sometimes sacrifice freedoms to insure their family safety and security of the world around them. This could be the reason why so many are flocking to the idea of having security with video surveillance and other surveillance technologies without thinking about the consequences of what freedoms and rights might be given up.
Video surveillance and other surveillance technologies are everywhere. We can find them at A. T. M. machines, convenience stores, parking garages, corporate offices, hotels, storage facilities, amusement parks, supermarkets, and do not forget about all the webcams all over the world, stated Soat (2005). The political and commercial applications of invasive surveillance technologies, together with gathering large quantities of data made possible by the Internet and high-speed computers, have brought frightening scenarios uncomfortably close to the realm of possibility, according to Jasper (2003).
When government knows everything we say and do, including passport information, driver’s license information, etc, then what is to stop nefarious people from trying to carry out their own agendas? The right and the left wing people in this country will sometimes do anything to accomplish their goals, including attempting to use any type of technology at their disposal. These types of technology could be used on people that are behind on their taxes, having traffic violations, or people who just own gold and silver.
In the past gold has been rounded up and confiscated said Jasper (2003). Tyrannical governments have been around since the beginning of time. Why would we not at least have some officials in our own government that have tyrannical tendencies and will do everything in their power to capitalize on new invasive technologies that will further their cause or propose? Talking to many people and researching the ways and means of some tyrannical governments in this world, one could only imagine what certain human beings will do for more money and power.
The more privacy we give up empowers some government officials to use the system no matter how invasive on “we the people” to acquire their own agenda. Our forefathers fought very hard to protect the rights and freedoms that we are losing more and more of everyday. When too much money, power, and control is given to so few individuals, it seems they become corrupt. The old saying “Absolute power corrupts absolutely”. The bigger that our government becomes our freedoms disappear and we are told how to live by someone else.
There have always been, and there always will be people that have evil tendencies and motives. If they are able to create this type of power, they will use it for selfish and evil deeds. Clark (2009) stated “when large corporations and governments get together they become an entity that believes their way is the only way”. When we look at the history of privacy and the human race, it has only been in the last forty to sixty years that we have had to really protect our privacy rights as governments work with large corporations to gain more control over us.
Even before the digital revolution, the ability of individuals to maintain control over the improper discovery, dissemination, or misuse of their identity was threatened by the potential for governments to wiretap telephone lines or impose overly broad restrictions or burdens on speech for businesses to misuse customer data and for thieves to steal personal information said Jasper (2003). Privacy today is definitely a more pressing issue than ever before. If we as people ever needed to think about and make the correct decisions, now is the time.
If there was ever a time in the history of the world to protect ourselves from the hand of “Big Brother”, and all of the devious ways it is coming up with to grow bigger and control everything it can touch, now is the time. One issue that stands out when it comes to privacy is religious beliefs. Religious Beliefs and Privacy when it comes to implanting human computer chips has very much intensified in recent decades. Not only has putting computer chips into animals been a hot topic, computer chipping everything from humans to the products we buy is also an issue many are concerned about.
According to Katherine Albrecht (2005), when it comes to implanting computer chips into humans, some very powerful people are pushing for this very technology. This issue is gaining momentum in the religious communities because of its resemblance to the “Mark of the Beast” in the bible. Ever since the introduction of the implantable computer chip, the issue has been gaining momentum in religious circles because many are worried about going to money less economic systems that can only be accessed by a implantable computer chip.
There is quite a bit of evil that is involved with this topic in the bible. Bamford (2002) stated that when there is such a large religious base, and one looks at how passionate people can become over different issues, it is easy to see that these kinds of decisions need to be well thought out to prevent riots and wars. Just about every person in America has some kind of data file on them by one or more of the big private companies, let alone the databases compiled by the Government.
When we lose privacy we are told it is for our own good, or our own protection, or to make our lives better. But is it worth it? With companies like Google reading all the contents that travel through their computers then, handing all of the information over to the government, what are we supposed to do? Technology is like a gun. A gun is neither good nor evil. It is who is using the technology, or gun, and what their intentions are for using it. If people do not stand up for their rights, big government will take more and more freedoms and rights away.
Since the beginning of time governments have become large and then they destroy the country from within before anyone realizes what has happened. Technology is clashing with privacy. We need to figure out how to have the benefits of technology while keeping the privacy we need and deserve. There needs to be a happy medium. Could you imagine the freedoms we would lose if we had to obey a one world government? Most other leaders from other countries do not believe the average person deserves the rights and privacy that we as Americans have.
Our forefathers understood that if you give the government unchecked powers, you were inviting abuse of power and tyranny. Whether we are talking about the decisions we make today affecting or our world in the future, when it comes to privacy issues, it is safe to say that looking out for our own privacy is just going to be normal. Life as we know it can change in a heartbeat if we as human beings cannot make the right decisions to impact our world in a positive way.