In the past, the government has made some disputable policies and acted in ways that have caused uproar and debate amongst the public. Specifically, the government has a history of creating some questionable rulings regarding the privacy of the public. These ethically arguable decisions can be analyzed in terms of privacy benefits, harms, and rights. Three specific policies and actions of the government regarding privacy are the census records, the USA PATRIOT act, and the implementation of Social Security Numbers.
The implementation of census records is ethically sound and justifiable—the U.S. Constitution actually requires that the government perform a census every 10 years to ensure that each state has fair representation in the House of Representatives. The act of taking the census is morally correct, however the extensive questioning of the census generalizing overall demographics is being used against the advantage of those who take the census. After the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, the census bureau gave up information containing the locations of Japanese Americans. The army then took advantage of this information to gather the Japanese Americans and send them to internment camps. This act of using private information uses the information that those people gave, as a means to an end. Those people never disclosed that information knowing that it will come back to later haunt them. Privacy is a beneficial right that is “necessary for an individual to blossom” and let’s us be ourselves. These Japanese Americans formed a community amongst each other and were simply growing as a diverse sector of the United States population. They had the right to be left alone and when their privacy was violated, they were faced with disc...
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...is a justifiable action. Without having some sort of identification key, people have too much privacy. As discussed in Chapter 5, too much privacy can result in harm to society. People need to be tracked in order to deter illegal actions taking place. The SSN makes it easy to track people. The detriment of a SSN is that if someone steals your number, then your privacy is automatically compromised. Your right to privacy is ultimately gone as your privacy rights are violated and therefore your secure possessions and personal information.
Although many of the government’s actions are meant to protect the citizen’s as a whole, many times these actions actually compromise the privacy of the citizens and therefore end up not protecting them at all. Privacy is a necessity to grow and be oneself as we are our own people and should be able to maintain autonomy in our lives.
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