Privacy Is Not For Privacy

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In our greatly connected society, privacy can be a challenge to find. From a poll conducted in 2015 by GlobalWebIndex, nearly Eighty percent of Americans own a smartphone, each of which has the capability to capture images, send e-mails, and connect to the internet all in a small form factor. Because of these devices and various other factors, privacy has been all but eradicated in most social situations whereas this would not have been the case only 20 years ago. But what right did we have to privacy in the first place? As citizens of a free nation, we have all the right to privacy without the association to criminal intent; this right has critically diminished in capacity and will dwindle into irrelevance if action is not taken. Although the right to privacy is not explicitly covered in the Bill of Rights, privacy is implicitly protected by a collection of several amendments that relate to protecting the citizen from observation and scrutiny by governing bodies and by other citizens. The first amendment of the aforementioned collection is the 1st Amendment which states that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble…” Essentially this amendment provides the US citizen a right to mental privacy, or the right to privately hold beliefs without risk of government influence. Along with the 5th Amendment which prevents self-incrimination under a court of law, an individual has the right to disclose or refuse to disclose these personally-held ideas as they see fit. The 4th Amendment encompasses freedoms concerning the individual’s right to reasonably maintain private t... ... middle of paper ... ...t citizens will be wrongfully labelled as criminals. An individual may purchase online a shovel, rope, and tape which may constitute as an illicit combination of tools to one individual, but may simply be legitimate materials for home repair to another. The most important statute in the United States criminal justice system is that all individuals are innocent until proven guilty, therefore citizens should have the freedom from being systematically monitored, an action that should be reserved to known criminals. Many critics argue in favor of increased domestic surveillance. In a 2009 interview with Google’s CEO Eric Schmidt, Schmidt remarked “If you have something that you don 't want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn 't be doing it in the first place.” Although Schmidt and many others may say that only criminals have anything to hide, their behaviors say otherwise.

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