Ethics of Surveillance Essay

Ethics of Surveillance Essay

Length: 1069 words (3.1 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

The world erupted in outrage following revelations by Edward Snowden regarding the extent of surveillance perform by the National Security Agency. Privacy becomes one of the hottest topic of 2013 and was chosen by the world’s most popular online dictionary, Dictionary.com, as the Word of the Year. However, the government is not the only one that conduct data gathering and surveillance. Employers often monitor their employees, and businesses collect data on theirs customer. The morality of these practices is a topic that generates heated debate.
One type of surveillance is employee monitoring. Many employers monitor their workers’ activities for one reason or another. Companies monitor employees using many methods. They may use access panels that requires employees to identify themselves to control entry to various area in the building, allowing them to create a log of employee movements. They may also use software to monitor attendance and work hours. Additionally, many programs allows companies to monitor activities performed on work computers, inspect employee emails, log keystrokes, etc. An emerging methods of employee monitor also include social network and search engine monitoring. Employers can find out who their employees are associated with, as well as other potentially incriminating information. (Ciocchetti)
Employees are not the only people whose information interest companies. To a far greater extent, businesses are looking to gather data on their users and the market in general. User data collection has become one of the most important components of market research. For example, online retailers can use data collected from a consumer’s purchase to target advertising on products that the consumer is most likely to buy....


... middle of paper ...


... potentially criminal. Similar to the collection of consumer data, the information gathered by the government is also subject to abuse by people who are granted access privilege. For example, in 2007, a federal agent was charged with using a government database to track the travel pattern of his ex-girlfriend (Lee).
Ultimately, however, surveillance is only a tool that can be used both ethically and unethically. Employee monitoring, consumer data collection, and government surveillance provides great benefits, including improving company efficiency, providing commercial and health values, and protecting the nation from threats. However, when considering the extent to which surveillance can be done, the rights of the people affected must be taken into account. Finding the right balance between these two views is the key to maximizing the benefits of everyone involved.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Domestic Surveillance And Social Responsibility Essay

- Domestic Surveillance Elizabeth Mahan SOC 120 Introduction to Ethics & Social Responsibility Instructor: Cari Lynn Beecham-Bautista June 29, 2015 DOMESTIC SURVEILLANCE Introduction Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary defines domestic as “relating to or made in your own country”. The word surveillance is defined as “the act of carefully watching someone or something, especially in order to prevent or detect a crime”. Therefore, the term Domestic Surveillance in its simplest terms can be defined as the government’s ability to protect its interest by monitoring its residents....   [tags: Privacy, Privacy law, Ethics, Surveillance]

Better Essays
2230 words (6.4 pages)

Essay about The Ethics of Workplace Surveillance

- The Ethics of Workplace Surveillance You get to work, login, check your email, and examine the values of your stocks. Have you done something wrong. Should your manager care about what you do with those couple of minutes. Hypothetically, if you consider 48 working days per year, with 40 hours per weeks (totally 9,600 hours of work a year), then the daily five minutes of personal internet usage mounts to approximately 24 hours (three working days) of wasted company time. In a capitalist economy, such inefficiency impedes the goal to maximize profit; therefore, compelling businesses to turn to rigorous surveillance to discourage inappropriate use of company resources and to pro...   [tags: Security Work Environment Essays]

Better Essays
3432 words (9.8 pages)

Why Is Surveillance Is Important? Essay

- One can define being ethically moral by understanding the difference between what is right and what is wrong. It is what shapes an individual’s behavior, their beliefs, and the rules that they follow through. However, not everyone shares the same view of morality. In modern times, ethics is constantly tested, in situations such as robotics, 3D- printing, and in particular surveillance (NSA). Many people argue that surveillance is needed especially so that if anything were to happen, people would be able to be prepared and to deal with the situation accordingly....   [tags: Ethics, Immanuel Kant, Categorical imperative]

Better Essays
1094 words (3.1 pages)

