Recently there have been stories in the national news about digital privacy violations: messages being intercepted by social media platforms, phone data being collected by the government, and internet users having their online behaviors tracked without consent. Due to breaches in internet privacy, U.S. legislators are calling for restrictions on data use by advertisers. It seems that the issue of privacy is not about to blow over anytime soon. As such, it may be useful to examine how we think about privacy – not what our individual positions are on privacy, but rather the process of evaluating the uses and users that cause us to define our individual positions.
When evaluating privacy, there are two questions to consider:
Is the information that another party can request or acquire about me potentially harmful, if used in an unacceptable manner?
Can the party that requests the information use it in an unacceptable manner or transfer it to another party that might use it in an unacceptable manner?
For example: does the National Security Agency (NSA) have or collect any information that could be used to harm someone? The answer is: they have names, addresses, and current GPS coordinates. If they wanted, they have the capability to... Read more