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Finding Clarity In The Obscurity Of “Why Privacy Matters”.

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Finding clarity in the obscurity of “Why Privacy Matters”

In his essay “Why Privacy Matters” from The Wilson Quarterly, Jeffrey Rosen offers a compelling account of the harmful effects of eradicating our privacy. Rosen ventures into several different fields affected by the ever-growing intrusion of our privacy, offering a rich compendium of illustrations from the real world. From Monica Lewinsky’s fate under her investigation, to a Charles Schwab employee, Rosen offers a prolific arsenal of incidents where the dignity of privacy is challenged. In his descriptive examples, Rosen demonstrates a broad expertise within the field by taking his time to describe a careful characterization of each case by both implying his own personal experience
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He establishes this connection deliberately for us as readers to be able to understand a concept he introduces further on in the essay where someone is “judged out of context in a world of short attention spans” (34). Even in what seems to be a reasonably descriptive breakdown of a consequence of losing our privacy, Rosen fails to answer what we should do to prevent “being judged out of context” (34). How can we know how to protect something if not even Rosen himself knows how to? In his essay Rosen also tries to explain how the cyberspace has contributed to threaten our privacy; “What had been seen as a physical threat now looked like a more insidious danger” (34). He offers another vague pool of examples of where our privacy is threatened by cyberspace, instead of providing a solution to the problem. At the end of this section Rosen claims that intimate privacy and cyberspace privacy are simply two examples of the same problem: the risk of being judged out of context in a world of short attention spans, and the harms to dignity that follow. This explanation to me is far too simple. Is he asking us to stop living in the real world where short attention spans are a necessity? No, in what seems as just another
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