As digital technology develops and worldwide network is implemented and utilized in more and more fields of human life, digital privacy becomes a significant concern. Even though data collection and analysis may be beneficial in terms of provided services, statistical researches, and even safety, its uncontrollable usage and no necessity for user consent bring up controversial ethical dilemmas.
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It may be particularly worrying as it is practically impossible to determine the extent of outside interference into personal data. Some people may think that such interference is limited to collecting “cookies” and contextual advertising, whereas others believe that their devices may be “listening” constantly and certain services may have access to all personal data. The problem is there may be no unambiguous way to identify the truth. Such common fear and rising mistrust of digital technology lead to higher demand for decentralized systems, including virtual private networks and blockchain technologies.
Humanity is facing a number of ethical dilemmas related to computer technology, and a wide variety of values is in conflict. In some cases, the value of privacy may conflict with safety, as personal data may be analyzed by security forces in order to fight against crime with higher efficiency. Privacy may also be counterbalanced by the pursuit of knowledge and studying social processes. Values such as quality service provision, healthcare improvement, and communication development are also at stake. Even though these conflicts may be highly controversial, in most cases, it is a conflict between two “goods.”
As the perception of privacy transforms and a new paradigm emerges, it may be necessary to establish suitable frameworks in terms of both ethical aspects and legislation. Privacy is vaguely defined in the existing laws, and providing new constitutional amendments may be beneficial.
Digital Privacy and Terrorism Prevention
As already mentioned collecting and analyzing data may be beneficial in a wide variety of fields of implementation. Digital data may be utilized for commercial purposes, for sociological studying, and even for safety provision. There is a considerable number of programs that conduct digital surveillance in order to identify criminal activity and prevent it. However, these programs may interfere with the private space of citizens and violate constitutional privacy rights (Siddique 68).
Such conflict represents a significant ethical dilemma with a large number of people supporting opposing opinions. It may be considered that the security of personal digital data should not be compromised by any external parties under any circumstances. Nevertheless, it may also be arguably true that provided safety and terrorism prevention is much more valuable than digital privacy. Moreover, such violation of privacy may be conducted without any prior suspicion over a specific individual or organization (Siddique 69). Moreover, even though digital surveillance may provide valuable information regarding criminal activity, it also creates flaws, which may provide access to personal data to third-party organizations.
Such controversial issues may require comprehensive analysis and solvation development in both moral and legal aspects. It may be critical to identify limitations for governmental privacy interference during the transatlantic “war on terror.” According to some sources, digital privacy violation is a global issue, which requires international solvation, such as the improvement of the global privacy regime (Mitsilegas and Vavoula 143). In regard to terrorism prevention, digital privacy bears an international political character. As technological progress continues and impacts global communication, it may be needed to develop a modern approach to privacy policies.
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Digital Privacy Problems
Privacy issues occur in diverse areas of human life and are not necessarily linked to digital technologies. Numerous cases have shown that existing legislation may be insufficient in terms of defining and maintaining privacy rights. The Supreme Court faces controversial matters related to privacy violations regularly. It may be evident that the area requires governmental consideration, and legal frameworks should be established.
However, it is significantly more complicated to maintain privacy rights in the digital field. It may be possible to develop proper legislation, yet it does not guarantee that the third-party organizations would act in compliance with the law. Furthermore, the extension of governmental control to ensure law application may also violate privacy, creating a vicious circle. It may be almost impossible to regulate digital content as providers are located all over the globe, and a wide list of methods is utilized in order to bypass prohibitions.
In my opinion, recent cases involving Facebook have shown that it may not be possible to regulate digital privacy fully. According to some sources, privacy may not be able to coexist with analytics companies (Cruz and Dias 71). Such data analysis became an inseparable part of modern business and marketing. Therefore, granting full digital privacy may, to some extent, destroy the modern economy. Such an ethical dilemma may not have solvation, and there may be no way to provide comprehensive privacy rights. The only option of eradicating digital privacy issues may be disposing of every digital device and banning the internet. Hence, I believe that humanity should accept the emerging digital paradigm and acknowledge that there may be no ultimate solution to the privacy problem.
Cruz, Bruno Silveira, and Murillo Oliveira Dias. “Does Digital Privacy Really Exist? When the Consumer Is the Product.” Saudi Journal of Engineering and Technology, vol. 05, no. 02, 2020, pp. 68–72. Web.
Mitsilegas, Valsamis, and Niovi Vavoula. Surveillance and Privacy in the Digital Age: European, Transatlantic and Global Perspectives. Hart Publishing, an Imprint at Bloomsbury Publishing, 2021.
Siddique, Md. Abu. “‘Right to Privacy and Counter-Terrorism in the Digital Age: A Critical Appraisal for Bangladesh.’” IOSR Journal of Humanities and Social Science, vol. 21, no. 07, 2016, pp. 64–72. Web.