Deotological Perspective of State Surveillance Essay

- Deontological perspective of sate surveillance The deontological ethical system, ethical formalism, articulates that what is considered moral is the motive or intent of the actor and not the consequence of the action (Pollock, 2012 pg 26). Philosopher Immanuel Kant states that the only thing that is good is good will, if a person does an act from good will; it can be considered moral action even if it results in bad consequences. Kant states that you should treat people as ends in themselves and not as only means to an end....   [tags: ethics, terrorism, privacy]

Better Essays
1737 words (5 pages)

Should Domestic Surveillance Ethical? Essay

- The government of the United States of America is a constitutional republic that is based on laws. The Constitution is the supreme law and is what our country bases its laws upon. In such a nation like ours, we come across the ethical question of is it justified to violate the normal rights of one’s own citizens to ensure the safety of the country. This can also be rephrased to include the statement is domestic surveillance ethical. What is better for the country: security or liberty. Although some may argue that the safety of a nation and its people is more important than liberty, it is not justifiable to violate the rights of citizens to ensure their safety....   [tags: Ethics, Immanuel Kant, Deontological ethics]

Better Essays
1699 words (4.9 pages)

Essay about The Ethics of Espionage

- It is important to clearly establish what we are analyzing and how we are analyzing it. What is espionage. The Merriam-Webster Dictionary (2014) defines espionage as things that are done to find out secrets from enemies or competitors, the activity of spying. Ethical is defined as involving questions of right and wrong behavior, conforming to accepted standards of conduct. The United States has not followed accepted standards of conduct in regards to its domestic and international surveillance techniques....   [tags: edward snowden, surveillance]

Better Essays
883 words (2.5 pages)

She Snoops to Conquer: Surveillance and the Right to Privacy Essays

- Employers these days are becoming more and more concerned about employee theft and are making sure that they minimize these kinds of activities by using sophisticated and high-tech devices. However, it is essential to be honest about the actions and it is equally important to provide privacy in any kind of workspace. In case 9.3, Jean Fanuchi is a manager of a shopping mall in jewelry department. Since there were many recent incidents of theft and shoplifting, she decided to install hidden cameras and microphones without her employees knowledge....   [tags: Ethics, Business]

Better Essays
1438 words (4.1 pages)

Essay about The Surveillance Of Consumers By Retail Anthropologists

- I complicate the claim that the surveillance of consumers by retail anthropologists is manipulative and unethical. Retail anthropologists are people who study the shopping habits of customers. Retailers use surveillance cameras to retain and analyze information for the merchant that will help them understand the shopper’s needs and design a store layout that will keep the customers coming back. Although it can be manipulative, it is ethical. In a Stanford article, “The ethics (or not) of massive government surveillance, the authors state, that "If you haven 't done anything wrong, you have nothing to fear” (Wu, Chung, Yamat, Richman)....   [tags: Retailing, Sales, Online shopping, Business]

Better Essays
1314 words (3.8 pages)

The Increase of State Surveillance in the United States and United Kingdom

- ... From this examination of state surveillance through ethical systems, a conclusion of whether it is ethical or unethical will be apparent. What do ethics refer to. Ethics is a system of moral principles that affect how individuals formulate decisions and lead their lives. Ethics is concerned with what is good for individuals and society and is also described as moral philosophy. Ethical issues conversely according to are difficult social questions that contain controversy over what is the right thing to do (Pollock, 2012, pg14)....   [tags: ethical, privacy, power]

Better Essays
521 words (1.5 pages)

Ethics And Practice Of Ethics Essay

- Another thing I did which relates to power relations was to give the students a little sheet of paper that asked them to fill in information about themselves, such as their names, likes and dislikes. My original idea was that this would help me to remember the students better and that this could help me to plan and conduct lessons better and also that students may feel that I am showing a positive interest in them, but I can see how it relates to disciplinary power (Foucault, 1975/1977) and pastoral power (Foucault, 1978/2007, p.128)....   [tags: High school, Middle school, Secondary school]

Better Essays
1145 words (3.3 pages)